Here's some of the photo shoot my daughter Finn completed today for her cookbook that will be published by Gill Books www.gillbooks.ie (@Gill_Books) next year. If you want to know more have a look at www.finsfitfood.com (@Fins_Fit_Food). Her recipes are yum. I should know. She cooks for me whenever she visits!
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter. Wandering Ireland with my grief and this book, meeting crows along the way. So far a Faerie crow dress in a craft shop on the quay in Kinvarra, a crow on the beach in Bundoran, a crow sculpture in a magical woods. Will post photos of them when I land in next location. Will also be posting them on my Twitter @ormelling1. Now I'm off again after a wonderful visit with Donegal daughter. The road will take care of you, my writer friend Kate Thompson said. And she's right. Grief,the Tour has taken me hemp harvesting in Monaghan, walking the green road and two art exhibitions in Co.Galway, jumping in the Atlantic on Rossnowlaugh Strand ...
Yes, I've entered the 21st century at last, not only with an iphone but now a twitter account. I'm @ormelling1 no mates at the moment but let's see what happens. And bizarre as it may sound, the chief way I am dealing with family tragedy (ref my t'other blog) is obsessively following the UK Labour Party leadership debacle. Firmly on the side of Jeremy Corbyn, of course.
I can't believe J.K. Rowling has joined the supporters of the anti-democratic parliamentary coup against the elected leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Did she not do her research? Did she not look into the background of Mr Corbyn's opponent's voting patterns, including voting for a cap on welfare benefits? Did she accept the consistent and constant media bias against Mr Corbyn which has been clearly proven by the London School of Economics: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-media-bias-labour-mainstream-press-lse-study-misrepresentation-we-cant-ignore-bias-a7144381.html? Did she not consider Mr Corbyn's overwhelming support amongst the regular Labour party membership, the ordinary people who have suffered Tory austerity policy supported by the Labour Parliamentary Party who are trying to oust Mr Corbyn? Has she not considered the blatant and possibly illegal attempts by Labour's National Executive Committee to shut down democratic support of the embattled leader? Sad to think becoming a billionaire can change one's political leanings or one's concern for the poor, but sure looks like that is what has happened.
I love when my readers contact me and it's even more exciting when they arrive in Ireland and we get to meet. Here are Bronwyn and Emma over from Australia having coffee with me in my favourite café in the Albert's Walk, Bray. (It has shelves of books and the best Italian coffee in the country.) Like many of my readers, Bronwyn read my books when she was much younger and never forgot me. There was great chat and laughter and you would never have thought that any of us were strangers.
I've been a very bad blogger, reading scads of books and nary a mention of one.
Here's the list with quickie reviews:
1) Ender's Game - just plonked myself on the sofa and read the whole thing in a day. Couldn't stop, the story is so utterly compelling. I had seen the film and thought it rather good despite poor reviews; but, as usual, with the exception of Dr Zhivago (English translation, that is), the book is far better. Orson Scott Card is, of course, an author who should keep his mouth shut - see controversy on his anti-gay stance - but then we all probably should and most of us don't. I followed this book a month or two later with Children of the Mind, the last in the series. The Wicklow County library system doesn't have the other books so I had to extrapolate everything that happened in between the two. Managed all right. I am utterly baffled that Card can be such a deep thinker with such expansive views of the universe and then can be such a dick when it comes to human life on earth.
2) Eileen Gray: Her Work and Her World by Jennifer Goff - big fat tome on Ireland's most famous, brilliant and generally unknown designer. She was recognised in her own time - 1910s-1920s being her heyday, Paris being her venue - and then, like many great women before modern feminism, was forgotten by history (his story). She designed everything from chairs, screens and carpets to apartments and houses. Can't wait to see the collection of her work in Dublin soon.
3) Z, a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler - great read, though upsetting at times as you realise that Zelda would have done so much better in our time. You really hate Ernest Hemingway by the time you finish this one, though that wasn't hard for me as I had read a few of his books - see below - in honour of my Spanish sojourn last summer and soon realised what an overrated, misogynistic, pathetically macho man he was (Zelda's opinion, too, apparently). The saddest thing about this book, however, is the author's note at the back which states that both Scott and Zelda's biographers & critics are divided into two camps, each blaming the one for the downfall of the other. That Zelda was bipolar is now generally accepted and that Scott suffered from alcoholism is also uncontested. Why blame either of these creative, exciting, ultimately doomed artists when the fault lies squarely at the door of two diseases - mental illness and alcoholism? Funny how our society just still doesn't get it, despite all we know of both these afflictions. Most tragic of all, he died of a heart attack at 44, no doubt brought on by alcohol abuse, and she died in a fire in her sanatorium.
3) The Sun Also Rises never in the history of boredom was anyone ever so bored by the boring. And why is it that novelists who happen to be women are always being castigated for writing "Mary Sue's" (the term says it all and yeah, I'm referring to me) when men do it all the time but no one objects, e.g. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce. This is "bare" writing not "spare." As for Death in the Afternoon YAWN except for the poor bulls.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.