Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson

Lighthousekeeping is rich and poetic. It’s about the relationship between orphaned Silver and mysterious and pragmatic lighthouse keeper Pew. And it’s about stories. Silver’s hunger for stories and Pew’s willingness to tell them. Stories about people and past lives. Every life has a story long after the physical body has gone. Oral stories passed down through the generations.

‘Tell me a story Jeanette’-

… you certainly told a magical one in Lighthousekeeping.

The Fisherman.

Eastbourne, East Sussex January 2020.

The Fisherman

By W. B. Yeats

Although I can see him still.
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It’s long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I’d looked in the face
What I had hoped ‘twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, ‘Before I am old
I shall have written him one
poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.’

“The Fisherman”, published in 1916, depicts Yeats’ considerations into the loss of Irish tradition through the persona of a fisherman.

This image, caught on my Eastbourne seafront run last Sunday morning, made me think of The Fisherman by W. B Yeats.

Romeo and Juliette by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I missed this at O, A’ and Degree level, then recently read David Nicholls ‘Sweet Sorrow’ which finally inspired me to give Romeo and Juliette a go. I actually listened to it on audio- I struggle to read Shakespeare, but love to listen and let that beautiful language wash over me. Looking out for a Globe production now to complete the experience.

View all my reviews

Romeo and Juliet (Wordsworth Classics)

Sweet Sorrow: the new Sunday Times bestseller from the author of ONE DAY

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet

I Go Quiet is the exquisite story of an introverted girl, struggling to find her place in a noisy world. Through the power of books, creativity and imagination, she begins to see possibilities for herself beyond the present, to a future where her voice will finally be heard.

Beautiful and Inspirational. As an only child this would have reassured me.

Shortlisted for our East Sussex Children’s Book award #ESCBA. Looking forward to meeting the author David Ouimet at the final event in June at the Hippodrome Theatre Eastbourne: https://royalhippodrome.com/  

I Go Quiet

Burns Night.

Dust off your tartan for a Scottish Burns Night Supper, a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796).

Tonight (25 January) is Burns night and prior to my celebrations this evening I did an internet search for a few Robert Burns facts:

J.D. Salinger’s ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ based its title on the Robert

Burns poem, ‘Comin’ Thro’ the Rye’.

Bob Dylan said that Burns’ A Red Red Rose was his greatest ever inspiration

Astronaut Nick Patrick took a book of Burns poetry with him on his 2020 space mission.

‘Auld Lang Syne’ is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the top three most popular songs in the entire English language.

Tommy Hilfiger claims to be a direct descendant if Burns.

In 2009 Burns became the first person to appear on a commemorative bottle of Coca Cola.

Abraham Lincoln was a huge fan of the poets work.

The work of Robert Burns has appeared in hundreds of films and TV programmes, including Holly ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (1946), ‘When Harry Met Sally’ (1989) and ‘Forrest Gump’ (1994).

https://www.scotland.org/events/burns-night/20-facts-about-robert-burns

So for those celebrating with a Burns supper tonight, enjoy a Haggis and a glass or two of good single malt 🥃 . It’s obligatory!

The Grand Hotel Eastbourne

Winter afternoon treat at the Grand Hotel Eastbourne today. The epitome of old Englishness and luxury, I never tire of this fabulous hotel. Was interested to see whose shoes I followed into that beautiful building. Apparently Claude Debussy, Ernest Shackleton, Charlie Chaplin, Dame Helen Mirren, John Hurt and Bros have all preceded me:

https://www.grandeastbourne.com/140-years-of-the-grand

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady