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Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Born in Yorkshire, 1945. Had a happy childhood – sorry about that! No ‘mispers’ there!
Working life spent across a broad spectrum in education in teaching at all levels and in posts of administration. Learned to swim aged 32, took up judo and managed to get a green belt. Found my medals whilst clearing out recently. Travelled a little. Left UK after becoming disillusioned with system and government generally. Lived in Greece for a while, including being Directress of Studies in a Frontistirion in Athens, before moving to small Greek island in Saronic Gulf. Wrote copious letters to friends back in UK. No serious creative writing until my retirement. Recently completed MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. Write mostly short stories/flash fiction /articles. Lots of them about Greece! Now have a base near the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond..

Mary Irvine: Musings from Spetses 3.

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Spetses – an interlude on St David’s Day 2017 Did my teacher training in North Wales.  Good student days. Even managed some academic work. My son was born there. Got a soft spot for the place. One of the pieces of music that always touches me deeply is a recording of Paul Robeson singing the […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog, Musings from Greece 2, February, 20, 2017

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18 Degrees and Rising.   Monday, 20th February, 2017 Esther and Christos, my hosts, have gone to Athens for a couple of days. Did think about going with them. Really love Athens but couldn’t cope with the noise, the traffic, the pollution. Aging problems with mobility a factor as well! Think I prefer to remember her […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Some musings from Greece, Saturday, Feb 18th 2017

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Have just been checking emails. Know I told people not to email incase there was no signal up in the mountains so why am I disappointed the only ones are those we instantly delete. That’s rhetorical! Left home c 3.20 on 15th. Hadn’t been to bed, Needed to keep checking –  passport, ticket, money! Son […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: Some musings from Greece, Saturday, Feb 18th 2017

Mary Irvine’s blog: A Stimulating Day – Editing Workshop with Alan McMunnigall, Centre for Open Studies, University of Glasgow

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Recently attended another day school at the University of Glasgow.  Editing! As I’m about to embark on a five week visit to Greece in order to edit a 60,000 word manuscript I thought this was just what I required. Must add here that I signed up for this course as soon as I saw it […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Forgotten Holocaust

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 When I got up this morning I had no intention of writing what follows but it has been inspired by a discussion I have just heard on the radio. I don’t have a television so listen to radio 4 for news, comedy, drama, documentaries. What I have just heard resulted in my retrieving a book […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Musical Musings

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As I believe I’ve mentioned before Xmas does not involve me in decorations, cards or present buying to any extent so I find I have some ten days in which to catch up on writing related tasks – for myself! A sort of mental tidying up. I wrote down five ‘things to do’ during those […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Christmas Customs and Festivals

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Christmas Customs Once again the rush is on and stress increases as the day draws near… I abolished, for myself, the commercialism of Christmas several years ago. It was the year I went to the post office and bought stamps which cost more than double the actual cards being sent. I also considered to whom […]

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Mary Irvine: blogging about Pilgrimage

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I recently attended a talk about the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela of which I may write later but it brought to mind a piece I wrote some time ago. It is taken from a much longer piece which I will revise for later use. In the meantime… Oh, for those of you who may […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Living Memory Association, Leith and The Mitchell Library

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Two Visits The first was a visit to THELMA. No, not a new female friend. The Living Memory Association in the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Leith. The association has been in existence for thirty years and recent moved to their new premises where, as a charity, they do not pay rent! It is not a […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Music and Literature

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Mbira Music Some thirteen years ago a friend, a Chinese doctor of traditional medicine, told me I was never too late to learn. An old adage which in this situation referred to starting tai chi. He was right as I still practice tai chi and have taken up ku fu fan and a couple of […]

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Anne and Mary’s Local Tales, Dumbarton Library

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Launch-Ad.pdf Dumbarton Library, Thursday 27 October, 2016 at 7 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. Dumbarton Library, Strathleven Pl, Dumbarton G82 1BD

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Mary Irvine’s blog: Two rants: the metric system and Greece and the refugee crisis

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Gallons, quarts and the ilk Have you seen the news re the existence of dinosaurs? They’re alive and well and living in the UK. They belong to the sub-species that hark back to an ill-remembered idyllic past.  An idyll that never actually existed in reality. That’s apart from the age of Arthur and Camelot and […]

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Luminate Scotland’s Festival of Ageing – Autumn Voices 12 – 15 October, 2016

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www.luminatescotland.org/  See the full programme at Luminate

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Mary Irvine’s blog: Broken Threads by Mary Edward

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‘Who Belongs to Glasgow’ The Leven Litts Writers Group recently welcomed the author Mary Edward to speak on ‘Historical Research’ – with particular reference to her book, ‘Who Belongs to Glasgow?’, recently updated. We heard of primary and secondary sources and the caveats associated with ‘history’. Mary speaks very fluently and entertainingly with subtle humour […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Catching Up with Writing, Re-Writing and Helensburgh Writers Group

