Admiration 4: A List (Far From Complete)

OH NO! SELF ACCIDENTALLY DELETED HER OWN POST.

It happened while she was trying to expand on her reasons for assembling this particular mosaic of images to represent the week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge: ADMIRATION.

And she couldn’t find a previous saved version. Gaaaah! And in re-selecting images, she decided to stop at six instead of the eight she originally had. And she also substituted some images. Sorry for the confusion!

  1. Lady in Red: Ger, chef of Cork’s pre-eminent restaurant, Café Paradiso. Such a great chef, and also very direct and witty! Self loves Ger.
  2. Katniss Everdeen: Self-explanatory, really.
  3. Allison Joseph, co-editor with Jon Tribble of Crab Orchard Review. Fabulousness.
  4. The mother-daughter team who cook and manage Chez Mamie, 22 Hanway Street, London. They make London feel like home.
  5. SeaCity Museum, Southampton, England: Thank you to Joan McGavin, who took her here last year. What a great exhibit on the Titanic. While other cities lay claim to having the best exhibits on the tragedy, Southampton’s is so poignant because it focuses on the crew, most of whom were from this city. And therefore, the focus of the displays is on working-class people. Which makes this a much more layered story. In one gallery, there’s a map on the floor with red dots representing the houses of each of the victims. The dots are clustered around the poorer sections of the city.
  6. Last but not least: Nutschell Ann Windsor, Program Administrator for UCLA Extension’s on-line Writers Program. She is the best. She not only handles all requests with Zen calmness, she is a writer herself. And an editor. She’s holding an anthology she edited.

And now self will post before she accidentally deletes something again.

Stay tuned.

Last Year, The Wallace Collection

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Because last summer, she was reading Howard Jacobson’s The Act of Love, which is set mostly on London’s Great Russell Street (an antiquarian book dealer’s! Just across from the British Museum!) and The Wallace Collection, in July 2015 self went to see The Wallace Collection for the first time.

She asked a museum staffer if she knew where Fragonnard’s famous painting was.

“I know exactly,” said the staffer, without missing a beat (very much like the taxi driver who said, when self inquired if he knew St. Bride’s: “Of course! I’m a London cabbie!”). “She’s in the parlor, swinging away.”

LOL!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: Helen Ivory

I have always suspected but now
I know for a fact that I am not a human being.
As children, my sister and I were cats.

— from The Double Life of Clocks, by Helen Ivory (Bloodaxe Books, Ltd.)

Sylvain Landry Week 41 Photo Challenge: Incongruous

Self loves the incongruous.

Which is the theme of this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge.

Here’s her entry: a book in The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles:

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Incongruous in The Last Bookstore, S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles

Thanks once again to Sylvain Landry, whose prompts always pull something unexpected from self’s photo archives.

Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day 2: Sir Tyrone Guthrie Himself

Self owes so much to the dear fellow, who passed away in 1971.

She learned he was an only child, he used to spend childhood summers right here in Annaghmakerrig (His mother was a grand-daughter of Tyrone Power, Hollywood matinee idol). His paternal great-grandfather was Dr. Thomas Guthrie of Edinburgh.

While rooting around in the bookcase in her unit (Self loves how there is always a different collection of books. She thinks her first time to visit the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, she was in Unit #3. Last year, she was in Unit # 2. This year, she’s in Unit # 1), she discovered:

TOP OF THE LADDER

A Play

by Tyrone Guthrie

The main character is a man. His name is Bertie. He is not much described in the stage notes. Surprisingly, much more time is devoted to the women characters. For instance, this is said about Katie, Bertie’s wife (Excerpt from the stage directions):

Of the women, Katie is the most difficult part because she covers far the widest emotional range. Some of her scenes are rather satirically written, but the actress must be careful to present a brief for, and not against, her character. She must be silly, but an endearing silly, and not an irritating one.

Then there is Mookie, Bertie’s old nurse:

Mookie embodies some such personification of Nursehood as Mother Earth or Dame Nature: her work with scissors and thread is intended to relate her to the Three Fates.

Fascinating, wouldn’t you agree?

Stay tuned.

Future Dublin in The Irish Times

The Irish Times’ Dublin in the Coming Times is a fascinating project which invites Dubliners young and old to submit pieces re-imagining the city.

