Abstract: Dundee

Reflections on Celts

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I dropped by the McManus to check out what was on and caught the Reflections on Celts exhibit which combined a few of their own treasures with borrowed items from the British Museum and the National Museums of Scotland. You can see my pictures here (along with the other two exhibits on) and read more about it here. I was unable to resist buying things in the shop but mostly kept myself to buying cards to send off to other people and a book on medieval Scotland because that is a woeful lack in my knowledge (and a potential site of new research). As you can see, Duncan’s Riders of the Sidhe has come down from the upstairs gallery to gallop through this exhibit.

Merry Xmas from Dundee

‘Tis the Season

Grades are in and I am safely come to Dundee. There were happy family greetings, gifts, and packages waiting — and even a bit of sun. And much silliness, of course. Now #tea and the opportunity to idle and write. There’s time to let much of the madness of a harsh year slip away, if only to return to the resistance later strengthened.

At passport control, the fellow asked ‘Purpose of your visit?’

‘To avoid having to hear about that orange idiot twenty-four hours a day.’

‘Fair enough.’

Mindful Hands Exhibition

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While in Venice I went to an exhibit at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the isla San Giorgio Maggiore called ‘Mindful Hands’ which offered up a real feast of medieval manuscripts. If that’s not your thing you may yawn, but those who enjoy these beauties may swoon over the album here. A beautiful day, a beautiful location and such beautiful pages. It’s sad to see pages ripped from their original bindings but it was how they happened to be collected, so what can you do? At least no more violence should be done to them. There was also an excellent film showing how medieval manuscripts were made from goat to binding (:-o) which I thought would be great to show students — well, with some warning about the poor goat. I didn’t even realise how some of the colours were made. Things like lapus lazuli making blue I knew, but burning bones for black was news (oak gall is also used for black ink). So glad I got to see the exhibit: it was much more extensive than I expected.

Venice and More

Apologies for dropping out of things lately: insanely busy trying to catch up. Lots of ways to entertain you, however. Example: read this wonderful review of Drag Noir that came out when I was literally on my way out of the country. Thanks, Plenitude Magazine and Latonya Pennington. The process of finding your audience can be slow, but when you do find them it’s so gratifying.

If you’re interested in crime writing at all, check out this issue of TEXT magazine: Crime Fiction: The Creative/Critical Nexus, edited by Rachel Franks, Jesper Gulddal and Alistair Rolls. I am very happy to have my close analysis of Dorothy B. Hughes’ The Expendable Man [PDF download].

But you want pictures, right? The whole album can be found here, but let me show you a glimpse of this amazing city (click pictures to embiggen). And there’s still the manuscript exhibit to upload!

Alibi Bound

alibiI head out today to fly to Venice, where Renato Bratkovič will meet me to drive me to Slovenia for the Alibi Crime Conference where I will be one of the featured writers. I’m really looking forward to it: I’ve never been to Venice or to Slovenia so that’s exciting. Everyone seemed to have a grand time at the first conference last year. I’m sure I will post pictures or commentary as I go along though perhaps not as much as usual. Check my Twitter feed (which appears in the right hand column of this blog) or Facebook if you’re there. Of course I’ll write up my adventures when I return. Maybe I’ll run into a certain Venetian Lion…

I’m very happy to see HOW TO BE DULL getting out there in the world. It’s the antidote to our too ‘interesting’ times. Thanks Beverly Bambury for sharing the photo (and check out her publicity business!

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