Friday, December 22, 2006

Seasons Greetings

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, Shane Warne, history's greatest leg-spinner, has given the Test batsmen of the world an early present by announcing his retirement from the game at the end of the Sydney Test Match. To those of you from non-cricketing nations (my condolences), Warney is a kind of antipodean Babe Ruth whose ability to outfox batsmen has enthralled millions of us for the past 14 years. His departure, though premature in my opinion, will at least bring back some equilibrium to a game utterly dominated by the Australians for more than a decade. God bless you, Warney, and thank you, but may no team gain such ascendancy over the Noble Game again.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Stinging Fly

Some of you may be wondering what I've been doing since my last posting. Well, amongst other things I have been savouring the delights of Irish literary magazine The Stinging Fly. Although it won't interest those who only read things they are in, this admittedly Celto-centric little mag is my find of the year. After a previous issue devoted solely to the fine art of the short story, the current issue returns to the bubbly mix of poetry and prose from many of the leading lights of Irish letters. Special mention needs to be made here of Kevin Barry's story Last Days of the Buffalo, one of the finest pieces of short writing I have read in years. The editors appear to be a lively crew obviously in love with the job who are always hunting around for international contributors (yes, that means you dear reader). Click on the post heading to see how you can get hold of a copy. Subscriptions are ludicrously cheap. I promise you won't be disappointed.