Archive for the writing Category

Writing, for who?

Posted in Autobiography, education, Poetry, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2017 by kathydasilva
camus

Albert Camus: writer of A Happy Death; Exiles and the Kingdom

I hope eventually that the novels, that I continue to write, might finally have their own independent voice. I have read over  a lifetime, so many books and quite a few from a previous century. The style of writing, in the Victorian era, which is described as the Romanticist period,  and a bit before the gothic/romantic Mary Shelley, included, held quite a few marvels, that seem forever, to be taught, and remain, subject for study, at university level at least. In my mother’s era, they as children, were given George Elliot’s Silas Marner at school, but, by the time, I came to do my final O Levels, the main study novel was indeed, the very famous To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The American’s had usurped the English novelists, in importance! The consolation was Shakespeare for a playwriter, Romeo and Juliet, and still this was backed up with a visit to the local cinema to see Franco Zeffirelli’s, version of the famous tragedy. I am saying ‘backed’, because even by the time, that I came along, in the mid seventies, for O Level study, television, and the newly growing Hollywood film industry, had already made its dent, in the call for an attentive audience. In the fast growing technology of the TV playscreen, from black and white to Technicolor, there was an obvious demand for screenplay writers, and the need would have had many an aspiring, author in its clench. I consider myself lucky to have witnessed the replays of black and white movies, the early movies of Tennessee Williams’ screen play talent. There was a great sense of classicism, in the story lines, and emotional outpourings of the  characters,  who became iconic, to the next generation of would be actors and starlets. Great screenplays, added to great acting and directing, was bound to create diversion, and in the same breath,  an addictive pastime. I think the arguments for ‘where the great novel’ went, is thoroughly, embedded, in this call for time on everyone’s leisure moments. Hedonism, was with us from at least the post war era onward. However, it is true, that great novels, have been written that then have been made into films. But, it is also true, that not every novel, of our modern era, makes the same impact as something like, Wuthering Heights, or Gone With the Wind. And between the original novel, and the screenplay, there exists, a transformation, which does not always translate the greatness of the original text. I am mindful of something I recently, watched, but, mainly for the actors, and some of the ‘romance’, element of the story, the novelist Nicholas Sparks, who wrote Message in a Bottle, did not get to write the screenplay which is by,Gerald di Pego. I kept wondering throughout, about the flimsiness of the characters, and, so, yes, what could have been, an awesome, and, deep statement about bereavement, fell a little flat. Grief is a very complex, state of being, and my heart wanted to feel, something for the man who had lost his wife, Catherine. I could not create in  my own, head any more connection, with the entertainment of the film, than just letting the wash of the sea that eventually consumes the ‘hero’, wash over me by the finish.

Novels, That Last the Test of Time.. is that a better heading? Well I suppose the film industry is never really going to run out of great classics, as there are plenty of ghost stories and Tolkien went down a storm! Will that make people read the original novel. Well in my case, when they filmed,  Thomas Hardy’s, Jude the Obscure, I directly went out to Waterstones in Brighton and bought the book.

‘In it I argued that the novel was losing its cultural centrality due to the digitization of print.’ (Will Self)

Saving the Great British Novel? Well I am not worried too much about the novel, and whether to write it or not, as there is a market albeit for electronically transferred data, thankfully, long train journeys and commuter traffic will ensure, some readership, and a growing population of retired people, which is on the increase. I am not sure whether to rely on Will Self, as a ‘weatherman’ for trends, over literature, but, I guess, given, that the classical element of some high-end writing, meaning literature, might well be suffering, some lack of recognition for the modern-day author of works of a more aesthetical nature. My thoughts are in this sense, in the days of the writer, James Joyce, who married and kept his family, not only by the means of his authoring of books, but, also by whatever job, including teaching English to foreigners, in Switzerland, and working in clerical positions of government, still kept to his goal of breaking the mould, and experimenting with poetry in the prose form.

