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: Big (Good) Friday in Greece

Big Sunday Greece

Easter is the most celebrated time of the year for Greeks. Athens became a ghost city. I was lucky enough to have invitations, every year, to spend Easter all over Greece. Each was memorable in its own way. The following is just one of them. Big Friday was my favourite part of Easter on Spetses. […]

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Friday, May 3, 2024 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Neither Here nor There by C. G. Docherty

book migration c.g.docherty

I have read many books, articles, pamphlets and done much research on local history since coming to Vale of Leven area, nearly twenty years ago, but this latest book, for me, is the most comprehensive. More people than ever before are interested in their roots. This book explores the origins of the people of The […]

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Friday, April 12, 2024 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Magic Scales by Paul Murdoch

the magic scales

I recently met with author Paul Murdoch , who is asthmatic, to talk about his latest publication ‘The Magic Scales’. Living with asthma “At four years old I remember rolling down a grassy hill on a summer’s day. I tried to take a breath, but I couldn’t. This carried on throughout my childhood. Sometimes I […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Ukrainian Duo in Dumbarton

Ukrainian duo

Professional,. passionate, magical. I couldn’t find enough laudatory words to explain my feelings at a recent concert held in St Augustine’s Church, Dumbarton with Oleksii Kolomoiets and Igor Sayenko, who together make up the Kiev Classic Accordion Duo. I’d seen a poster quite by chance two days before the performance date and wondered why it […]

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Monday, September 4, 2023 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

An evening with local poets Ann MacKinnon and Catriona Malan

ann mackinnon and catriona malan

Thursday 24 August, 2023 at 7 p.m. Discussing poetry (with the help of Mary Irvine) Helensburgh Library, 59 W King St, Helensburgh G84 8EB Free entry and refreshments

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Mary Irvine: Review of ‘Gods of the Crossroads’ by Robin Lloyd-Jones

Helensburgh based Robin Lloyd- Jones is the author of some 18 books, fiction and non-fiction, many receiving prizes, including his biography of W.H. Murray ‘The Sunlit Summit’, which won the Saltire Society Research Book of the Year Award in 2003 His first historical novel, ‘Lord of the Dance’, 1982, set in sixteenth-century India was the […]

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Robin Lloyd Jones Launch: Gods of the Lost Crossroads

gods of the lost crossroads

Robin’s first two historical novels were nominated for the Booker Prize. Hoping to go further this time … You are cordially invited to the launch of Robin’s novel GODS OF THE LOST CROSSROADS There will be two launch events: Tuesday 23rd May at Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 6.15 – 8.00 pm […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Storytelling for Adults

Storytelling Green Tree Remedies

Every First Tuesday 4th April – 5th September, 2023 10.30 – 11.30 a.m. at Green Tree Remedies, 4 Church Street, Alexandria G83 0NP Hosted by Mary Irvine Free Community Event Programme

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Review of Warp and Weft by Ann MacKinnon

Balloch poet, Ann MacKinnon writes poetry in both Scots and English. Her previous pamphlet was ‘Modren Makars: Yin’, a collaboration with two other powerful Scottish poets. Finola Scott and Irene Howat.* Inspiration In her lates pamphlet ‘Warp and Weft’ Ann has gone solo with a selection of some twenty poems, some in Scots, some in […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: ‘Blackbird Singing’ – an evening with Graham Morgan

graham morgan

‘Blackbird Singing’ – a review Thirty souls came along to the latest ‘An Evening with…’ event at the Helensburgh library, last Thursday. This time the author was Graham Morgan, who was in conversation with Robin Lloyd-Jones. Under discussion was Graham’s second book, ‘Blackbird Singing’, a sequel to his debut book ‘Start’. Pictures in words In […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Writers Give Talks – A Trio of Beauties!!

what is glass

Three of the Mackintosh Group of writers recently gave talks to members of the Probus group of Dumbarton.                                                                           […]

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Review – The Way Home by Robin Scott-Elliot

wayhomecover

The Way Home by Robin Scott Elliot ‘The Way Home is a novel based on the true, tragic story of one family’s destruction…’ The Telegram The sun glistened on the Clyde as Gertie watched the postman walking down the street, coming ever closer to her parents’ house in Cardross where she was staying whilst her […]

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Mary Irvine: Review of the Sugar Boat Restaurant, Helensburgh

Sugar Boat, 30 Colquhoun Square, Helensburgh G84 8AQ Phone: 01436 647 522 ‘The dishes were all rather special, the service good and the bill very reasonable’ Visitors from Oz I recently visited the ‘Sugar Boat’ in Helensburgh for lunch. With me were my grandson, Ryan, and his fiancée, Blyth. They were over from Australia to […]

