Sunday 22 March 2015


Lila - Marilynne Robinson

"The child was just there on the stoop in the dark, hugging herself against the cold, all cried out and nearly sleeping. She couldn't holler anymore and they didn't hear her anyway, or they might and that would make things worse."

This is the third of Robinson's Gilead books, after Gilead itself and Home, and there are gaps left here that point to possible future instalments. Lila is the wife of Reverend John Ames, who was the central consciousness in Gilead.

The long letter that John Ames writes his son in Gilead contains many of his "begats". He is one in a long line. Lila, however, knows little or nothing about her forebears. Her life begins when she is taken from the 1920's equivalent of a crack den by Doll. Doll dosses down in the house herself and has really nowhere to take the child, who is sick, having been left outside in the elements. She is the only one who ever shows Lila any kindness. Indeed, when Doll is kind to Lila before taking her away, Lila hates her for it, a trait which is prevalent in children (and adults) with attachment difficulties. They share their homelessness, and that becomes a part of the bridge between them. ""Well, we got no place to go. Where we gonna go?""

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Airwaves - Irish Rock Part Two

Airwaves - Irish Rock Part Two

My St Patrick's Day offering is the second part of my mix of some of my favourite Irish music. You will find much Cathal Coughlan and Stephen Ryan here; That Petrol Emotion; Luggage; The Idiots; Female Hercules; Into Paradise; Eating Betty and more - see playlist below.

Happy St Patrick's Day

Friday 13 March 2015

Airwaves - Irish Rock Part One

Airwaves - Irish Rock Part One

Given that I am currently under orders to refrain from reading and writing, and anything that involves looking down too much I have been experimenting with putting together a couple of "radio shows".

There are some programmes on the history of Irish Rock on BBC Four tonight, and St Patrick's Day approaches so I thought I would put together a personal selection of Irish rock music. This is part one of at least two.

Apologies for gaps, clicks, pops, cat noises and "eh"s.