 

Will, himself is probably way out in the frontier zone, with abstraction, and by that meaning psychological realism, to the full brunt of interactive text. With all of the content of ‘Shark’, in mind, the social comment, and the whole drama of events described vividly, throughout the story, I found myself battling with the text, and surprisingly, ending up with quite a lot of memorable scenes to describe, after laying the book down.I am intending to write a bit more in due course, but, perhaps, in the past authors, did not  have the privilege of knowing what kind of response their work would create. My question perhaps, instead of why it is suggested that society is evolving away from story telling, is it not the case that much of what is life, repeats itself, even between centuries. Science creates new subject, and new subject will always inspire more story telling. Star Wars, and Star Trecking included! And there we have that wonderful tale, Hitch Hicker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My theory too, is eventually any true intellectual, will become bored fairly soon, with the tittle-tattle of new fandango gadgets, and plump right back to a source of enduring quality writing. Remembrance of Things Past (Marcel Proust) included!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Story

Posted in Autobiography, education, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2016 by kathydasilva

I was remembering parts of the content of a dream, recently, enough to say, that I felt compelled to re-evaluate, the meaning. To search a bit deeper, as to why, certain images appeared, and in doing so, understand the will of my maker, the eternal God, whose birthday is celebrated today. The light coming into the world, as some would say. To explain, and by way of more detailed explanation,   a small but signifcant thing that had occured in my early twenties, when trying after graduating to get a job, and somehow, start the process of progression, away from the dole queue. I had already the creative art ambition, already, practiced some of that ability at the college where I studied, but, my interest in writing, had begat the need to learn, touch typing in order to ‘punch’ out a  book or two at some point. And the most significant thing was a purchase of an electrical typewriter. I had asked my mother and then my father who had  by this  time, begun to live a wholly separate life from my mother, could they help with the purchase. I had begged the money from them, and bought the WH Smith typing course book. This had been recommended to me by my sister Alison. Between all three, I am now touch typing this. I learned to touch type on the electric machine, but, when times were tough and money less forthcoming, I did sell the typewriter to a pawn shop in the Tooting Bec area of London. The pawn shop, was a kind of swap shop, too. But, on this occasion, I took the cash. I was grateful. I did not know how my father, who had probably retired by this point, as I was born, late in my mother’s marriage, when she was about thiry-eight, might have reached down into his heart, and let me have the cash. After all, an electronic type writer might have been at least ninty-nine pounds, at the time. I had relinquished ownership of this wonderfully functioning machine with also a digital editing window, without much thought at the time, but, need for food and other things, had been higher on the list, and I mean the need to eat, and keep, on living. I took a while before employment came my way, but, I had felt sure typing would help me to this end. Computing and wordprocessing were just around the corner, in terms of development and mechanizing of the whole publishing industry. I did the typing course and have not regretted for one moment, as inbetween, different employment, temping and VDU input, were the only possibility of anything, slightly secretarial. I watch people doing the two forefinger effort, and wonder why they do not do the same thing. And now we  have

Padlock with drilled part

Padlock (with drilled part)

hackers.                                                                                                                                                             And now we have thieves of intellectual property. And now, yes, perhaps slowing down invention, might make honest persons of us all? I found my locked cabinet, opened without ‘breakage’ of the lock? I saw the small padlock on my laptop case, had had a hole driven into it, and wonder who would do that? What a sad human. And sad for me, as I still retain, what rights I try and protect over my intellectual property.  This is how horrid our world has become.

