Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christian the Lion

This is a beautiful story that I was suspicious of at first and then discovered was utterly TRUE! Youtube has the full story on film in five parts plus interviews with the two men in 2008. This is a tale of love and friendship across the species divide. The man with the gun at the end is the famous George Adamson (Born Free). He's the one who introduced Christian (the lion) to the wild after the lion had been brought up in London by two young men in the 1960s. They saw him one more time after this reunion - a few years later - when he had a full mane. Christian hadn't been seen by Adamson in a long time yet strangely (or not, if you believe like me) the lion showed up when the two men arrived. Christian was very dignified this time, didn't jump on top of them, "I'm a full lion now" was his attitude, as one of the men said, but he was still affectionate and spent the night with them. After that they never saw him again. He went off to live out his life as a wild lion with his pride. He's not a tame lion, but he is good.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzles

I love jigsaw puzzles, something I picked up from my grandmother, I think. My Uncle Syl owned a jigsaw puzzle factory here in Bray, Co. Wicklow, and my Auntie Gerry was his manageress. He used to bring puzzles to my grandmother and she was always working on one. Those of you who read The Druid's Tune will remember Rosemary and Jimmy working on a jigsaw puzzle with the O'Donovan family on a rainy day in Leitrim. Last summer, I found two puzzles in the lighthouse keeper's cottage where I was staying on the Isle of Erraid. My friend Gillian and I took one each and worked away on them in the evenings throughout the week, assisted by fellow roomie Heike who read to us as we worked - fire crackling away - and who occasionally popped in a piece here and there. The two puzzles were completed before we left. Here's a pic of one I did on my return from India. It helped me land. Finn's Dad gave it to me for Christmas. The hieroglyphics nearly did my head in, but then I got the hang of them and recognised the various characters. So now I've got the jigsaw bug and had to go buy a box of 10 puzzles! I think they are good for the brain. Also a better way to relax than watching television. In my latest book, People of the Great Journey, I use the jigsaw puzzle as one of my connecting metaphors. Life always seeps into art.