2020 Grateful 17: Gerald Hammond

My dead-people’s dinner table has had an extra seat added to it, somewhat surprisingly as I’ve only just found out that Gerald Hammond is no longer with us. I’ve spent a blissful three weeks or so reading the 13 novels in the Three Oaks series written by the Scottish author. Not believing in coincidence, the day I finished the final book, I read an article in The Guardian about the COVID rule of six not applying to shooting sports in the UK. The headline would normally have been as far as I’d have read, but having spent so much time with John Cunningham (Hammond’s protagonist), I’m giving more thought to game shooting and what’s behind it.

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Functional Art

A mate of mine was telling me recently that a builder mate of theirs has never been busier. With so many people working from home, they’ve a whole new appreciation for their living space. That table and chair, fine for the odd session on the laptop, isn’t quite up to snuff when you’ve to sit at it for 8 hours a day, five days a week. That kitchen, grand for warming up take-aways or firing something into the microwave, isn’t quite up to cooking family meals seven days a week. That living room, once rarely used but now the hub of the home, seems old and dated. And with the money people are saving on their daily designer coffees, lunches out, and drinks after work, this builder mate is one happy man. Read more

2020 Grateful 18: That light in the sky

Drawing the curtains in the front room the other night, I noticed a peculiar light in the sky. I watched it for a while, thinking it might move. Maybe it was a low-flying plane. Or a rogue satellite. It looked for all the world like an artist’s rendition of the Star of Bethlehem on a Christmas card. Read more

2020 Grateful 19: My git up and go…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I hadn’t realised how long until I started receiving messages this week asking me if everything was okay in my world. I forget at times that people read what I write and when I don’t post, they noticed. I find that flattering. Read more

Eva Gladys Thommen in her gallery in Pécs

The Artist Known as Eva Gladys

Walking out of a ruin pub in Hungary somewhere approaching midnight is not particularly noteworthy. But walking out of a ruin pub and across the road and into a secondhand bookshop, finding an original version of Frank O’Connor’s Day Dreams, and buying a painting is.
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2020 Grateful 20: Caimh McDonnell and Bunny McGarry

I’ve often wondered if authors get lost in the shadows of their protagonists? A case in point – I know sod all about Caimh McDonnell, but I feel like I know his guy Bunny McGarry personally. Read more

Translating a need

COVID-19 has brought out the best in us and the worst in us. After five months of lockdowns and reopenings, be they full or partial, we’ve begun to adjust to the new normal. But our world is divided. Read more

2020 Grateful 21: Owning what I do

Oh, what sad, silly creatures we are. We, humans. We who like to think we are intelligent, sentient beings who care about the world we live in, care about those with whom we live, care about the welfare of all. We don’t. All we really care about is money. Read more

2020 Grateful 22: Gutbai, Johnny P

COVID played havoc with my birthday week. I’ve so lost my sense of time that I got a start when KG asked me what I’d planned for the big occasion. I’d forgotten it was happening. I didn’t want to do anything in particular. For me, it was just another day. Then a mate from Chennai messaged me to wish me well and to send photos of the celebration. I told him I wasn’t doing anything. He told me to get out there and do something because he wanted photographs. I needed that prod.

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Rock on, Don!

I can remember the days when my life was full of 21st birthday parties. Then it was engagement parties. Then it was weddings, followed by christenings, graduations, and more weddings. Sadly, nowadays, the milestones are more finite. Read more