Thursday, September 01, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Here I am in the Ballinamore Library as I am on a month's retreat at my favourite Buddhist Centre, Jampa Ling. As I posted a year previous, this is where I spent a summer working as a barmaid in my aunt and uncle's hotel on the main street. And, of course, this is the town where my first book, The Druid's Tune, begins. A lot of memories of a lot of people meander through my mind as I meander through the streets. It's strange the way we end up travelling along old songlines years and years later!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
And it nearly killed me. Jaze, I am utterly out of shape. We were deep in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, astray on Stony Top and Tonelagee (anglicisation of Tón le Gaoithe - 'arse to the wind' - you gotta love the Irish.) A gorgeous day with sunshine and balmy breezes and a lost black dog whose owner finally found him. Cheese sandwiches, hot tea and chocolate were the standard fare. This is an arty shot of me, courtesy of Gerry Blake, photographer extraordinaire and fellow hiker. We cooled our feet in the clear shallow waters of the Glenmacnass River, just at the end, near the car park. (Dana crossed this river in The Light-Bearer's Daughter.) Lovely day but I'm going to have to do some serious exercising before I go back out again. I swear I thought I was going to DIE at one point.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Alas, I'm too banjaxed to head up to the ancient seat of Uisnech for the Festival of the Fires - see www.festivalofthefires.com - but I hope to get there next year. (Note: Uisnech is an important setting in the book and film of The Celtic Princess.) Instead, I shall light a little fire of my own to honour the day. I'll also be heading over the mountains to Tom Bombadill and Goldberry - as I call Herbie Brennan, Faerie Wars, and his wife, Jacquie Burgess, Master Herbalist - for a Bealtaine celebration on Wednesday. Meanwhile, wishing you all a beautiful May Day tomorrow. It has been warm and sunny and summery in Ireland all month. Brilliant!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Happy to see a US judge has dealt a blow to this piece of thievery. But the truth is writers are earning less now per book than they used to, especially with the advent of e-books. Our contracts have not caught up with the new technology. Sigh. I've said it before. Artists are the coffee-pickers of the culture industry. It's the packagers and the distributors who carve up the big bucks.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Addictive personalities should not be allowed near Facebook. It became utterly obsessive. Who's commenting on my wall? What is everyone else saying on theirs? What will I say on mine? All those arguments. All those extra youtube viewings. I've dropped out of that hyper space to happily plod along in bloggerland once more. A saner pace. A saner place!
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Stayed up till 3:00 a.m. this morning to watch this Hindi cinema film. It is definitely not Bollywood. Though it was savaged by critics in India and mildly criticised in the West, I think it's utterly gorgeous. A fairy tale set in an imaginery city. The set designs alone are worth watching!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This is a beautiful story that I was suspicious of at first and then discovered was utterly TRUE! Youtube has the full story on film in five parts plus interviews with the two men in 2008. This is a tale of love and friendship across the species divide. The man with the gun at the end is the famous George Adamson (Born Free). He's the one who introduced Christian (the lion) to the wild after the lion had been brought up in London by two young men in the 1960s. They saw him one more time after this reunion - a few years later - when he had a full mane. Christian hadn't been seen by Adamson in a long time yet strangely (or not, if you believe like me) the lion showed up when the two men arrived. Christian was very dignified this time, didn't jump on top of them, "I'm a full lion now" was his attitude, as one of the men said, but he was still affectionate and spent the night with them. After that they never saw him again. He went off to live out his life as a wild lion with his pride. He's not a tame lion, but he is good.
Monday, February 21, 2011
I love jigsaw puzzles, something I picked up from my grandmother, I think. My Uncle Syl owned a jigsaw puzzle factory here in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and my Auntie Gerry was his manageress. He used to bring puzzles to my grandmother and she was always working on one. Those of you who read The Druid's Tune will remember Rosemary and Jimmy working on a jigsaw puzzle with the O'Donovan family on a rainy day in Leitrim. Last summer, I found two puzzles in the lighthouse keeper's cottage where I was staying on the Isle of Erraid. My friend Gillian and I took one each and worked away on them in the evenings throughout the week, assisted by fellow roomie Heike who read to us as we worked - fire crackling away - and who occasionally popped in a piece here and there. The two puzzles were completed before we left. Here's a pic of one I did on my return from India. It helped me land. Finn's Dad gave it to me for Christmas. The hieroglyphics nearly did my head in, but then I got the hang of them and recognised the various characters. So now I've got the jigsaw bug and had to go buy a box of 10 puzzles! I think they are good for the brain. Also a better way to relax than watching television. In my latest book, People of the Great Journey, I use the jigsaw puzzle as one of my connecting metaphors. Life always seeps into art.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I am posting this from a cyber cafe in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalayas after an amazing two weeks in this utterly amazing country. Attended the week long teachings of the Dalai Lama in Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism, outside the holy city of Benares. Then a night sleeper train to Amritsar where I visited the Golden Temple of the Sikkhs (wept at its beauty). Will post pics when I get back!