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: Book Week Scotland 2029 – Events in West Dunbartonshire

book week scotland 2019

Recommended events in Libraries in West Dunbartonshire Karen Campbell Crime novelist 18th November, 2019 7 p.m. Parkhall Library, Hawthorn Street G81 3EF David Pratt War Correspondent 19th November, 2019 7 p.m. Dalmuir Library, Lennox Place G81 4LX Paul Murdoch (Alexandria’s very own!)  ‘Old Bloke Goes Running’ – a funny/serious approach to getting fitter… 20th November, […]

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An Evening with Mary Irvine – ‘My Greek Love Affair’

my greek love affair mary irvine

Living, working and writing about The Land of the Hellenes Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 –  7 p.m.  Helensburgh Library, 59 W King St, Helensburgh G84 8EB    Free entry/refreshments

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Friday, October 18, 2019 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Paul Murdoch, Alexandria Writers + Open Mic

paul murdoch

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 –  7 p.m. The Balloch House Hotel, Balloch Road, Balloch G83 8LQ (five minutes from train station) The headliner for August is Paul Murdoch who may finally be revealing what he wants to be when he grows up. Paul Murdoch, born the son of a slater in 1961, began performing on […]

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Saturday, August 3, 2019 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Bruce Biddolph Outstanding as ‘The Inquisitor’

the inquisitor

Peter Arnott’s play ‘The Inquisitor’ was recently performed by Bruce Biddolph at the Alexandria Library . The audience sat in a semi-circle in front of a table. A man entered. His dress implied he was someone of importance. An official, maybe. Collar, tie, smart jacket and trousers, highly polished shoes. The table became an office […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: Bruce Biddolph Outstanding as ‘The Inquisitor’

Start – Graham Morgan at Helensburgh Library

start grahm morgan

An Evening with local author… Graham Morgan will read from his memoir Start – hosted by Robin Lloyd Jones at the Helensburgh Library, 59 W King St, Helensburgh G84 8EB Wednesday 24th July, 7 p.m. Free entry/refreshments  

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An Evening with Multi Award winning author Robin Lloyd-Jones

an evening with robin lloyd jones

Hosted by the Helensburgh Library and the Mackintosh Group review by Mary Irvine There was a full house at the Helensburgh Library on Wednesday, 29th May, 2019 for ‘An Evening with Robin Lloyd-Jones’. A brief introduction and Robin took over. He began by reading the very first piece he had had published, which was in […]

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Monday, June 3, 2019 | Filed under: Book and Event Reviews, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Dan Richards Booked! Festival 2019 review Mary Irvine

mry irvine review booked

Dan Richards ‘Outpost: A Journey to the Wild Ends of the World’ Balloch Library Sunday 19th May 2019 This was my favourite event of this year’s festival. The great intrepid British explorer, risking life and limb to go where no man has gone before (or rarely, in this case) is not of a bygone age. […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal

A Long Needed Break Haven’t been away for some fifteen months. Just didn’t happen, partly because as I get older the less I want the hassle of travel. However, I saw there was an exhibition at the British Museum that I really wanted to see. It was a display of the reign of Ashurbanipal whom […]

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Monday, May 20, 2019 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Richard Holloway ‘Waiting for the Last Bus’ review Mary Irvine

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Tuesday 14th May 2019 Booked! Festival of Words, West Dunbartonshire For several years now the ‘Booked! Booked! West Dunbartonshire Festival of Words has commenced its series of events with the Alistair Pearson Lecture at the Millennium Hall, Gartocharn. This year a tribute to this extraordinary man was given by James Macrea who gave a brief […]

Read the full article: Richard Holloway ‘Waiting for the Last Bus’ review Mary Irvine

Robin Lloyd-Jones ‘A life in books’ Helensburgh Library

robin lloyd jones autumn voies

 Wednesday 29th May, 2019 7 p.m. An Evening with local author… Robin Lloyd-Jones A life in Books’ at the Helensburgh Library Free entry/refreshments Since June 2018 a group of friends have gathered once a week in the Helensburgh Library to encourage and support each other in their writing. It is not a club so has no membership […]

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Thursday, May 16, 2019 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Glasgow Writer: Mary Irvine

mary irvine glasgow writer

Mary Irvine, is a writer who hails from Yorkshire but has made her home near Glasgow. She is involved in numerous projects writing short stories, collaborating in producing  local history pamphlets about Dumbarton with the illustrator Anne Marshall. Mary also works tirelessly promoting other authors through the many literary events she initiates and organises. Her […]

