Books? Great medicine!

Black and white book and milk

All joking aside, I cannot even begin to count the number of books I have read since childhood or how many I handled while working in a library. Books become part of life, a friend I will remember forever, a gateway or hiding place where distraction reigns. Just holding them, turning page after page, waiting to be explored, conquered, talked about and put on a shelf waiting to be taken out again. And so the cycle begins again.

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Kick-Ass Ireland

Some days I sit still and think about how my life became a dream full-circle. There’s William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Brendan Behan. Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Land of Heart’s Desire and Yeats’s grave. Dubliners, Ulysses and Bloomsday. The mountains, lakes, Dublin, Sligo and […]

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Ireland, still here

“Ireland is still the protagonist in my life that runs away with its stories, and drags me along in its clear chants and rebel songs. I hear tears falling on the sound of uilleann pipes; I feel the waves when I read Seamus Heaney’s ‘Lovers on Aran’. I’ve walked with James Joyce and listened to William Butler Yeats. It feels as if my heart came home. In my mind, I was already part of Ireland.”

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Dublin Speaks No Language

Dublin speaks no language I cannot hear with my heart. Sings no song I cannot Feel by the touch on my lips. Hold no love, I cannot Embrace with my thoughts. Dublin listens quietly, Unconditionally. ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte ©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material […]

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20 things you didn’t (necessarily) know yet

While browsing through the weekend newspapers yesterday, I came across a nice list of questions. I like lists. And I like questions. A female attribute? No doubt. Just for the fun of it, here we go! The book that changed my life: Ulysses by James Joyce, no doubt about it! The quote that keeps me […]

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Dublin, my Dublin

Pictures of Dublin, my Dublin. Almost 11 years in Ireland, I still consider it a dream come true, a life less ordinary and simply… Ireland: the love of my life. (Apologies if images are grainy, some were taken with an old-fashioned camera)

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So many books, so little time!

Yesterday morning – rain, wind, a slight chill in the air – I walked totally wrecked and at snail pace towards the bookshop. Voucher in hand, lots of titles written down on paper just in case my memory checks out on me again. For a while now I had been looking at certain books, longing […]

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Divine words

Yes, I do have too much time on my hands. Only said so last night when contemplating my favourite-English-words-list with another history enthusiast. I love lists, the only problem is that I forget either that I ever made a list for so-and-so, or I simply forgot where I put it. Nevertheless, yes… I suppose I […]

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Back with a bang!

I am. In Dublin once again after a short stay with my mum. She moved houses last week but instead of having me pack boxes with her with lots of… well… you know yourself when you move houses and how much you gather in the space of about 60 years or so. I stayed in […]

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The imperfection of books

Autumn books

An old book is lying next to me, and it begs me to pick it up and read it. The imperfections of it make me feel as if this book has lived, and that it wants to be cherished for a long time to come. The cover is wrinkled, the pages discoloured and I sense […]

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Haunting Joyce

Words. Letters strung together to form sentences filled with thoughts, ideas and emotions. I thrive on them, books and communication in general included. I am a true bibliophile. After library studies, I ended up working in one for about seven years before moving to Ireland. Books were my life as a kid, a teen, a […]

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What about it?

3.30am. Eye pain and headaches have taken an option on my sleep, wanting to do better than each other. In addition to that, ideas for a blog post keep flying in my head. My mind is busy compartmentalizing thoughts while my eyes are in charge of my sleeping patterns. Nice! And now my hair also […]

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Quotes from Ulysses, by James Joyce

“The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Paintings of Moreau are paintings of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom; Plato’s world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys […]

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Ulysses, by James Joyce

“The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Paintings of Moreau are paintings of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom; Plato’s world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys […]

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Stunning bookstore in Dublin!

Yesterday, after walking past Cathach Books (now Ulysses Rare Books) in Duke Street to go to my favourite bookstore in Dublin (Hodges Figgis) in Duke Street, my eyes caught a gem of another bookstore. Cathach Books sells first editions of James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and so many more fantastic Irish authors. […]

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Ireland, a love story

“You will be back in 3 months time” my dad said. “Ireland is a third world country.” He was a truck driver in the 1980s you see, delivering goods to Ireland when the country was in recession. Understandably my dad thought that as a Belgian girl, I would miss certain things that come for granted […]

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Dublin: a state of mind

‘Dublin is as much a state of mind as it is a city’ Tom MacDonagh   It is, that I can tell you for sure. Dublin has a way of getting under your skin. In a good way and in a lesser way. Dublin is Dublin is Dublin, but sadly Irishness is disappearing from the […]

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James Joyce, Bloomsday and onions

Last Saturday Ireland celebrated Bloomsday, a day that stands out each year because of the many faces Irish people, foreign residents and visitors alike give it. For those unknown to what Bloomsday is, Leopold Bloom is the main character in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The story was set in and around Dublin on June 16th, 1904. […]

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Why Ireland?

People often ask me: “Why Ireland?” And tongue-in-cheek, I think, “Do you have a day or two so I can explain?” It goes back years, if not decades. I remember as a kid in the library under our apartment, how I traveled through Ireland by sitting down and watching pictures in big books on Ireland. […]

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