We’re Launching!

I’d be sipping my glass of wine – I imagine it might be a Beaujolais nouveau; it’s what I fancy at the moment, anyway – and I’d be holding the book open, at page 130, and wandering the room. Everybody is happy, cheerful, as everybody is on occasions such as this. Everybody is cheerful, positive, wishing well, as everybody does on occasions like this. Have I said that already? That’s the Beaujolais for you, young and lively and straight to the head!

Perhaps it’s the Beaujolais, or it could be me just being a little smug in myself, feeling a little chuffed, for, despite the elbows to my ribs from my poor embarrassed wife, I greet everybody I meet with a, “Are you mentioned in Jane’s book?” Or course, they’re not and I console them with just the lightest note of triumphalism, and continue, “Let me show you my entry. Here I am on page 130 – a retired schoolteacher and keen amateur.” I move along, out of kindness, allowing them to drown their sorrows in the Beaujolais. There are many others who may need to be directed, short-cutted, to this highlight of the book – “Yes, that’s definitely one of the finer moments in it.” to quote the author herself!

Covid 19 spoiled the plans for an actual launch, such a pity!, as it would have been a happy occasion and Jane deserved it so all I can do it have my own launch here.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, book lovers and nature lovers, here we are this evening to launch Jane Powers’ latest book, An Irish Nature Year, a collection of her nature notes from The Times (Ireland). In these she has, in her own words, “tried to capture some of the interstingness of nature in Ireland. There is”, she writes, “an entire world in a layer of damp leaves, in the corrugated bark of an oak tree, and in the small rock pool that appears at low tide. Nature finds innumerable niches in which to set up its different species, in communities that mesh perfectly together.”

There are 365 entries, one for each day of the year, and I am inclined to treat them as the richest of chocolates, to be enjoyed individually and at leisure but, to be honest, I was as impatient with Jane’s writing as I am with chocolates and read hungrily and with great enjoyment. As ever – we remember her years as gardening correspondent for The Sunday Times and, before that, The Irish Times – Jane writes with infectious enthusiasm, with a deep interest and love for her subject matter, with humour and insight and with a depth of knowledge and research that leads to engrossing reading and enjoyment – just like those chocolates!

This is a gem of a book, beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated by Robert Vaughan’s line drawings and I wish it every success. Ladies and Gentlemen, An Irish Nature Year!

Now, before I return to the Beaujolais let me remind you that “one of the finer moments” in the book is on page 130!

[An Irish Nature Year, Jane Powers, Illustrations by Robert Vaughan, William Collins, 2020, Hardback, 266 pages, £14.99, ISBN: 978-0-00-839214-7]


6 thoughts on “We’re Launching!

  1. Anyone who would believe that the retired schoolteacher and amateur??? Gardener would flaunt hisself so brazenly at the launch is a simpleton, and knows not the man. He would be quiet, charmant, retiring and enjoying Jane’s triumph. But then is the reality ever as engaging as imagination let run riot!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The event has become somewhat of a fog on the memory, I’m afraid. Beaujolais, you understand! I trust yours was an enjoyable conversation – you, Jonathan and Long Legs!

      Liked by 1 person

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