My dad, had done a thing which was essential for  my survival. My mother had helped organize that, and my sister, had helped because she cared that I would be able to get a job. And to me that is family. And how sad, now, because all three are with Our heavenly Father. The dream, I will now tell you the dream. I was walking down a wide London street, a clock tower in a parallel road, similar to Big Ben, but, in any case, it was the feeling of a Sunday walk with an elderly parent on my arm. My mother wearing a dog tooth check winter coat. Her right arm, hooked through my left arm, and the unspeakable thing happened. The weather was as normal, the sky quite clear for a winter’s day. But, still, the unspeakable happened. There was an explosion. The buildings in the parallel road, were bursting, or exploding, one after the other in a kind of wave, and my only thoughts were to run with my mother, to shelter, to get out of the open road, to try to protect us both. Where we ended up, was the doorway, that looked not dissimilar to the pawn shop, though a charity shop in Romford does look similar equally. But, listen, the windows were empty, and the shop had no lights on, probably because it was a Sunday. I sheltered there, but, in the air, and remember this is only a dream, was the voice of Johnny Depp, saying ‘Let go of your mother’. I am not sure why, but, Johnny Depp, spent some time in London whilst filming a few things. I am not sure, why, but, as I looked, all that remained of my mother, was the bit of her right arm, that was hooked through my left. The blast must have been nuclear. The tragic image, was as bad, as I could imagine. Why had I survived, well God had said, I had signed for peace. I signed a petition, at Greenbelt festivals year 2002, against our country invading Iraq. It is the oddest thing, but, now too, God is trying hard to speak to us all. I vote left wing in the elections for I personally believe in helping the poor in the most logical sense of dividing wealth evenly, as evenly as is possible without taking the wind out of the sails of industry.  The prophecy, is continued, in my own life. This year, I have been severely injured, in a car accident. An unmarked police vehicle in Ilford, ran me down on a crossing, it was going the wrong way down a one way lane. I have suffered a fractured right ankle and also the wheel ran over my toes, my falanges, or bones in my feet are still not right.  The  honest people must take heed and do what is right, and take up your cross. But, it is still on my mind that closed down shop. The place I sold my electronic type writer, and the whole, thing that parents do which is bolster and help, at personal sacrifice to their own needs.

I started my own personal search for expression, at a very young age. But, most significantly, was my discovery at an age of independence of the author John Steinbeck, and then from about art school onward, there was a veritable fountain of suggestions. History is very helpfully noted down and documented when writing novels. Indeed in a hundred years time, I am sure writing will still be as relevant and as important, as the time of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. We need a voice to take to task, illumined screens and computer/gadget madness. Thank God there is a poetry revival in tow country wide.

NB To budding authors….

Will Self types his first drafts to his novels on an old fashioned non-electric typewriter.

 

Wednesday’s Curzon showing of John Pilger’s film The Coming War with China

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by kathydasilva

 

film-reel4

I have been writing or working on, the next novel in a list of ‘ideas’ as they had started out, tonight. It is my first ‘supernatural’ or possibly ‘sci fi’ one in subject, but, the aim was indeed, more H.G. Wells in origins. A picture of one possible future. I have in the past had dreams some quite surreal in content, and certainly, I am going to have to find a way to interweave, the content of this, in the current book. It was in the endeavour to do this, that I suddenly became mindful too, of the possible reality that lay ahead if the politicians are unable to get their heads round the conflict zones, particularly the grave and unholy wars of the Middle East. Humans only maintain personal dignity and dignified living if they respect eachother’s rights, of passage, through this life. Our enjoyment through the progress of history has been to create, civilized society, where amongst the work and toil we also manage to enjoy, something of a leisure time, and this most truly is represented in the form of holidays for family and with friends. I shudder to think of what my impressions of the Med will be if I should manage to get back to an annual vacation somewhere like in Greece and or Italy or Spain. For how should I be able to forget the many lives lost, in the effort to be free from war, in the waters that lay lapping the edge of the shores there? The ‘miscreants’ at the top seem ‘hell bent’ for spoiling it for all of us currently. How did that happen? How did 9/11 arrive on our shores. How can 900 firemen develop cancers and some have died of those cancers, and remarkably, not much of a protest was allowed to be shown on a television network of national breadth.