The first pair of pieces appeared in the paper back in February. Okay, so they were by Actual Famous Writers (Sebastian Barry and the writer known as Dublin Hun).

Another story, by Christine Dwyer Hickey, was published Saturday, 16 April. This is the one is self is reading:

Notes: Dublin is super dystopian. There is a kind of plague rooting in the population. Checkpoints and searches all over the place. A grandmother is desperately trying to save her grand-daughter’s life. Almost the first thing she does is make the girl masquerade as a boy, which go figure:

For weeks her words had shunted into my head, but by the time we reached the river at Chapelizod I remembered only this: I was nine years old, and I was a boy and my name was now Demba.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Dance: The Narnia Trail, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is DANCE.

And it just so happens that self was having a conversation with a member of her writer’s group, about Diary of a Wimpy Kid and other childhood classics, which led her to remember:

Rostrevor, July 2015.

She was a guest of Csilla Toldy, a poet she met in Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig. On her first day in Rostrevor, Csilla took self walking along The Narnia Trail, which led through a magical wood. At intervals along the trail were these strange twig creatures, each caught in the middle of doing a silent dance:

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Aren’t they fabulous?

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He would have loved this trail.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vonnegut Quote of the Day

Today, self wandered into a bookstore in Fort Bragg. She wandered in to look up some books on her reading list. She handed the young woman at the cashier’s desk a very old clipping from the Wall Street Journal with the following book titles underlined:

  • Ovid’s Metamorphosis
  • Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels
  • Voltaire’s Candide

It wasn’t until a couple of minutes later that she realized it was a used bookstore. With a pretty extensive collection of vinyl. The record player reminded her of the one she saw at her hotel in Trieste, 2013.

Anyhoo, back to the main topic: She’s still reading Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano. According to the nerds of a feather blog, Player Piano is ranked # 12 out of 15 Vonnegut novels. She really thinks it ought to be ranked much higher. Just saying.

It’s described as science fiction but self thinks it’s more AU (Alternate Universe). The AU comes so trippingly off her tongue now that she is so heavily into reading fan fiction.

p. 182:

  • In analyzing the magical quality of the afternoon during the cocktail hour, Paul realized what had happened: for the first time since he’d made up his mind to quit, he really hadn’t given a damn about the system, about the Meadows, about intramural politics. He’d tried not to give a damn before, but he hadn’t had much luck.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Selling Lingerie to the Egyptians: Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, Aug. 10 & 17, 2015

Self finds the Peter Hessler essay in The New Yorker, “Learning to Speak Lingerie” absolutely fascinating.

She started reading Hessler because he wrote about his two years living in China (as a Peace Corps volunteer) in River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. Self is a graduate of   East Asian Studies, concentration in Chinese, hence the feeling of connection.

Moreover, Hessler is a very very very good writer.

He wrote his essay about Asyut, in Upper Egypt. Here, in this very conservative place (“Virtually all Muslim women there wear the head scarf”), there is “a Chinese Lingerie Corner in a mall whose entrance featured a Koranic verse that warned against jealousy.”

Along a “three-hundred-mile stretch,” Hessler reports he found “twenty-six Chinese lingerie dealers.” Their product? “butt-less body stockings, nightgowns that cover only one breast, G-strings accessorized with feathers, see-through tops . . . Brand names include Laugh Girl, Shady Tex Lingerie, Hot Love Italy Design, and Sexy Fashion Reticulation Alluring.”

Clearly, this is an essay that demands self’s full and unfocused attention.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge: PRIDE

The Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge this week is PRIDE.

Landry shares an e-mail from his daughter, in which she writes:

“It was not the exoticism of India that watered me but the feeling of having found my place.”

Self decided to post a photograph from a trip to India in January 2012. It was her first time to visit the country, which had always fascinated her. Dharamsala had not been on the itinerary, but she decided to go. And it was freezing cold (one night her inn had no power. And self thought she would DIE).

She is glad she went, for Dharamsala is a beautiful, magnificent place. And she would never have seen it if she’d “played it safe” and stuck to the original itinerary.

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Dharamsala, official abode of the Dalai Lama. Self was stunned by the whole idea of it, by the whole idea of HERSELF in Dharamsala, alone with two brothers who ran an inn called the Snow Crest . . . It was FREEZING in January, but the upside was: barely any tourists, only crazy ones like self.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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