Thursday, July 24, 2014

London town

A visit to London town is always busy. Its a case of cram it all in as quickly as possible. I always breath a sigh of relief when I step off the plane back in Dublin. As nice as London is; its hard work.  After arriving at a ridiculously early hour and dropping our bags at our digs it was breakfast at Borough Market. I chomped down on a sausage bap  for my second breakfast of the day. Then it was onto the V&A. A quick look around the photography and the fashion room before I had the worst coffee I've ever tasted.  Back out on the street we didn't really know what was going on. Police and army appeared from no where with helicopters looming over head. To be honest my first thought was 'has a bomb gone off somewhere?' Paranoid much? Later on we discovered it was a Pro-Palestinian protest about to make its way around the side of Hyde Park. We settled ourselves and headed for The Photography Gallery. With enough energy for one last stop we made our way to the John Soane Museum. He was an architect and collector. He left his house and estate to the State instead of his children. I'm sure that went down well. So fitting that A Rake's Progress by William Hogarth is part of his collection.  Defeated we returned for naps before dinner. And oh what a dinner it was! My sister works at The Garrison. To say that we were looked after would be understating it. The service was fantastic, the food impeccable.
The photo of the Shard above is the view from my happy dinner perch. With just enough room (I decided not to dessert for this reason) we headed to The Hide for cocktails.

With the cocktail residues still merrily making their way around my system I woke up nice and early. I had a people watching coffee and croissant back at Borough Market as I waited for the troops to convene and then it was around the corner to The Tate Modern. The Malevich exhibition was my destination. Would have checked out the Matisse too except for we ran out of time and had to high tail it across town for Sunday lunch at Brawn. And what a f#*%ing lunch it was too. I have two words only: go there. I rounded out the day with dinner in Pizarro watching the last of the rain and  stragglers making their way down Bermondsey Street on a lazy Sunday evening.

One last cultural hurrah at Sotheby's for the Unauthorized Banksy Retrospective. I couldn't quite figure out who was taking the piss out of whom?! But the snobby girl at the door made it all worthwhile.

Thursday and the recovery continues ...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fish Short Memoir Competition 2014 Long List

I was bored on Sunday night and started poking around the internet looking at competitions to enter and competitions I didn't make the cut for. At least I thought I didn't make the cut for. I entered the Fish Short Memoir Contest earlier in the year and promptly forgot about. I subsequently deleted the email announcing the winners of the competition. My only thought on that is I must have been having a bad day! So I was really surprised to see my own name on the long list as I scrolled down through the list of writers and their stories. I'm particularly delighted to make it to the list as its the first time I've had a non-fiction piece recognised. There's no greater impetus to keep on going!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy

Another Tuesday, another book launch in the Gutter Bookshop. Liberty Silk by Kate Beaufoy was delightfully introduced by Ciaran Hinds. Yes, that Ciaran Hinds!
Kate Beaufoy is the new pen name for Kate Thomspon. If you recognise the name its probably because you have either seen Glenroe or read one or two of the eleven books she has written.  
Kate was also the first VIP guest author for the NCBI and Childvision's annual Readathon in 2008. She kindly returned to help us celebrate its five year anniversary last year.
The idea for the book was born from letters her grandmother wrote after the first world war - all of which feature in the book. The story's breadth stretches from Paris 1919 to Hollywood 1945 to 1965. It is "an evocative story of survival, betrayal and the invincibility of love." Available in all good bookshops now.
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