Happy Feast of St James the Great

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Oh to be in Santiago de Compostela today. What feasting there will be. Happy Feast Day.

Of the many depictions of St James or Santiago reflecting aspects of his mythology  – humble pilgrim, warrior, patron saint I like the Pre Rafaelite golden image.

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For one of the best descriptions of the life of St James check out Camino Adventures

https://www.caminoadventures.com

 

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Tarta Santiago versus Sachertorte or Poetry with Cake

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The first literary evening at the Viennese cake shop, Aber House in Barmouth, has come and gone. The cake turned out quite well using a combination of recipes from the web.

One Spanish recipe added cinnamon and alcohol  but, a bit of a purest, these were left out. However, the recommendation to grind the almonds leaving some texture and then to roast them in the oven to dry out, wholeheartedly adopted.

Another recipe, American I suspect, offered  a stencil for the cross of St James – or is it a sword?  He was a warrior saint after all and claimed by crusading Spaniards wanting to drive out the infidel.  (Plus ca change) Only the icing sugar disappointed as it sank into the cake almost without trace before we got to eat it.

The sachertorte was chocolately and unctuous, but then I did not make that.

And the readings?

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Bernard Young is a performance poet with  a light touch, a delight of whimsy and wistfulness. He mostly writes poems for children these days who, one suspects, would  love his gentle delivery and humour too.

As for Murielle’s Angel? one can only hope and keep putting it out there.

There is to be a second evening, with different cake and different readings, but the welcome will be the same.

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Sacher Torte versus Tarta Santiago

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A new cafe in a small seaside town creates a frisson of excitement.  Austrian, no less and from Vienna. Immediately there are thrilling undertones of The Third Man,  to say nothing of sachertorte and pastries.

It gets better! There will be yoga on the beach (couldn’t be a better summer for it) and  occasional literary evenings with local authors -including yours truly and readings from Murielle’s Angel!

We have suggested a bake off,  sachertorte and tarta Santiago –  eggs and chocolate or eggs and ground almonds – the one so Viennese the other so typical of Santiago de Compostela the end of the Camino.

Sadly we have missed St James’ Day on the 25th July but any day with cake can be cause for celebration.

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One Year On

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It seems hard to believe that it t was only a year ago that Murielle’s Angel was published  by Cinnamon Press.  A year in which everything and nothing has changed.

It was so momentous at the time, a huge milestone, and such a fillip that someone should show their belief in me as a writer by actually publishing my book,  like betting on an outsider to win.  But then Jan of Cinnamon Press, herself a poet and novelist and a wise and brave woman, is willing to take those risks on your behalf.

I still think of the double rainbow seen from the car window on the way home from the launch.

I have had some lovely reviews too from those kind enough to post them.

‘Beautifully written .Gentle yet perceptive prose weaves a spell creating a real sense of place. An interesting and varied cast of fellow travellers on journeys of self discovery walk the Camino. Their paths and stories criss cross . Their relationships are brief and transitory, yet they will not be forgotten as they are remarkable in their own way. Similarly they will make a lasting impression on the reader .
A delightful book, most enjoyable. Interest never flagged and it was a real pleasure to pick up the story at the end of the day and escape into an oasis of calm.’

There has been much to learn and there still is.  There is still much to write.  My current book whose characters are still putting me through my paces  will I hope be delivered in due course, after the long slow editing.

And the next? Already the need for background reading is pressing.