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, writers

Aye Write 2019! Sara Sheridan introduces Anne Griffin and Anstey Harris 

aye write 2019

Friday, 22nd March 2019 Mitchell Library Review by Mary Irvine The two authors being introduced were Anne Griffin and Anstey Harris. Both in the fifties, each has recently published her first novel. Anne Griffin is an Irish novelist living in Ireland. She has won recognition for her previous writings but ‘When All Is Said’ is […]

Read the full article: Aye Write 2019! Sara Sheridan introduces Anne Griffin and Anstey Harris 

Aye Write 2019, Tom Shields review by Mary Irvine

111 places

Aye Write Festival 2019 Tom Shields Mitchell Library Sunday, 24th March 1.15 p.m. One of the many things I love about Glasgow and its people is the humour, the banter and, at the above event, I was not disappointed. Tom Shields is perhaps best known for the humorous ‘Tom Shields’ Diary’ which appeared in ‘The […]

Read the full article: Aye Write 2019, Tom Shields review by Mary Irvine

Aye Write: Kamal Ahmed: The Life and Times of a Very British Man review Mary Irvine

life and times of a very british man

Aye Write Festival Friday, 22nd March, 2019 Royal Concert Hall The main theme of Kamal’s presentation was the notion of being British. What is it that makes anyone British? What is identity? Kamal’s mother was white English, his father Sudanese, making Kamal mixed race or half-caste in the parlance of the70s/80s when mixed marriages were […]

Read the full article: Aye Write: Kamal Ahmed: The Life and Times of a Very British Man review Mary Irvine

Aye Write 2019: ‘It’s Not About the Burqa’ Mariam Khan, Amna Saleem’ review Mary Irvine

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Aye Write Festival 2019  3 p.m. Sunday, 17th March, Mitchell library It’s Not About the Burqa: Muslim Women on Faith, Feminism, Sexuality and Race – Mariam Khan, Amna Saleem When, in 2016, Mariam Khan read David Cameron’s comment that linked the radicalization of Muslim men to the ‘traditional submissiveness’ of Muslim women, she felt she should […]

Read the full article: Aye Write 2019: ‘It’s Not About the Burqa’ Mariam Khan, Amna Saleem’ review Mary Irvine

Neil Oliver at Aye Write 2019 review by Mary Irvine

neil oliver

Aye Write Festival 2019 Neil Oliver 11.30 a.m. -12.30 p.m. Saturday, March 16th Strathclyde Suite Royal Concert Hall Having driven through heavy snow (Alexandria), meeting heavy sleet (Dumbarton), being overcharged by Scotrail, then very cold rain (Glasgow) I finally arrived at the Royal Concert Hall for my first 2019 visit to the prestigious ‘Aye Write’ […]

Read the full article: Neil Oliver at Aye Write 2019 review by Mary Irvine

Charlie Gracie, Meet the Author, Fruin Farm review by Mary Irvine

charlie gracie

Meet the Author Charlie Gracie – ‘To Live With What You Are’ The final meeting of the Meet The Author events for 2018 took place once again at the picturesque Fruin Farm, Glen Fruin, Helensburgh G84 9EE This time we welcomed Charlie Gracie, originally from Baillieston but now domiciled at the other side of the Ben. […]

Read the full article: Charlie Gracie, Meet the Author, Fruin Farm review by Mary Irvine

Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Michael J Malone at Book Week Scotland 2018

A very appreciative audience enjoyed an entertaining two hours during the recent Book Week 2018 when the Helensburgh Library played host to poet turned novelist Michael J Malone. He spoke of his early writing life and the benefits of joining a writers’ group for support and encouragement, as well as offering critiques. Having had many […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: Michael J Malone at Book Week Scotland 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Catriona Malan ‘Meet the Author’ at Fruin Farm

catriona malan

‘Meet the Author’ at Fruin Farm (Back by Popular Demand) Not a shuffle, not a cough, ne’er a sniffle. Total absorption in the event. And what was the event? The award winning poet from Helensburgh, Catriona Malan, who was being interviewed on her life and work. From her birth to the present day Catriona took […]

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Sunday, November 25, 2018 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine: Scottish Writers Centre Comes Home

mary blog cca

A full house, good poetry and prose speakers, an interesting discussion (with a revelation) and a very entertaining and talented singer. All in one evening and all for free! The event was a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead organised by Dove Tales in which the courage of conscientious objectors was honoured in […]