I am penning or typing this article, having remembered something, from a holiday in Lake Como with my then alive and just retired mother. It would have been in the late eighties, and my mother and I had innocently wandered into the grounds of one of the villas, a historic one, with much ornamentation to its interior. The person who was an employee, who normally would have given tourists a guided talk, with helpful hints at famous historical characters who had stayed or dwelt there, this person had told us that much of the building had been prebooked for a conference on nuclear power. There were some rooms therefore not open for viewing. The Villa Como, that we were showed had some rooms, where in the time of Napoleon, and his love, Josephine, where they had stayed with adjoining rooms. A romantic era, and with what had caught most people’s attention,  the guide, had helped us enjoy, our afternoon. We had proceeded further along the lakeside, buildings to find other more open houses, and in one, remarkably a machine rather like a CT scanner, was being shown, only this machine, measured in an accurate manner levels of radiation in a body from top, to toe, head to feet. When I viewed John Pilger’s film the other week, which was broadcast by independent television, he had showed a rather older version of  a scanner which measured where and in what part the radiation had filtered to in the human body, ‘the guinea pig’, who had volunteered from the Marshall Islanders, who after all were fairly poor and open to economically enhancing experiments on themselves. The Islanders, non of whom live much beyond the age of forty on average today because of the pollution of nuclear bombs, which have been tested there. What is more frightening, is that the political leaders of our time think this is the only way forward to maintain that fragile thing called PEACE. The horrid tragedy of Fukashima, is enough I would have thought to put people off nuclear energy altogether. So why do we allow our leaders to do this? This is the even more bewildering thing, apart from that somewhere in the eighties, a group of women did protest the placement of cruise missiles on a site of common ground near to their villages, as clearly it made the site a possible ‘first strike zone’. The women won their point and the missiles were removed. We possess only one missile of this size, on a submarine further north, between the border of England and Scotland.

It now  seems along time since the subject of nuclear war or power has come into the text of regular articles and news items

030606-N-0000X-005 Washington, D.C. (Jun. 6, 2003) -- Artist concept of the SSGN conversion program. Four Ohio-class strategic missile submarines USS Ohio (SSBN 726), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) USS Florida (SSBN 728), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) have been selected for transformation into a new platform, designated SSGN or Tactical Trident. The SSGNs will have the capability to support and launch up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, a significant increase in capacity as compared to other platforms. The 22 missile tubes will also provide the capability to carry other payloads, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and special forces equipment. This new platform will also have the capability to carry and support more than 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) and insert them clandestinely into potential conflict areas. U.S. Navy graphic. (RELEASED)

with a detrimental warning of the possibilities of war, using them. I am now more convinced since viewing John Pilger’s film, that the rotten way that politicians, who many have supported the making of these more refined weapons, and some who have invested their own money in the making of them, have also devised the way to keep the perpetuation of their making in with the nation’s plans of defense. For as long as we the human race run away from our creator, we will fear war and arguments with other nations. It is all so material in the end. But, sad too, the money to make war, could have been spent on space travel and or cures for disease in humans and animals.

If it is over thirty years ago now that an advanced scanner for detection of nuclear radiation in the human body was shown on the shores of Lago di Como, just where is that technology now?  And in whose hands? Will our parks be the beautiful places for our children to inherit in the future?

I feel unhappy, and very sad, that in The Coming War with China, we are left with the knowledge that a build up of military units is already in place in the far western Pacific Isles, and in one such location 40,000 military personnel, live regularly. And no mention of the radioactive plume affecting the Pacific waters, and fish, and the fact that so much of the Pacific is apparently dead already. Do we really want more deadly radiation?

God bless the people who speak of peace.

