“Here’s the story” : Mary McAleese’s memoir

You might be forgiven for thinking that, having grown up in the north of Ireland during the 1980s, my childhood was awash with politics or proselytising mentors. But it was quite the opposite. The Troubles were not discussed at the table or at my school, in fact, my education in a small, provincial town was … Continue reading

Borders of the mind

“Do the Nordies and Free Staters even like each other and what does it mean for Irish unity?” Read more here. This Irish Times article probes some burning questions arising from the Brexit debate. What do Free Staters even know about life in the north, and how it was to grow up there in the … Continue reading

Breaking the Waves

I wrote Breaking the Waves with American producer Storm Craver two years ago, but its release now is timely – for me, somehow it captures the postlockdown mood perfectly. Breaking the Waves Eyes half-crazed, World is ablaze Slide down walls to loosen confines Inescapable the way he craves Back from unadulterated night Fingertips trace questions … Continue reading

Making music during the lockdown

Coming out of the other side of the lockdown in Sicily, I’ve been thinking about how my choice to make Sicily my home has affected my experience of the “quarantena”, as it’s called here. As our freedom got increasingly curtailed, the importance of mental freedom became only too clear. Here’s a video of Lule Lule, … Continue reading

Colapesce – a Sicilian tale for World Storytelling Day

Sicily is full of myths and legends. The myth of Colapesce is one of my favourites. It tells of a fisherman’ son, Nicholas from Messina. He was known as Colapesce because of his love for the sea and his skills under the water: everytime he dived into the sea he resurfaced from the waves, ready … Continue reading

Brexit – a collective English mental breakdown?

The Brexit drama currently unfolding is fascinating for someone as obsessed with identity as I am, so much so, it’s become the focal point of my current novel. In this Irish Times article, an Irish journalist raises questions about English identity that resonate with me, having studied European law at university in Bristol. At a … Continue reading

Ferrante Fever

“Ferrante Fever” in cinemas across Italy 2, 3 and 4 October 2017… but in Sicily, only in Palermo, too far for me to go. I loved Neapolitan novels but I’m not sure I’d have wanted to go and watch Giacomo Durzi’s movie about the obsession with the writer’s identity… but I’d have liked to have … Continue reading

The Cyclops

I was lucky to see Il Ciclope at the Greek amphitheatre in Tindari, Euripides’ satirical parody of the Polyphemus episode in the Odyssey. This version, directed by Angelo Campolo, with only the suspended eyeball as scenery, managed to evoke empathy for the cyclops. At the end, to the satyrs’ delirious chant “Nobody has killed the … Continue reading

The Promise

“The Promise”, a film set during the Armenian genocide, is set for UK release today. Although it’s not garnering the best reviews (defined by the Guardian as a”soapy but well-intentioned, extravagantly -mounted epic”) because of its focus on a love triangle, it has caused plenty of controversy among critics in Turkey, where responsibility for the … Continue reading