Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Drislane

  1. I have ordered Sea Room today. I look forward to it immensely. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Claire. Findings by Kathleen Jamie will always be a very special book for me. I do feel that the enjoyment of a very good work on the natural world is often as rewarding as time actually spent outdoors. Both bring to mind TS Eliot's lines from "Little Gidding" - The end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

  2. I spend most weekends out of doors – walking and climbing all across the Cairngorms National Park. My love of the outdoors influences my reading – without question. Amongst the Behemoths of the Robert Macfarlane trilogy, Waterlog by Roger Deakin, The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram (Thank you, Camilla) and others on my bookshelf, real and virtual, now sits a little gem of a book I recently found in Waterstones in Aberdeen.


    It’s not big, it’s not bold, and it probably gets elbowed by the others on my shelf when I am not looking, but it is a beautiful read. It’s ‘How to Connect with Nature’ by Tristan Gooley, published by Macmillan and part of The School of Life series of books. For me the beauty of this book is that it reaches back from the wild open spaces to the urban, even indoors to awaken a sense of the natural world. It invites you to connect in ways you may not have thought of. Well worth a look.


    Works relating to the natural world, to the outdoors; any further recommendations? 

  3. Two weeks ago I walked and climbed through the Cairngorms using, in part, an old droving road - Jock's Road.


    It brought to mind one of my favourite poems.


    The Way Through The Woods, by Rudyard Kipling.


    They shut the road through the woods
    Seventy years ago.
    Weather and rain have undone it again,
    And now you would never know
    There was once a road through the woods
    Before they planted the trees.
    It is underneath the coppice and heath,
    And the thin anemones.
    Only the keeper sees
    That, where the ring-dove broods,
    And the badgers roll at ease,
    There was once a road through the woods.


    Yet, if you enter the woods
    Of a summer evening late,
    When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
    Where the otter whistles his mate,
    (They fear not men in the woods,
    Because they see so few.)
    You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
    And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
    Steadily cantering through
    The misty solitudes,
    As though they perfectly knew
    The old lost road through the woods.
    But there is no road through the woods.

  4. I like very much how you left the last line of that first post. No, definitely not all alone on this (and in danger of the light going out with an axe wielding serial killer on the loose).

    It is very much heavy and light for me when I remember to go light. On occasion, a complete change of direction from one work to the next is a great thing to do. Now who turned out the lights? Come on, it’s not funny any more…….  


  5. 'Il Postino' (1994), an Italian film directed by Michael Radford is for me a film of rare beauty, one that I can recommend without hesitation.


    Italy, 1950's, a world famous poet, a simple postman, the ways of love, beauty in the simple things......What are you waiting for?

  6. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to reply. The question was prompted by a recent re-read of Ghost Riders: Travels with American Nomads.  


    I do agree that with so much out there to read, it does have to be something that resonates with the reader long after the final cover is closed.


    Of what I re-read, the majority happens to be non-fiction and of those that are fiction, it does tend to be older ‘classics’ such as Silas Marner, for example.




  7. As a rule, I don’t make a habit of re-reading a book until an amount of time has passed. They also have to be good enough to draw me back, of course.

    I would be interested to know how you all are with re-reading works. Is it something you do a lot?  Have you returned more than once to read a work in its entirety? And what have you re-read the most from your own collection?


  8. A further thought from an earlier post in the playwright section.......

    For me alone, the Bull McCabe from John B. Keane’s The Field is one of the most powerful characters in fiction. I have seen him played several times on stage, perhaps played most brilliantly of all by Richard Harris in the Oscar winning film of the same name.


    I grew up in Ireland. I remember men like the Bull McCabe as a small boy. They were hard, silent types, hewn of necessity from the Irish landscape. Few ever saw beneath the quartzite and slate exteriors.

    John B. Keane captured them perfectly in the Bull McCabe.

    Has anyone ever captured something inch-perfect for you in fiction? Absolutely inch-perfect?


  9. John B. Keane, one of the great Irish playwrights in my humble opinion, lived and wrote prolifically in Listowel, County Kerry for close on 50 years. Inspiration for some of his most memorable characters, Bull McCabe amongst others, came to him within the confines of his public house as he chatted for hours on end with colourful locals. He put most of his work down in a room above the public house, a place which continues to carry his name above the door today.

    When I can get back to Ireland, I always try to find the time to drive to Listowel and spend a leisurely hour at John B Keane’s when I get there. Having read a lot of his work, it is quite something to do.

    Are there or have there been any opportunities for others on the forum, now or in the past, to do something similar, to visit somewhere associated to someone whose work they admire? I would be interested to know?


  10. Like the answer directly above! :)


    For my part, I like Dickens. I have always liked Dickens. For him to base a character on me, I would have to have known him. This would have been fascinating on its own. Therefore, Dickens would be my choice for that reason. The second part is a little more difficult. I guess I have to stay with Dickens, do I, Emily? Or does our status as friends allow me an exemption on that? No, okay, I will stay with Dickens then! :)

    I have always been intrigued to know what it would be like to have a flame for a head while carrying a hat shaped as an extinguisher. I would have no doubt shared this with my good friend Charles over one too many jagerbombs and subsequently made my bow in fiction as the Ghost of Christmas Past!


  11. I go back to Ireland for four days next week. All well and good apart from the fact I have to drive there and back on two of those four days. I would fly but I need to stop off on the way.


    Does anyone have a magic carpet I could borrow? Serious question! :)