Reading My Way Around the World

Tuesday, 16 June 2020


Life is starting to slowly picking up speed again around here, with lots of the sessions moving online and our local craft shop opening up for a few days this week.  Like everywhere else, the parks and beaches are packed on the good days so we're choosing to stay closer to home. 

The first of the online festivals takes place today to mark Bloomsday and Tom and I have a short video in it of the famous "Loves Old Sweet Song" (Just A Song At Twilight) which features in the book - - that'll be around 6pm Irish Time.  I'll also be compering part of the event from 10am.

For those of you who are not familiar with it, Bloomsday celebrates the James Joyce book Ulysses, once voted the greatest book of all time (- to my mind it falls into the category of the most tiresome of all time!  Call me a Philistine but I've never managed to get beyond one page of the blinking thing, even in spite of studying Joyce as part of my English course at Uni).  

Anyway that aside, Ulysses takes place on one day in the life of Leopold Bloom - June 16th, 1904 (Joyce chose that date as the day he met his future wife Nora Barnacle) .  It takes place in Dublin, but reference is made to here “He hoped Miss Douce had nice weather in Rostrevor.’-  one of the few places mentioned outside of the city.   So naturally, some eagle eyed enthusiast here, in this case theatre designer Alistair Livingstone,  spotted the connection and not content with having a connection from the area to C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and the Queen no less, they have raised Joyce to the level of the others and there will be a one day festival online on the 16th, connecting in with festivals in Dublin, New York, Budapest, Australia and the Irish Cultural Centre in London. 

More info from the Press Release

Presented by The Light Theatre Company who have filmed, ‘Sirens at the Bar’, Based on the ‘Sirens Episode’ in ‘Ulysses’ by writer Csilla Toldy. Performed by Vivien Botos Cole (Miss Douce), Jennifer McGovern (Miss Kennedy) Neil Cole (Simon Dedalus), Jason Benson (Lenehan) Directed by Alistair Livingstone following strict social distancing rules, specially for this year’s event.   

They have also filmed a Bloomsday breakfast which will start the day off.

Apart from musical representations of Joyce’s poems and songs of the era, Poetic Action Rostrevor (PAR) will present ‘Joyce over Rostrevor’, a series of inspiring quotes from Joyce pictured at iconic locations.

A series of filmed readings will include episodes from the novel, poems by Joyce performed by actors  who have sent us their recordings from Belfast, Dublin, Scotland, England and even New York, children's short stories from The Dubliners and new pieces especially written for the festival.

Tune in today (or in the coming days as it will stay online) on Facebook: and on YouTube.   


  1. Hi Fil - I've never got to grip with Joyce ... but hope the readings and filmings went well - so pleased you're able to still be involved especially now things are easing up - enjoy the rest of the summer months. All the best - Hilary

  2. Hope all went well
    Julie x


Do drop me a line ... I love to read your comments :)