Buried Treasure

Posted in Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , on December 7, 2016 by kathydasilva

I was feeling a bit down about some of the world elements that seem unchangable at this time. But, then started to look back at the year just past. The books written so far in my rather strange ‘year off’ would not have come into fruition, had I been doing my usual nine to five job. But, the flow is all ongoing, into the new year. And it is to coin an expression full steam ahead, and hopefully by next Christmas everyone will be able to see Looking for Pearls and Battlefield though this might bear a different title by then. I am very sure that the sci fi one, will be the easier of the two to write, but, I am making that one an all out fiction. Life up until this last year was filled with obligations. Through all the tragedy in my  family, various deaths in the family, and then having to grieve, it has made me realize, that there is no time to sit still. It might seem kamikaze of me to just plainly push myself to write and publish, like a wild fire, but, in the end, it is keeping me alive too. Here’s to the year ahead, she says with raised glass. (this is imagined too!)

Why Writing is Important..

Posted in education, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2016 by kathydasilva

I live in  my flat, surrounded by nearly a lifetime’s worth of books spread out around the place even some on shelves in the kitchen. I started to collect and develop, my own taste in authors works, around the time, I came to live here in London. Mostly as a student, I collected second hand novels and the saving, made it possible to read plenty of the classics, that I felt my education up until the age of sixteen, had seemed to ‘leave out’. Bar the fact my mother taught us to read from a young age, and allowed us a choice of books from the school catalogue, she also made sure there was a good enough supply of abridged versions of classics with illustrations, so that as young as we were at the ages of say four to six, there was plenty of stimulus to look at books. And in a way, I am glad to have been her youngest child. I had an absent Godfather who also sent me wonderful books, and dresses.

With e-books becoming popular, I was thinking of cutting down on the scale of the collection, but, to be truthful even the covers, and the secretiveness of the content of a book, make it a mystery. It is like looking round a second hand shop full of curios. I especially like rediscovering tales that have been quite original and different in the backdrop of another culture or far away destination, and possibly time.

camus

I picked up Albert Camus’ Exile and the Kingdom, from the shelf this evening, to find the story The Renegade.  It is a story of extremes, both in the condition of the characters, and the landscape of the  hot desert of West Africa. The narrator mentions Taghasa, and wikipedia informs me it is a region of saltmines. The story is about a missionary who has encountered a tribe of ‘savage people’, who cut out his tongue. He had gone to the desert people to take them the message of Christ, but, had been made to bow before their Fetish of a god, and was entrapped and beaten down.

‘What a jumble! What a jumble! I must tidy up my mind, Since they cut out my tongue, another tongue, it seems, has been wagging somewhere in my skull, somthing has been talking, or someone, that suddenly falls silent and then it all begins again – oh, I hear too many things, I never utter, what a jumble, and if I open my mouth it’s like pebbles rattling together.’ The Renegade, Albert Camus.

He ends up hating the people who had encouraged him to go out there, and wanting to prevent the humiliation of another missionary by intending to shoot him before he arrives in the city of salt. The entire story is unique, I have never read anything quite so extreme, and the only other author whose story The Immortals, Jorges Louis Borges, is there to make comparison.

And writing like this  is something that belongs to deep felt emotion and experience.

‘Squatting, as I am today in the shelter of the rock and the fire above my head pierces the rock’s thickness, I spent several days within the dark of the House of the Fetish, somewhat higher than the others, surrounded by a wall of salt, but without windows, full of sparkling night. Several days, and I was given a basin of brackish water and some grain that was thrown to me the way that chickens are fed, I picked it up.’

Yes that is why I collected books! I think story telling is important, and all cultures tend to write or story tell, and that is true throughout history. If we as humans should stop, what would there be to hand to the next generation? And then that image of H. G. Wells out of the Time Machine, of spinning discs, and books that disintegrated, as the man from our age, sees the future, through his travel. The books had been archived, it would seem in a library rarely visited, as the future inhabitants had become slaves of the Morlocks. The Morlocks, looked like savage ape-men, with no hint of intellect left, who had become cannibals! That was Wells’s  view of the post-nuclear war world. I see something different. And I hope for something different. We must make something different!

