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Shaggers Guide to Scotland – at the Cúirt lecture meeting Irvine Welsh

Meeting Irvine Welsh at the book signing after his lecture at the Cuirt Festival here in Galway was quite an experience. I was and am a massive fan of Trainspotting, and though I never read his other works – which are all on a similar vein – when I heard he was in town I made it my business to attend the lecture.

What was I expecting? I don’t know. Not an articulate chap who you could sit and have a pint with anyway, but what appeared on the stage was just a normal guy, and quite a character to boot.

He lamented that if Trainspotting was to come out today it would not be published, as today society seems to be a lot more conservative and he thinks books need more shagging and hedonism in them. This is a unique take on the current literary scene, escpecially in light of the publication of 50 Shades of Grey.

I was at the lecture in the company of James Delaney who is doing the final cuts to the Rhymers Club documentary. Amont the audience was an old freind / nemesis of mine Kevin Higgins and his good wife Susan Millar du Mars two rows beneath and to the left. We were in the Town Hall Theatre, and the gallery area was very cramped, but there was a great view of the stage.

Highlight of my week was meeting Irvine Welsh who wrote #trainspotting at the #cuirt festival in #galway

A photo posted by Thomas Carty (@tomjcarty) on

Writings stories and novels is something that I would love to be able to do, and the whole writing process for that was something I was very interested to listen to. With Irvine Welsh it appears that he is a binge writer, something I can identify with, as planning is not my strong point and where I do the mind seems to go blank.

And when I do – and I have tried – stories just do not come out. In the 15 odd years I’e taken writing seriously, It has been my ambition to write some stories, and while I can cobble articles together, I have not even managed to submit the latter to as much as the Ireland’s Own, which was a childhood ambition of mine.

Now some folk may scoff at a humble granny journal like the Ireland’s Own, but as a kid it was one of the main channels of culture, history and genealogy that I had, and reading it I credit with giving me the foundation to my current writing career such as it is…

The funniest story – and most tragic, was of the taxi driver who picks up a distressed girl in a cab, and shes heading to the Forth Bridge to do away with herself, and he talks her into a last shag. I wonder did our friend Mr Higgins think that was sexist? It seems right up Cartys alley of black humour!

The taxi driver character is an interesting twist, and based on a friend of Irvines, as him driving around the city gives a current view of Scotland and the city in the background of the lamented referendum that was lost – and some dispute the result of that – which is in fact the author coming to terms with a city and country that has changed since he left it all those years ago…

Maybe some day I will do a course in writing stories, something akin to James Joyces “Dubliners” is a project I would love to complete. Even if a lifetimes writing of poetry was to be forgotten and I was to be remembered for the stories , even only one story or novel, that would be a cool thing as a writer to leave behind…

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