Saturday, 17 July 2010
I am sitting here on a Saturday morning in my glass house study, a conservatory which will keep me heated and partially blind until 1 pm-ish when the sun moves ever so slightly across the way. The sun is in full blast but the heavy grey clouds infiltrating the larger white ones, choose to tell another story.
As the breeze blows through, over my large pepper & tomato plant as well as the other herbs that I share the space with, I recall the joy of this solitary space, it is me, the singing birds, the wind moving through the trees and the knowledge that I will write today.
Writing has been terribly slow lately, possibly due to the impending wedding, having to sift and muddle through numerous plans and make sure everything turns out right, but I suspect the dry spell is for another reason. I believe, as another very kind and giving author had told me during my hard time that I was probably percolating, and cooking ideas, and she was right.
My many solitary moments were spent, I thought blankly, but my brain was in fact aligning itself with the creative star out there which looks on upon us, guiding us and reminding us that it’s going to be okay. I found myself the other day missing my bus stop as I had been writing in my head, something that I hadn’t done in a long time. I felt anger for missing my bus for a miniscule moment, but as I strode off the bus and began to make the long walk back. I smiled. I smiled because I had been writing, I couldn’t help but feel, “I'm back.”
And so, I shall desperately try not to lose hope again and remember my friend’s words I continue to read my Bolano and other works, as reading is THE most essential sustenance that a writer, that anyone, needs, without reading, all may be lost!
So, now I shall write before the flat is awake and moving, and before too much life bursts in.
Good luck, write well, neigh just write, and have faith.
Thursday, 8 July 2010
It's that time of year again! Come and Support our artists, let's start with supporting Sifa Mustafa who is exhibiting some breathtaking pieces this year.Friends of Horniman Art Exhibition; to be held for two days in the beautiful Victorian conservatory of Horniman Museum Gardens, 100 London Rd, London Se23 3PQ- all works are for sale, including from our very own artist Şifa Mustafa. Admission is free. Saturday 10th July from 10.00-5.00 & Sunday 11th July from 10.00-4:30
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Thursday, 1 July 2010
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
“London, happily, is becoming full of great men’s houses, bought for the nation and preserved entire with the chairs they sat on and the cups they drank from, their umbrellas and their chests of drawers…it is no frivolous curiosity that sends us to Dickens house and Johnson’s house and Carlyle’s house and Keats’s house. We know from their houses- it would seem to be a fact that writers stamp themselves upon their possessions more indelibly than other people.” The London Scene: “Great Men’s Houses” by Virginia Woolf.
What is it that makes us traipse around the country, the world just to see and absorb a snippet of the life of a writer or an artist that we love so? What do we expect to find? The majority of us have done this. I am guilty of this very act; I have found myself dragging people all the way out to the countryside to visit Virginia’s old house, as well as her sisters. Just as Woolf wrote above, we long to find a piece of the writer by looking at their surroundings; their views of inspiration, the way they ate, the way that they imprinted their lives upon their furniture and so on. In a very deep and meaningful way, we are looking for them.
Of course, I have digressed ever so slightly from the book at hand, a book which left a deep impact upon my soul, as it spoke to both the reader and writer within me, with the greatest sentimental notes that it conjured up. 84 Charing Cross Road is really a beautiful love story between Helene Hanff and literature. The novel is split into two very separate segments; the first part conveys the way in which she strikes up a beautiful relationship with a bookshop in London, from New York which continues year after year. She is witty, pushy, caring with a burning love for literature. Helene befriends all that work at Marks & Co., Booksellers, and becomes involved in their lives. She sends the workforce and their family’s food packages and stockings, as England is currently living on rations. Each year Helene tries to save up enough money to visit her friends at the book shop and the many places that her treasured writers lived and haunted, but each year a crisis crops up, and she has to put off the trip once more.
The second half moves away from letter writing to diary entries. Helene is much older, her famous book shop has closed, and she has published her letters and formed them into a book. Most importantly, she has finally made it to her beloved London. Many changes have occurred; people have died, but friendliness and love remains strong from the families and friends of Marks & Co. who remember her kindness during those difficult years. Helene finds London to be everything she dreamed of; from the skyline to earth, she finds herself believing that she should have been born a Londoner.
This is one that remains with you, in your mind and heart. In fact, all those strings that stand suspended in the heart are gently tugged at and remain in motion throughout one of the most pleasurable reads that I have experienced for a long time. It is a small book, without complicated words and puppetry that one may find in certain works of fiction, but rich in everything that matters.