Alexander Averin

Thursday 27 December 2012

My Favourite Christmas (Book) Present

Dear Diary,

A Fortunate Child by Elizabeth Wix

Don’t you just love it when a book grips you and you just cannot put it down?  It doesn’t happen enough these days but A Fortunate Child is one and I consider myself fortunate to have been sent a copy for Christmas.

I always find in life that things seem to happen in threes and in the latter part of this year I have read books published by two of my favourite bloggers, one from the UK and one from the USA.  I ‘reviewed’ them both in earlier posts as I was so impressed by them.

Now I have the third!  A Fortunate Child  is a novel by Elizabeth Wix, who, apart from being a great writer, also happens to be a wonderful photographer.  She lives in New York and writes here.   I ‘met’ Elizabeth in Blogland and through reading each other’s blogs we discovered that we had quite a few things in common.  

I was totally absorbed by her novel and read it in only two sittings. Well I started it in bed and read late into the night until I just had to give in and go reluctantly to sleep. I finished the book the next morning in just one more ‘sitting’, after I had got up and finished only the most pressing household chores.

The book is a novel but it is based upon a true story of  two women, one English, one German and  there is also a woman who has been adopted.  But it is more than just an adoption story, it is a weaving tale of mystery and coincidence and there are real characters to warm to and to care about.  I didn’t know where it was taking me either which was another plus; so often stories today can be too ‘predictable’.

The writing is beautiful, it flowed so well and carried me into its world of many years ago and it held me there while at the same time it educated me about  the events leading up to World War II in Germany, (this information was an added and unexpected bonus for me).

I cannot fault the writing or the story and feel it really would make an excellent film, if only it were to be discovered.  So many books are hyped up these days and turn out to be real disappointments, this one has never been hyped  but should have in my opinion.  As an ex-librarian I know that this book would go down really well with borrowers and would make a very popular addition to any library.  I am going to put it forward as a suggestion to our local library service.

I am emotionally involved in the adoption aspect of this book and indeed there were some amazing personal similarities within the story to my own experience regarding its London location and the time in which the story is set.  But one does not have to be ‘involved’ with the subject to be touched by the story of love, loss and survival in difficult times which are its main themes.  There is humour in it too, (essential in life, in my opinion).

I am so pleased that the main character’s life turned out so happily.  This book would make a great read at this time of year, it may be just the thing to read as the year turns and would hopefully please many more readers in the way that it has captured me.   I lent it to my daughter and she echoes everything that I have written.  A Fortunate Child certainly deserves a wider readership and I am sure it will appeal to a host of readers on this side of the Pond............. and beyond.........

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,
Cait O’Connor

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Monday 24 December 2012

He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother

Just a song for Christmas, the number one Christmas single in the UK, a charity single to raise money to help towards the huge legal costs for the many who need it in order to gain justice for the many victims of Hillsborough.

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a Happy, Peaceful New Year.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Connemara Child

Augustus Nicholas Burke

Connemara Child

She is of the mountain, her backdrop pure beauty:
purple mountain, blue ocean, green marbled rocks.
But beauty will not sustain the starving Connemara child,
her small frame hidden beneath a tattered shawl,
this girl-not-quite-woman. Her feet are bare, but underfoot,
summer’s heather is kind and warm, soft as the tale
her voice might tell, if inclined to speak.
Her gaze is clear, her moods like clouds,
forever transient, gleaning what may lie ahead. 
For an ancient wisdom dwells within her, wrapped in a language
washed with tears.  Ancestors sing to her, 
sometimes a prayer,

sometimes a dirge, sometimes a song of serenity 
which rings in the mountains and rides on the waves.
In times of holy stillness you may hear it, deep
and haunting, like a melancholic Irish serenade.

