Monday, 29 February 2016

February Code Orange Alerts

– A Baker Rose collaboration AND the Dead Ringer AND a proposal.

Saint Brigit of Kildare was a mighty woman. Her feast day is 1 February, also the pagan festival Imbolc, the first day of Spring. She shares her name with the Celtic goddess Brigid.  Scholars suggest that she is a Christianisation of the goddess. She was a healer. She founded monasteries. She persuaded a hermit called Conleth govern with her.  She was friends with Saint Patrick.  Did you know that in one of her conversations with Patrick she persuaded him to declare the 29th February a day when women could propose? They say that between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship that they had but one heart and one mind.

This year the season of Spring – the feast of Imbolc – of Brigid - began beautifully in Connemara with blue skies and wind.

Do writers who escape from their desks into the wilds listen to the words "winds up to 80 km/h with gusts of up to 130 km/h", on the radio? Not us. These are not poetic words. They're not delivered with enough urgency for us. "Gusts of up to 130 km/h" has an urgency similar to "and and now let's pause for the Angelus…....

Walking up the road towards the Atlantic was exhilarating until the first gust. Suddenly contact between oneself and the ground was no longer assured. The whole Gerard Fleming/Evelyn Cusack thing became experiential. One’s rain jacket became a sail, and the deep, deep watery gripe beside the tarmac ribbon road assumed a ferocious pull.

A wider stance became necessary. One instinctively knew to lower one’s centre of gravity.
By the fifth gust one had developed a new walk – a style that involved one’s wrist and arse making regular contact with the ground. Long forgotten Tai Chi pastures began to spring to mind. Is this what "Snake creeps down and Golden Cockerel stands on the left leg" is for? Is this posture a bit like "Step back and repulse Monkey" or has it more of a "Grasp the Sparrows tail" look about it? Eventually the more appropriate ‘get your arse safely back indoors’ walk was agreed and adopted.

The next foray outdoors was made in a nice big heavy car that kept respectfully inland until a flat expanse of beach presented where the gusts could be enjoyed. Saint Bridget's was safely saluted, and wishes were made for the holy month ahead....

And great things have happened throughout February.

Here are only two.....

Baker Rose is building up a storm
The Baker Rose legend has begun in earnest. This is a true collaboration of kindred spirits. The infamous singer, songwriter, harmonica and guitar player Don Baker has teamed up with my favourite female vocalist and songwriter Clara Rose to produce an album. They go on tour in March. Preview the first single off their new album, The Hardest Way HERE

The Dead Ringer is coming soon...
The amazing writer, artist, poetry diva and finalist of the Irish Writers Centres Novel Fair 2015 Triona Walsh signed the contract for first novel, the Dead Ringer, with Liberties Press on Monday the 22nd. I cannot wait to see this thrilling story between covers.  Here she is working on her second novel.

And, in honour of Brigid, there’s been a proposal – but that for another post.