Posted: October 31, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized
via St Helena and other news
Just to make clear, this is a re-posting from Helen’s blog : so the I is, in fact, Helen (not me!)
Greetings from sunny Pembrokeshire! I just wanted to thank you all again for your interest in my books. Over the last few months I have received an overwhelming number of kind messages and comments. It really is wonderful to know that my Lavender Road characters have brought so much pleasure to so many people! Thank you also for the wonderful reviews. If there are any of the books which you haven’t yet reviewed, and if you have the time or inclination, then it would be great if you could pop a few words and star ratings onto my books on Amazon or Goodreads sites, or indeed any other book sites you might use. It all helps enormously. And if you fancy a writing holiday on the remote island of St Helena, then it would be lovely to see you there – see below!
And now, here is the latest news from HELEN CAREY BOOKS:
- All the Lavender Road books are now out in paperback in the UK.
- THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET and the four preceding novels in the Lavender Road series are now available in paperback in the USA. The sixth and final book, VICTORY GIRLS, will follow in December this year.
- All the audio versions are available from AUDIBLE in the USA, and as CDs from Ulverscroft / ISIS Soundings publishing, and libraries in the UK.
- I am delighted to have been invited to be one of the inaugural tutors for a creative writing week on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic next May. The course will be a week long and will be suitable both for new and more experienced writers alike. The other tutor will be Louis de Bernières, of Captain Corelli fame. This is an amazing opportunity for participants to focus on creative writing with two very different authors in a remote, idyllic setting. For further details see the flyer below.
All best wishes,
To be directed to your local Amazon store, click HERE.
Posted: October 6, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized
There’s a small, family gathered stone cairn on the mountain side of Carningli, in West Wales, where we often go to commune with the elders.
Whilst in Crete, we created an echo. We have been staying in a small, serene and very beautiful landscape in a place called Stavros, where the famous scene from Zorba the Greek, when Anthony Quin and Alan Bates dance on the beach, was filmed. We’ve walked along the hillside most days. This poem comes from that place.
Also on this holiday, I read the beautifully crafted, elegiac memoir, ‘Radio Dreams’ , which I recommend to all who have ‘ loved and lost’ (which is, I suppose, pretty much everyone who ever lived !)
And so, with respect, this poem is dedicated to Kimmie Rhodes and to Joe Gracey.
We made a cairn
Of Cretan rocks.
Small pebbles placed
In memoriam for those
Loved and lost.
In the place we made it,
Reached by a red earthed, goat dusted track
Ghosted by myrtle green shadows
Greeted by the tiniest yellow wilded flower
Whilst sea and sky unfolded
Bolts of celestial blue
Cloud cleared and cotton wool true,
The stony beaches rolled by
Restless waves, seaweeded black.
We stop and stare.
Keys chiming in my pocket
Goat bells ringing.
Echoes from Carningli
Globetrotted in the autumn air.
In the cave dwelling distance
High above ‘Zorba’s’ beach
Last night, and all others beside
A devotional light gleamed
Framed below a gap toothed moon
It’s silver glistened face
Like those of the ones we loved
But, not just yet,
Not just now.
It lingered, slightly beyond our reach
Posted: September 19, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized
Maisie was the last dog to be owned by my parents in law, Derek and Rosemary. She became ours following the death of Derek, as ‘Bloss’ was unable to care for her (though Maisie remained a faithful friend and source of pleasure to Bloss ,until the latter’s death)
Maisie was a rescue dog, from Morfa Head. Part collie, maybe some corgi, definitely something speedy in the genes. She strove to be good (except when sneaking on to the forbidden sofa). She loved to bark (though fell silent towards the end) to chase flies, to chase Phoebe! She was almost obsessed with chasing ‘the squeaky’ and hard to get off the chase, until Helen invented “Maisie, 1, 2, 3 ” upon which she would retreat to the bed, or her sofa.
She was brave, faithful and true. There is , for us at least, no shame in mourning the passing of a dog as much as we would a person, for she (they) are truly : Family.
We will miss her.
Maisie – always there
The walks are getting shorter
The nights longer
(Sometimes I feel like baying at the moon)
A sense of impending separation
Swallows and house martins bombarding the September skies
Apples, thickening, ripening
Sloe berries sumptuous
Mountain ash blood berried red
It was, desperately beautiful
This autumn day
Obsessed with catching flies
A jumper of style
Tanks in the distance trembling
Great Bedwyn bed jumping
(“Get down Maisie”
Bloss’ morning cry)
Whilst we were in Utah
And eager to do so
The house is hushed
Morfa Head muffled, mourning
The sea silenced,
Jackdaws screaming an unintended lament
A buzzard dips its wings in sun seasoned tribute
The wind whips and stuns the air.
Meet us on the rainbow bridge?
Let’s hope, suppose…
Meantime, ours to cry,
Memories may be the way to cope.
Ours the loss
Count the cost
The severing of the last link perhaps
To Derek, to Bloss
Oh, the heart hammering
The emotions bludgeoned
“Our little soldier”
…off she goes.
Posted: September 3, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized
How do you get ‘ordinary’ social drinkers thinking and talking about alcohol? Probably not by talking to them about alcohol… Andrew Misell looks at the legacy of the Communities Together project.
— Read on www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/blog/its-not-about-the-alcohol
This is neither poetry, nor photography, but it’s a piece about the work I was privileged to be involved with for some three years or so, and I want to share the learning as widely as possible.
Posted: August 2, 2018 Filed under: Photo, Poem | Tags: Catrin Finch, Dinas Osprey Project, flowers, Harp, Kora, music, Pembrokeshire, Photography, Poetry, Seckou Keita, Senegal, Wales
(PHOTOS by Marc Mordey – the Penrallt Eagle, created by the blacksmiths
at Dinas, Pembrokeshire)
(The music, like the bird itself
Above the Dyfi Estuary,
and over the mangroves
fumbling their way to the
Isle de Palétuviere
as the pirogues drift down glassy water
and a pelican dominates the jetty)
a red kite
eddying the cloudless sky
imperious above our crop dusted fields
siskin, finch, wood pigeon
a thrush, jack hammering a snail
between two stone dogs
keeping their green mossed vigil
A young jackdaw
striking a cormorant pose
bewitched by the chimney
beating time on the ridge tiles
(It’s hot, this year)
There are swallows skimming
and Amazons at sail in the bay
muted blue below
(and the harp still swoons
and the kora
flying fingered fishing line
rocks a gentle rhythm
whilst I am at sea
in a pyjama striped hammock)
Blue tits, dipping for water
in the stone bird bath
that celebrates a golden grand-parented wedding
of 50 years ago
There are lilies blooming
amidst the dying embers of foxglove
and jasmine perfume teasing
romping in a green gaged balloon of bush
St John’s Wort in full throttle
And pink flushed, sunset resplendent
oliander, a whisper of Greece
and the road to Milapotamos
that we took
so long ago
(and the opsrey, Dinas, fledges
takes fleeting, freewheeling flight
and feels Wales on its wings
instinct, deep chested and hidden
fat flowing river
sea hawk’s delight)
The honeysuckle is draped
whilst the weather vane is stilled
the umbrella stifled with gaffer tape mends
blowing the wind southerly
to lighten the atmosphere.
(but, no fear
for the music still plays,
swaying, stirring, evoking
and the Land of Song beyond
Posted: July 26, 2018 Filed under: Uncategorized
via Four questions