BACK FROM IRELAND
The taxi driver who drove us to Dublin airport said his grandfather was a Kerry
"So lovely is Kerry, they call it The Kingdom," he said.
From what I saw of rural Ireland, most of it could be called so. The country is
lush and colourful, and the time I spent there left me wanting more — more
darkly panelled public houses like Doheny and Nesbitt on Dublin's Lower Baggot
more rows of impossibly elegant Georgian houses with windows that offer a
tantalising glimpse of tasselled curtains and chandeliers, more shadowy
interiors of churches, more gifted buskers, chunky soda bread, and creamy
mashed potatoes that actually taste of something.
While stocking up on books by Irish writers in the beautiful Hodges
Figgis shop on Dawson Street, I came across two copies of my own
book. It was an
unexpected delight to find it there in this most literary of cities.
Nobody designs more inviting shop fronts than the Irish. They favour
bold rich colours - mulberry, turquoise, emerald green - with the names
lettered in black and gold and using a Roman typeface that is extinct elsewhere.
I took a crash course in tin whistle at Walton's Music School and have been
practising the lovely slow waltz,
on and off ever since. The Irish
whistle is a deceptively simple instrument, difficult for a beginner because
without the use of subtle ornamentation its voice is piercing, or breaks into
awkward squeaks. All I can say is that I am working on it.
I am reluctant to write much more about my time in Ireland until I have managed
to download my experience into the novel; talk too much and the urge to talk on
paper quickly evaporates, so I'll leave you with a link to a few of my images
of Ireland along with some notes on the
work in progress.
Musings on the Writing Life ...