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Freedom Bound – Escaping Slavery in Scotland

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Freedom Bound – Escaping Slavery in Scotland by Warren Pleece, Shazleen Khan and Robin Jones, pub. BHP Comics, Glasgow 2018. I recently spent a couple of hours in Our Lady and St. Patrick’s School in Dumbarton. The reason for the visit was to hand over a set of thirty books. These were Book One of […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: Freedom Bound – Escaping Slavery in Scotland

Saturday, October 13, 2018 | Filed under: Black History Month Glasgow, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Public Lecture of the Publishing Scotland’s International Fellows Glasgow – review by Mary Irvine

louise chitra

‘Main entrance, first right, first left.’  I was early. Reliant on train times, and the ‘drop of a hat’ cancellations, I had taken an early train. No problems. Partick not busy. Metro to Kelvinbridge. Pleasant walk through grassed area to steps leading up to Gibson Street and on to University Avenue, arriving at the main […]

Read the full article: Public Lecture of the Publishing Scotland’s International Fellows Glasgow – review by Mary Irvine

Monday, August 27, 2018 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s blog: How authors relax or do they?

green exercise

I was recently asked to write a short piece on ‘How Writers Relax. I contacted the usual suspects and came up with the following. Have to admit the replies to the above brought no surprises. Mostly physical activities, presumably to counteract the effects of sitting when writing. So in no particular order these were the […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s blog: How authors relax or do they?

Monday, August 20, 2018 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine blogging about A Goodbye Lunch

gather partic

My oldest grandson, Ryan, (twenty-five) has been planning to spend a year working in Australia. His Aussie girlfriend, from Sydney, had returned to find a flat and get a job. Ryan set about getting all the paperwork, including the important twelve month work permit. All respect to the Australian embassy for their super-efficiency in offering […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine blogging about A Goodbye Lunch

Writers’ Workshop Day at Fruin Farm, Nr. Helensburgh

fruin farm

Wednesday, 20th June 2018 The venue is the picturesque Fruin Farm at the Cross Keys roundabout on the A818, Helensburgh, G84 9EE (www.fruinfarm.co.uk) Programme 10.15 am Robin Lloyd-Jones   Building a character 11.15 am Coffee 11.30 am Mary Edward  Editing 12.45 pm Lunch                            […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: A Sad Day – Murder of Martin Luther King Jr

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A Sad Day Fifty years ago, on April 4th 1968, Martin Luther King Jr was murdered  on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Memphis, Tennessee. For MLK I am afraid of them They’re black I am afraid of them They’re foreign I am afraid of them They’re disfigured I am afraid of them They’re crippled […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: A Sad Day – Murder of Martin Luther King Jr

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, stories and poems

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Open Mic Hits The Sticks

First Monday Open Mic –  Function Room Balloch House Hotel Ann MacKinnon (Balloch), George Gibson (Bonhill) and Mary Irvine (Alexandria) were coming home one night from giving readings at the Scottish Writers’ Centre (CCA, Glasgow). George commented on the fact we needed to travel so far from our homes in order to perform at spoken […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s Blog: Open Mic Hits The Sticks

Friday, March 16, 2018 | Filed under: Books, Talks, Poetry Events, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

The Magician by Mary Irvine

magician

The Magician looked down on his audience. All smoke and mirrors – that’s all my life has been. All smoke and mirrors. Still it has given me a good living. Brought up in such a progressive country, good education, lots of opportunities. The government there really knew how to manipulate people. A good learning curve, […]

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

The Square, Broomhill, Glasgow – Restaurant Review by Mary Irvine

  ‘Breakfast, full Scottish to light? Morning coffee with homemade buns/cake? Late up? Try the brunch, great selection. Lunch (business or pleasure) with soups, sandwiches, light plates.  A comprehensive á la carte menu for dinner. Festive fare available. All reasonably priced. The children’s menu incredible value. Pleasant surroundings, discreet lighting, a mixture of banquettes and […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: Writing about Greece and Byres Road Book Festival

byres road

Hello there, Have fallen behind recently with reading/writing reviews/events etc. Gave myself three weeks to finish my novel set on the island of Spetses. What a friend described as ‘a thinly veiled biography’. It is now ‘finished’ and is going through stringent edits, not only proof reading but inconsistencies, loose ends, especially getting rid of […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine’s blog: Writing about Greece and Byres Road Book Festival

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

byres road

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