By the Seaside a poem by Larry Stapleton
Larry Stapleton was born in Sligo and visited Mullaghmore for family day trips in the 1950′s and 1960′s. Touched by the humanity and honesty in From a Clear Blue Sky he wrote By the Seaside and submitted it to Poetry Ireland Review which publishes the work of both emerging and established Irish and international poets.
We were as carefree as skylarks….
– Timothy Knatchbull, From a Clear Blue Sky (2009)
Only skylarks watched down when we came to picnic
among the marram dunes on a summer’s day,
out from Sligo town in the Ford Prefect -
my father, mother, grandmother, sisters and I.
Not so when, years later, a tall, elderly man
paddled the low tide pools with his bucket and net,
and on his way back from the harbour to Classiebawn,
stopped to talk to the boy who looked after his boat.
Not so when, the next day – with his twin grandsons, their parents
and grandmother, who just as he did, needed help
going down the ladder and across a boat – they boarded
taking with them the dachshund and a picnic for the trip.
Not so when, with everyone settled on Shadow V,
He took the helm and opened the throttle wide.
Grateful acknowledgement is made to the editor of Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 108, where this poem first appeared in December 2012.
The Queen meets former IRA member, Martin McGuinness
On Wednesday 27 June 2012, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II shook the hand of Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and former member of the IRA. The ground-breaking encounter took place in Belfast and was seen throughout the world as an important step in the process of reconciliation. 33 years earlier her cousin, Lord Mountbatten and three others died in an IRA explosion off the west coast of Ireland.
BBC’s Radio 5 Live Diamond Jubilee coverage
Timothy Knatchbull was interviewed by Shelagh Fogarty for BBC’s Radio 5 Live coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Timothy talked about his recuperation at Balmoral in 1979 and the care and concern shown to him by the Queen. The interview was transmitted on Tuesday 5 June 2012 as the Queen attended the Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Pick of the week in Paramatta, Australia
International praise continues as From a Clear Blue Sky was pick of the Christmas week books at Paramatta City Library in New South Wales.
Best non-fiction of 2011
From a Clear Blue Sky has been picked by the South African press for best non-fiction of 2011. The Daily News described it as “gripping, powerful, unforgettable”
Winner of the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Award for 2011
Timothy Knatchbull and From a Clear Blue Sky has won the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Award for 2011. The writer and director of the film, Five Minutes of Heaven also won an award. The winners were at the ceremony in Belfast on March 10th 2011 to collect their prizes. The awards recognise works that promote and encourage peace and reconciliation in Ireland and a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland. These ideals inspired Christopher Ewart-Biggs who, as British Ambassador to Ireland, was killed by the IRA in 1976. Tim told the audience, “I will treasure this prize because it means more than any other prize I could imagine.”
Family links to India
On Monday February 14th 2011, pupils at Twyford School in Hampshire sat enthralled as Timothy Knatchbull and his mother Patricia, Countess Mountbatten of Burma talked about their family’s long history in India. Countess Mountbatten’s father had been the last Viceroy of India and her father-in-law Michael, the 5th Lord Brabourne, had been Governor of Bengal.
The Lent series of lectures at Tonbridge School
The Parents’ Arts Society at Tonbridge School in Kent invited Timothy Knatchbull to give a presentation on Thursday February 10th 2011. Tim read excerpts from his book and spoke about his childhood in which his inspirational headmaster at Gordonstoun, Michael Mavor, made such an impact on him. Michael had previously taught at Tonbridge.
How to get your copy of From A Clear Blue Sky
From a Clear Blue Sky is now available on Kindle and as an Audio Download. This is in addition to the popular hardback and paperback editions and the full and unabridged boxed Audio Book CD set.
The Browser on-line interview
Timothy Knatchbull’s on-line interview with FiveBooks is now available on The Browser. In his interview Tim discusses books which contributed to his understanding of The Troubles in Ireland. He also highlights two articles: a sermon by the Rev’d Peter Gomes entitled ‘Seeking Faith Amid Ruins’ delivered days after 9/11, and an article by Professor Richard English who investigates ’21st century Terrorism: How should we respond?’
On Tuesday November 30th 2010, the Nehru Centre in central London provided the venue for an exhibition of paintings by Indian Miniaturists and an illustrated talk by Timothy Knatchbull. In spite of a heavy fall of snow that day over 100 people attended the event held in support of the Jeevika Trust.
Rye Arts Festival
On Monday September 20th 2010 Timothy Knatchbull spoke at the 39th Rye Arts Festival in Sussex. The event was a sell out. His mother, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, his Aunt, Lady Pamela Hicks and his brother, Michael John Knatchbull were in the audience.
From a Clear Blue Sky gets into paperback
The UK paperback version of From a Clear Blue Sky was published by Arrow Books on Thursday August 5th 2010.
From a Clear Blue Sky was shortlisted for the PEN/J. R. Ackerley prize of 2009/10. The award recognises a literary autobiography of excellence, written by an author of British nationality and published during the preceding year. Previous winners have included Alan Bennett for his memoir, Untold Stories, Barrie Humphries, More, Please and John Osborne, Almost a Gentleman.
A summer talk in the Garden of Kent
Timothy Knatchbull spoke at St Mary’s Church at Smeeth in Kent on Wednesday June 9th 2010 launching their summer series of talks.
The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival
On Saturday March 20th 2010 Timothy Knatchbull spoke at The Oxford Literary Festival. The event was held in Corpus Christi College and was introduced by Alison Boulton.
From a Clear Blue Sky published in India
Random House invited Timothy Knatchbull to launch the Indian edition of From a Clear Blue Sky. The event was held in Delhi on March 8th 2010 and co-hosted by Random House India and the Aspen Institute.
At the invitation of John Baugh, Headmaster of the Dragon School in Oxford, Timothy Knatchbull gave a talk about From a Clear Blue Sky on Monday November 30th 2009. All proceeds went to the Nicholas Knatchbull Memorial Fund