One of the most enjoyable things I have done of late was to go to a talk, given by Mary Norris, at Dublin’s Italian Institute of Culture.
Category Archives: Books
In the multi chandeliered ballroom of intentions and resolutions the lights only burn with gem like brilliance when intentions and resolutions are actually realised. Thus my chandelier glows with the merest ghostly glimmer because I have crossed off ridiculously few items from the list of things, I drew up a few years ago, that I wished to do in the coming decade.
When I walk Dublin’s grey-flecked flagstone pavements I am only dimly aware of the ghostly echo of the literary giants who once trod those selfsame routes. The roll call of the great and good of Irish writers of yore who have connections with Dublin is lengthy: Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce …
I have recently finished reading Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady’; it’s the very first Henry James novel I’ve tackled *hangs head in literary shame*. It’s the current choice of my book club and as we meet only every other month there’s lots of notice about forthcoming books so they shouldn’t be time-pressured reads.
We live in a highly mechanized and technologically driven age where the degree of separation between us and those who make most of the things that we use on a daily basis seems as vast as the count of numbers to infinity. Distant industrialized manufacturing is a relatively new fangled thing: craft in contrast is almost as old as the oceans and is deeply embedded into the community where a craftsperson works.
I was never going to buy another cookery book. Never ever. For a start the bookshelves in my kitchen, of which incidentally I am inordinately proud of having assembled from an IKEA flat pack, are stuffed to capacity. I was especially not going to buy another cookery book with instructions for making cakes because I must already have a zillion recipes for sweet confections. And as for buying a cookery book with a saturated pink cover which has a photograph featuring a cheesecake with a lurid lime-green topping made from jelly – now that would be totally out of the question.
I met Daisy Cummins when I went to stay at Cloona Health Retreat Centre in the west of Ireland in January. I seem to remember that I was too preoccupied during the first few days of my stay coming to terms with the restrictive but inordinately healthy diet I was eating to wonder too much about my fellow guests. Continue reading
In a hierarchy of compliments that I would like to receive, being told I looked French would be close to the top. Naturally I am not picky; I am truly grateful for any compliment I get. Unsurprisingly I am
seldom never told that I look French. I could cling to the deluded belief that this is due to my pale Celtic colouring but in truth it has more do with the fact that I lack the myriad of attributes that looking French implies; I am not super slim, über chic or drenched in enigmatic mystique.
When I was thinking, earlier today, about writing this post, I thought it would be about my week that was, but as is the way of the world as soon as I started to look back on what I did this week, my brain took off in a different direction and the planned post morphed into something else.