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’s Blog: Emmett Till – How Far Have We Come…

emmett till

(Emmett Till, 13-years-old, on Christmas Day, 1954. Photograph taken by Mamie Till Bradley Wikipedia) How Far Have We Come… Emmett Till was born in Chicago on July 25th 1941. His mother Mame (Mamie) was born in the small town of Weld, Mississippi but her family had moved to Chicago when she was two years old. […]

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Friday, July 31, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine: What Did You Do In Lockdown 2020?

I can imagine that will be a question asked many times in the future. So I looked at my diaries – I have two, one that I carry with me and one that lives next to a computer – and the answer they give is ‘Nothing’. Events crossed out and then a continuous blank. However, […]

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Saturday, July 25, 2020 | Filed under: Coronavirus, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: ‘Troy’ Exhibition at the British Museum

man headdress statue

What’s not to like – for me – steeped in all of this? It wasn’t the story of the Trojan War. It was the story of the city of Troy itself so anyone who went along to see/hear a re-telling of Homer’s epic account would have been disappointed. This was a story of a city […]

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Friday, May 29, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s blog: Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

king tut exhibition

The Mask  I have been to several exhibitions of the treasures of the pharaohs, including the golden mask – twice! The first time was its visit to the British Museum in 1972. I took the milk train down from Hull and arrived at the museum at around 2.45 a.m. I was second in the queue […]

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine: Closer than we thought

candle

Mary Irvine and her friend S.C. Kamaluddin compare different cultures, the feasts of Easter and Eid and the practice of Lent and Ramadan.  Lent Based on the lunar calendar, the dates are different each year. 40 days of fasting, prayer, moderation, almsgiving, self-denial. Prescribed as commemoration of Jesus’ time in the desert, so that one […]

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine: Revived Controversy

Greece 2010 350

“They were taken illegally, they were stolen.” “No, they weren’t, he had permission.” ‘They’ are the Parthenon Marbles, usually referred to as the Elgin marbles – slabs taken from the frieze of the Parthenon in Greece. ‘He’ is Lord Elgin, British Ambassador in Athens (1799 – 1803)’ The ‘illegal/legal’ removal debate of the marbles, together […]

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine blogging about a break

jig saw mary

I recently decided to take a break from computer and mobile ’phone – using the latter only for ‘emergencies’ (there weren’t any) or to confirm meetings of the pleasurable sort. Off I went for two weeks to stay with friends in Upminster, the last stop on the District Line. It was actually arranged by my […]

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Sunday, March 22, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

An Unwanted Gift by Mary Irvine

eyam mist on road

The pedlar had pushed the heavy hand-cart all the way from London. He was more used to a pack on his back but not this time. The cart was laden with the wonderful bolts of woollen cloth he had bought at a bargain price.      He passed many villages on his journey but refused […]

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Mary Irvine’s blog: West Dunbartonshire Book Week November 2019

mary irvine

West Dunbartonshire Book Week November 2019 What a busy week! Monday kicked off with a very icy drive out to the Cove and Kilgreggan Literary Society who had kindly invited me to talk about my life in Greece and how it influenced my writing. I illustrated the talk with a slide show which I must […]

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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, […]

Read the full article: Mary Irvine: Book Week Scotland 2029 – Events in West Dunbartonshire

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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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

its-not-about-the-burqa-header

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’ […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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

freedom

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

freedom

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