What Katy Did Next…

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2016 by kathydasilva

Not really a reference to Susan Coolidge…but, for the sake of it the tales of a little girl in a nursery setting… The poem at the front of the book, well my copy that I still have from childhood, What Katy Did, just made me cry a bit. Like a voice from long ago, when life was more gentle. Yes, the people of Hampshire, are just that, gentle. That is indeed what I remember. Her poem is titled To Five. And the  first and second  verse:

Six of us once, my darlings, played together

Beneath green boughs, which faded long ago,

Made merry in the golden summer weather,

Pelted each other with new fallen snow.

Did the sun always shine? I can’t remember

A single cloud that dimmed the happy blue-

A single lightning-bolt or peal of thunder

To daunt our bright, unfearing lives: can you?

I guess that at least when I was small, or younger, I did live the most wonderful life, in my mother’s house, alongside a sister, who was two or nearly three years older than myself. And we had quite a disciplined existence, and routine, every morning, getting up for school, quite early. We were the sort of kids, most parents, dreamed of , and mostly were quite well behaved. But, it was  my parents who eventually fell out with eachother. But, all along, I had the most wonderful experience of life. The house was an old detached Victorian built red brick building with a tiled roof and chimneys, with a long garden that backed onto, a virtual wilderness. For a long time, I experienced a kind of stability, that allowed me to focus on school and friendships, and there is a kind of lull, created by security, that allows for that sought after thing, called education. I think now what a blessing, to have had this peace. But, life is a fragile thing. It is amazing, how true it is that a house, can be a castle, and that is still so true, for without the right environment, how can anyone really enjoy living or concentrate on what counts. The house was just that, but, the money in our household was not great in quantity at least in our early years my sister and I, use to manage, however, to create what was not there in the cupboard, by being great inventors. And chocolate spread, was a mix of cocao powder and margerine, when jams and fancy spreads, were absent. Sugar sandwiches, and for the rest of the time, squash and tea served in a pot. This was still a recovering Britain, from two world wars. In the sixties, I just remember being the small youngest child and everyone older than me, and a bit taller. And Margaret my elder sister was about to marry, on her eighteenth birthday, and she had a glass bowl in her hands, which held water and some sort of lily or orchid, which she managed to drop and the glass broke and cut her wrist, and she had been rushed to the hospital and had stitches. She was blonde and wore her hair backcombed, and high at the crown. It is such a brief memory, but, the only one I have of when she was with us at Cobbett Road. And later  in life, my sister, had such a lot of sorrow, and she died of a sarcoma cancer. And she had said, that her happiest years were her childhood. And now I think I do appreciate what my parents did do for me, and it sounds halcyon in feeling, but, we were not really spoiled, in a material way. Much of the delight was gained from reading and learning, and the natural world around was enormously helpful.

Well, nostalgia over with! Why is it the politicians, in our country sound so unreal?  Perhaps being forced to play an evasive role, has forced this enactment of pretence of coping upon them. But, it is true that the last sixteen or so years of life in Britain, that we as a country seem to be struggling, quite a bit. And war wherever it is occuring is expensive, and I just wonder why, just why are we having to do all of this ‘fighting’? I am hopeful and glad at the American result of their election, for  a new start was needed.  and very sadly the left wing over there proved to only have what I can see is a weak leadership, and were far too keen, to perpetuate war abroad without any conscience. Most of my own life, I had to listen to my mother restating all of what went on in England, during her youth in a war that nearly broke our back, as food had to be rationed, and as for being prepared for the actual battle, the materials for weapons and ships, munitions, was seriously under estimated. Historians, recount, the railings from seaside resorts being ripped from their placement, and melted down in order to help with the deficit of need. No please we do not want that kind of war ever again! And yet again, why is there that uneasy feeling in the air? The feeling of not being settled, or safe? Something interesting is happening in Israel this week. Spontaneous fires, breaking out in the city of Jerusalem. And it reminded me of something I read on Wikipedia about the attempt to rebuild the temple of Solomon. That no matter how hard the Jews tried to rebuild the temple, disaster always struck either in the form of fire or falling masonry. And it seems to me that God is speaking again. Some people might blame the climate now, but, the Palestinians were saying that the Zionist’s were forbidding their call to prayer in Jerusalem. So who will listen? And in all truth, I do believe, that the Jews need to recognize their Messiah, in their midst, who has always been, Jesus, who had said: Who is my sister and my brother? And under the new covenant, all men will be saved.