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A Year In Spetses Have been having quite a busy time of late so will pass on a few of my activities and then I can concentrate on t’other things in my life. My regulars (Hi Linda, Hi sis!, Hi Evelyn) will no doubt be wondering if I’ve fallen out with Greece as I don’t […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Let’s Eat Pop Up Market at SWG3

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A New Experience (for me) Have just come back from the foodfest/Let’s Eat pop-up market at SWG3. Thanks to Google I managed to find the place easily enough. First stall – out on a limb, in splendid isolation as it were, was the Vegan Information unit and the next a Highland cow in a pen […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Most Dramatic Shot In The History Of Cinema

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Mary Barton – Brief Encounter Many older people will remember the film’ Brief Encounter’ starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. But do you remember the young girl who served them tea in the station waiting room? Beryl. In real life the actress Margaret Barton, 90 this year and the last surviving member of the cast.    […]

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Mary Irivine’s Blog: Somewhat of a disappointment

Went up to the SWC/CAA recently. Have been up to several events arranged by Scottish Writers Centre – not as often as I would like – cost of travel, travel itself, time, other commitments, bone idleness! This was the first time I came away somewhat disappointed. It was also the first time I’d attended a […]

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Mary Irvine: Writer’s Blog

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Back again quickly! Keeping to my promise to myself and am continuing to catch up. Spent a day proof-reading/editing my novel based on the island of Spetses, At least the first 20,000 words. Have about 50,000 thousand so far. Should come out at c. 65/70,000. I shall pass over the referendum except to say I […]

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Mary Irvine: A Convivial Night at ‘The Drake’

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  Every couple of months my family meet up in Glasgow to share an evening meal. My oldest grandson lives and works in Glasgow, my youngest in Glenboig, my son and daughter-in-law live in Balloch so it’s difficult finding a night when all can be present. In consequence such meetings are very precious. You may […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: literary goings on Dumbarton and Glasgow West End, July 2016

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Hiya! Feeling a wee bit guilty that I haven’t been writing of late, not just for this site but generally. I have been subject to a period of lethargy. The ideas are all there. It’s the physical effort that seems to be lacking. However, I have decided not to justify this state as ‘part of […]

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Mary Irvine: The Whistle

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The Whistle  I had set my alarm to ensure I was up in good time. I am normally up well before 7am but this morning was extra-special. I turned on the radio and waited, listening to the scene being set. At 728 am I stood in remembrance of an event of 100 years ago. A […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Booked! Festival Jimmie Macgregor, 18th May, 2016.

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Jimmie Macgregor Millennium Hall, Gartocharn, Wed. 18th May 7.30pm Eighty six! Surely not. No. Mid 70s , even early 70s maybe. That’s all rhetorical and I digress… Not digression actually. I’m just ahead of myself. As usual the ideas come out faster than I can type. I arrived early for this event so had time […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: Alastair Pearson Lecture, Booked! Festival, 2016

  Conflicted! There are two reviews of the Booked! festival I’m only now writing up. Better late than never springs to mind – although one could argue that is not always the case. The second review is one I thoroughly enjoyed and, in my humble opinion, would have made a great finale, no disrespect to […]

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1816 – The Year of No Summer by Mary Irvine

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 In May, 1816, the poet, Shelley and his lover, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin,travelled to Switzerland to meet Lord Byron. Byron and Shelley had both rented houses near Lake Geneva and were constantly in each other’s company. Shelley recorded that being with Byron inspired him.      It was a strange summer for that year summer was non-existent. Spring was as normal in Europe and Northern America but the […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: West End Festival 2016

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A Reet Gud Neet (that’s my maternal origins emerging!) What a wonderful few days and I’m not referring to the strange phenomenon sweeping the area – clement weather – rather to two visits to Glasgow. The first was to the Hydro to see Neil Young. I’ve composed my account of that in longhand. Will type […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Neil Young – Promise of the Real Glasgow

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The Neil Young Rebel Content Tour Awesome! So spoke the 40 something man sitting two seats away from me on Platform 2 of the Exhibition train station. To what was he referring? The Neil Young Rebel Content Tour, with the backing group, ‘Promise of the Real’. I commented I’d left early to ensure I got […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Booked! The Grand Finale

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The Grand Finale to a successful festival and who better to ensure it finished on a high than Rhona Cameron, TV personality and comedienne who had her own popular sitcom ‘Rhona’. Another well attended event with over 40 people turning out on quite a dreich night. (Note how I slip into the local patter!) The […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Booked Festival and Dandelions

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Hello there, I have a terrible habit of writing drafts about current events and then not finishing them. I recently came across some reviews I’d written thus on an Aye Write Festival some two years ago! I determined that I wouldn’t let that happen anymore. And, yes, I do know the old saying about hell […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: Booked! Festival 2016 – Des Dillon at Dalmuir Library

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Des Dillon – an honest man without pretension An exceptionally warm sun, only a slight breeze. Just the day for relaxing in the garden – or being more active if you like a neat garden. Maybe have a family day out to the park. A talk on poetry at the local library? At 2pm on […]

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