Cait O’Connor

Sunday 9 December 2012

For Finbar

Dear Diary,

I have recently bought a copy of A Thousand Mornings, a selection of poems by my favourite poet, Mary Oliver. I cannot choose a favourite poem from this book as I love every one but I was inspired to write one today about my dog Finn in the way Mary Oliver has written a poem about her dog Percy.  She admits to copying the format from the poet Christopher Smart and his poem For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey. So  this ‘idea’ goes on.  I spent an hour of this Sunday morning writing it and I must admit that while doing so I shed many tears ...   but then tears are always healing, often a sign that the spirits of those who have passed are close to us. I apologise because this is the second (sad) poem I have posted in a row! 

Finbar 1997-2012

For Finbar

For I will consider our dog Finn.
For I loved  him and am still bereft.
For he was kind and never hurt one soul.
For he  had a golden coat, a pure, soft, honeyed caramel.
For his nutbrown eyes were deep and wise.
For he read my thoughts.
For I read his mind.
For he understood my words.
For he had such powers to wrap himself around me.
For he was a  healer of the sick, a friend and guardian of our home.
For he would howl if ever I would weep.
For he held a mirror to my soul and shared my pain.
For he was brave and thought he was a man.
For he was cunning, like a gypsy’s dog.
For he was full of joys and jokes and loved to dance.
For he loved to run and race and play in snow.
For he loved to eat and lived for food.
For he would watch and wait for my return and know when I was close.
For he was kind to young ones: kitten,  pup or child.
For the cat and he were friends, cwched up before the fire, they washed each other’s coats.
For he was tolerant to a tiny fault.
For he treated my son as a brother.
For he considered himself one of us, a human.
For he suffered stoically at the end and was so brave.
For he is buried by the riverbank.
For his grave is marked by heavy stones of white.
For I still greet him as I pass and always wipe a tear.
For he loved me
For I loved him.
For he still waits for us.

Cait O’Connor

Bye for now,

Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Thursday 6 December 2012

Just a poem

For Elizabeth


On a silent, irridescent, cobweb morning
I laid my indigo baby in a
cradle of crystal, her wrap was pure love,
intractable and true, like her beauty.
Be under no illusion, she was born
from an illicit assignation, but to
a world  where forgiveness was forbidden.
I was labelled loose, wild, irrational
but my life had always been impervious to hope,
and happiness incomprehensible.
Unable to speak, or break our silence,
I held her hand as I breathed my goodbyes
and wished for her a life more illustrious.
When she had been taken I could breathe no more;
for I was suffocating slowly under
lumps of hardstone, which became lodged in my heart
with an inextricable, forever kind of pain.
in a locked-in, forever kind of silence.

Cait O’Connor

Monday 3 December 2012

Tax Evasion


I wasn’t sure what to blog about today as I am cross about two items in the news. One is the NHS. One concerns the tax evaders like Starbucks, Amazon and Google and all the many others  -  the overpaid individuals as well as companies who have cunning accountants to help them escape paying any tax in this country. This morning I hear a politician saying that they can’t do anything about it because what the tax evaders are doing is not illegal and they can’t do anything about international law.  Well I understand that it is legal but I would like to know who made these international  laws? (Corporations most likely). And why did we not have say in it?

In her next breath this politician says we should be like her and  boycott Amazon, Starbucks and Google. Oh Yes, here we go again,  put the onus on us to change things? (Always 'the victim’s fault, whatever happens' mentality).  I thought we had politicians to act on our behalf?  There is a principle here which should be tackled head on.

Now the government have today found millions of pounds to give the Inland Revenue so they can ‘look at the problem’.  Why should it cost millions? Surely these tax experts already get a salary?  I ask you this, surely it should not be beyond the ability of a country to bring in a law to make all the people pay tax?  It would surely not be opposed by any party.  And if the non tax-payers say they will leave the country, then tough... let them go.  There should never be any acceptable moral or legal reason for the individual to pay taxes on the little s/he earns and the rich to get away with blatant fiddling, because that is what it is.  And every individual and company  not paying a penny in tax should be named and shamed.

And change the law, try governing for the people and not for the corporations.  And that goes for everything in this country, not just this matter.