Life stories..Looking For Pearls update…

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2016 by kathydasilva

 

It’s that time of year where nostalgia can grab you as the Christmas seasonal fanfair begins. But, I am in the middle of writing, the memoire/fictionalized version of my life story. I am feeling a tad freer from changing names deliberately, so that while the book will of course go public and be available for sale hopefully I will save my relatives from invasive problematical interest, or potential interest in the future. I am anticipating, this will feel my best work, because essential to biography or autobiography is some honest recounting of events. I was becoming very focused on loss recently, and also have started the ‘novel’ from a different time point, than originally planned. It looks a bit more logical though to go backward from a recent event that was momentous or devastating or life changing at the very least. An lo, springs an honesty, from the many things observed, and funerals, as well as weddings, bring family members together. I am now more hopeful about finishing this one sooner. I had to have a little time away from just typing up a story line, as Driftwood, also became an emotional burden, in part because I am an artist, and events are still current politically, and now even more so, the recent American elections are showing the turmoil and uncertainty of our age. So back to Looking For Pearls, and my fight to create something with some of the poetry side of me still coming through. I always think writing takes something of the energy of the interior spirit of a person as you go along, so that when you finish, you do feel like it is a kind of intellectual birth moment. I am feeling helped along this week, by staying home a bit, with the heating on, thankfully. Here’s  a little extract of Looking For Pearls, it is loaded with emotional ups and downs as a book, but, my artschool years provide quite an interesting, backdrop to London, and the art scene in general. In the extract, I am harking back to my mother’s funeral. (All names are changed to protect identity).

There was tension within the family group and then her grandson, Martin, had told us he could see her, first at the church kneeling at the side alter, and then when we met at the wake. A teenager with second sight, though I am not sure how that happened, he had had visions since his youth. And he could see my son who had passed, and he could see my dad, who had passed, and he could see, my elder sister, and she too had passed.‘ extract from Looking For Pearls by Katherine Da Silva

I have had to live through about a decade of relatives, passing on. So it is all going to go in there somewhere, as life has to appear as real as it is. Though there is plenty of humor as our family, and hopefully my adult self had to cope with such a lot of striving, to make  things happen. I am glad that TV today is getting so predictable and repetitive if only for creating the need and urge in me to make something different. In a way, the whole fictionalized future dwelling semi-scifi, genre, of recent film, has so much forboding attached to it. I too have my version of something like that, in ‘Battlefield’, this will eventually have a different title, but I have some stories up my sleeve, for the year ahead, well at least two or three story lines. The film Hope and Glory leaves us in the period in which it is made, and although this perfectly reflects a certain nostalgia, of a time when people pulled together, through rationing, and bombing raids, the parts I like most are the family exchanges, and rituals of eating together, from grandad to grandchild, all understanding their place, and all interacting.

I was bequeathed a few old photographs recently from the war period, and childhood of my mother. I was so pleased to be in receipt of them, as there is some wonderful historic element, in the styles of clothing and hats. My grandfather on my mother’s side had come from a farming family. And it is with some delight to remember that age, when families would expect to eat food grown in their own gardens. I think the twentieth century has gone so far into the financial element of material things, the era of the super store, that people, and community have truly suffered. My mother’s era, were much more family orientated, and everything especially during the war years of my mother’s youth, was home grown, and they had a small holding. And then of course they had the war to deal with, and for as long as I can remember, every  now and then, my mother would become very thoughtful, about this period of her life, reliving the things, people went through.