Well the polar bears can hang on a bit longer. I managed to go to Edinburgh and to Dunblane on the way home by train with Brompton folding bicycle. The strangest thing is that you are allowed stop overs on the home leg of the Cheap Day Return. So thanks to First Scotrail. The bicycle is to avoid the impossiblity of parking at Perth Station.
I was interested to see that the papers had obviously been reading this blog and continue to indulge in discussion about the worlds most unread books – as I suspected, Ulysses tops the list. Apparently, 72% of those who bought a copy claim to have read it complete. The Independent doesn’t believe them and nor do I. I continue to recommend William Trevor – and am surprised how many people have never heard of him. Class of his own, I think – particularly the short stories.
And speaking of green issues, we’re off to a St Patrick’s-tide Reception with the Irish Consul in Edinburgh tomorrow night. Careful!
Yes – I have to brace myself before reading some of the short stories. Like going out to conduct a difficult funeral. It’s the economy of the writing that makes some of it just agonising. The one that sticks with me is the passage in the Story of Lucy Gault where he manages to express in one paragraph the poignancy of the loss of the Anglo-Irish families who left Ireland as things changed in the ’20s. ‘For long is it?’ Lucy asked, knowing the answer. ‘Yes, for a long time.’ ‘For ever?’ ‘We don’t want it to be.’ But Lucy knew it would be.
From another Trevor fan – nothing beats his description of Father Clohessy, with his ‘general feeling of deprivation’ and lessened sense of vocation in the face of a changing church and society. Food for thought indeed. And shorter than Ulysses.
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