Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 20 March 2015

Updates from around here and the Eclipse

Taken at 9.47am
We've been running in and out all morning trying to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.   And we saw it!! Fantastic... The cloud broke twice early on and we caught a very quick look, through Tom's welding mask.   I tried to capture it on camera, but the sky is too bright or else too cloudy, but the cloud is fabulous ...

It's really eerie - the birds have stopped singing - they think it's bedtime and it got dark enough around 9.30 that the automatic lights were coming on outside.   Some a fabulous phenomena to even be able to notice if not totally witness.   Apparently there's a fantastic view up around the Faroe Islands around now.  (9.40)

Well, things have been crazy busy here - again.   I find it very hard coping when there are too many different things going on... Being busy at one thing is fine, but when it's multiples my mainframe just crashes and I can't sleep.

So I've taken a few decisions.
Firstly I'm not going to take part in the A to Z challenge this year.   I've signed up and have bits of preparation done, but it's just too much.   So i'm just going to enjoy reading as much as I can of the other participants and just try and get back to some normal blogging which has backed up on me.

Last Saturday Csilla and I launched The Emigrant Woman's Tale to a packed Book Corner here in Rostrevor - it's a tiny place and people were standing inside the doors.   It was very well recieved and people picked up on lots of themes we hadn't even considered.   Our main focus was on emigration/imigration, mainly her escape from behind the Iron Curtain.  Read more about it here.
But it also unlocked the whole feeling that I grew up with, of the silence - being afraid to speak in case people heard our accents in the 80s in England or further afield, and not being allowed to talk openly here because you never knew who could be listening or who you might offend and what they'd do if they became offended.  Thankfully we no longer feel that now, but the immigrants coming here must surely feel it.

We launched a book and CD to accompany the show .. more about that later.

Hold on - it's out again ... 9.47 - we caught it on the other side ... better pictures this time ... the green one is taken through a welders mask ....exciting start to Friday.



And the last bit of this week was the sad news that we buried one of the members of our choir ...  She was with us straight after Christmas and and died on St Patrick's Day.  We are a small group and this has hit us hard ... We sang our hearts out on Wednesday night to just get on with life.

The choir on 6th December - Brona on the left.

St Patricks' Day sort of passed in a blur ... there was a big parade in Downpatrick and another in Belfast but of course that ended up in a bit of trouble.  It's sad that our national holiday can be celebrated peacefully everywhere else in the world except here.  In our local town it's the funfare and kids running around with Tricolours over their shoulders looking every bit as bad as the kids running around with Union Jacks around their shoulders on the 12th July.  It's better to stay in and do some gardening or work.  But I hope you had a lovely day if you were celebrating for us.


  1. Hi Fil - re the A-Z - please could you let Arlee know you're not doing it - then they'll take you off the list - you're number 23 - just checked for you! Thanks.

    Re the eclipse - we had cloud .. but it got cool and dark for a short while .. but I've seen a bit and I'll catch up tonight .. also I remember back to a few I've experienced over the years.

    Congratulations on the book launch - sounds really interesting .. and so sad to lose a friend so quickly ... I can see lots of emotional ups and downs going on - mostly ups now I hope.

    Cheers and take care - Hilary

    1. I will Hilary - I'm giving myself another couple of days after reading Inger's post :)

  2. I didn't see anything sadly. We tried! The book sounds great, interesting to hear of your experienced.x

    1. I'll write it up in a few days Kezzie.

  3. What fabulous eclipse photos Fil. How wonderful you got to usher in Spring with such a magical sighting.

    Congrats on launching The Emigrant Woman's Tale - and here's to a wildly successful continuation. These stories need to be shared, and we need to do a far better job as a world community of celebrating our diversity while embracing our likenesses.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your friend - sending love to you and the other members of the choir.

  4. Great photos of the eclipse. I was at work so I couldn't take any pictures but caught a glimpse of it looking similar to your photos (except the dark bit was on the other side) at 9:15am.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. Hope you and the choir have lots of happy memories of her.

  5. Those are fabulous photos of the eclipse !
    Kudos on a successful launch of your collaboration with Csilla. I have a friend who escaped Hungary the same way (he was 15 yrs.), trying to catch up with his older sister. He lost her and eventually made his way, alone, to Canada. He found her in South America and now she resides near him:)
    Some stories have good endings.
    My ancestry is Irish but there is a slur out there that puts down those who are proud of their ancesrty ... there's always a negative somewhere, isn't there, no matter where you come from ? St. Patrick's Day is well celebrated in Canada. It's a shame that you couldn't enjoy it in your own country :(
    Continued success with your CD. I'm still enjoying the one you sent to me ;)

  6. So fascinating to have the opportunity to see and photograph this eclipse and you did a great job on the photos. Very wise not to try to over do your blogging projects. To me, this is something that I want to be fun, and a place to share, but not a big obligation. Can definitely get to be too much with other things in life going on. Best to you! Also sorry about the loss of your colleage.


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