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Aye Write Three Debut Authors (interviewed by Matthew Keeley)

matthew keeley

Review by Mary Irvine Aye Write 2022. Matthew Keeley interviewed three writers of debut novels: James Cahill, Julie Owen Moylan and Liam Konemann. James Cahill ‘Tiepolo Blue’ This debut novel deals with an art restorer at Cambridge who is not particular enamoured with ‘modern’ art until he wakes up one morning to see a modern […]

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Aye Write: Prof Dame Sue Black ‘The Books that Made Me

prof-dame-sue-black ^

Review by Mary Irvine A near-full Main Auditorium of the Mitchell library enthusiastically greeted a very popular speaker who was to be interviewed by broadcaster Clare English on the six books that have played a significant part in the life of Professor Sue Black. Sue also has a very long list of other titles and […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Interview with debut author Evelyne Lawrie

gie me a word evelyne lawrie

‘Gie Me a Word’ An interview with debut author by Evelyne C. Lawrie Where were you born/brought up? I was born and brought up in Bonhill in 1936. I went to Bonhill Primary and then the Vale of Leven Academy. Christie Primary School, in Middleton Street, was the original Academy. I then attended the West […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: What Exactly Is Love?

eros pixabay small

Go into any good coffee shop today and we are faced with an amazing range of words to describe the specific coffee we require. Gone are the days when black or white sufficed.  Cappuccino, espresso,  latte, macchiato, au lait, espresso, Turkish, Vienna, frappé, filter (how mundane) instant (ugh) liqueur not to mention all the variants! […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Black History Month

emmtt hill memorial highwa

In Recognition of Black history month –  Remembering Emmett Till The racially motivated murder of Emmett Till proved a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights’ Movement. Why Emmett? My attempt to find an answer led to a 10,000 word essay, following much research! The prose below lays out the basic facts of Emmett’s story.    […]

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Monday, October 18, 2021 | Filed under: Black History Month Glasgow, Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog:Connect

laptop_tablet_fire[1]mary irvine

All Sorts of Connectons The advent of technology, particularly the internet, has enabled many people to form all sorts of connections, allowing contact with friends and relatives all over the world. Facetime, zoom, viber, Jami, talky, cisco webEx, WeChat and whatsapp to name but a few. What none of these options do is allow us […]

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Saturday, September 25, 2021 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: EUROS

euros

Euros? Football? Would I be watching it? A staunch R.L fan  Of course I wouldn’t be watching it. I’m a life-long Rugby League fan. My grandfather, whom I never knew, still holds the Hull FC record for most appearances in career and that includes the break he took 1914-18, as he was required elsewhere.    […]

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Saturday, August 14, 2021 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Catharsis

aristotle

Catharsis is a term referring to purging or cleansing, from the Greek κάθαρσις (katharsis) meaning “purification” or “cleansing”. Emotions are often suppressed, for a variety of reasons. Catharsis is the experience of emotional release and purification which can be inspired by or through art in all its forms. Plato argued catharsis separated the soul from […]

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, Pat's Home Page Blog

Mary Irvine’s Blog: The Eve of Destruction – again?

MT 3307 copy snow drops

I care about my planet, Earth. I worry about its future. The majority of people would admit that Man is destroying the Earth and, ultimately, Mankind. In respect of the latter probably no bad thing. Perhaps Man has a built-in defect – a self-destruct button. So let him do it. Start again. The problem is […]

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene, Writing for the Festive Season

Mary Irvine’s Blog: A Year to Remember – or forget..

daftness and doggerel

As 2020 is rapidly coming to a close I decided to take stock of what I’ve actually done during the year. It Started Well The year started well. An earlier blog described my visit to friends down south, with trips to two London exhibitions and meeting up with Greek ex-students. My diary was filling up […]

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Mary Irvine’s Blog: Guy Fawkes – what if he had succeeded?

guy fawkes

What if Guy Fawkes had succeeded… Mary Irvine’s take on what may have happened The whole country was in turmoil. King James was dead. Prince Henry, heir to the throne was dead. Prince Charles had disappeared. The Princess Elizabeth was said to be in Catholic hands. Thousands had died during and following the devastating destruction […]

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | Filed under: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Mary Irvine’s Blog: Something for Hallowe’en

Witch Hunting in Scotland Scotland was one of the countries in Europe where a lot of witch hunting took place. There were five national large scale witch hunts in Scotland between 1590 and 1662. Most of these were concentrated in the East Coast and the Borders, but there were also cases in the West. Not […]

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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

candle

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