Here, There and Everywhere: Rosita Boland in Conversation with Manchán Magan in Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival

Living in North Tipperary affords us the best of many worlds. We have mountainous areas, the best of agricultural land as well as bog, and the lordly Shannon to the north western borders of the county. Standing at the Millennium Cross recently, with several counties visible from that magnificent viewing spot, the eye travelled beyond the immediate in to the possibilities of other places. Have you ever had that feeling of wonder at what lies beyond? The writer, Rosita Boland, certainly has. In her recent memoir of her travels, Elsewhere, she describes the desire to travel, an ache for distant places by referencing the German word “fernweh”. How she came by that word is in itself interesting. Rosita had set herself the task of reading the Chambers Dictionary, from cover to cover in 2000. In the year and more that it took her to complete the task, she collected hundreds of obscure words that appealed to her. Fernweh was one such word that delighted her for its oddness and specificity of precise definition. Rosita was writing poetry at that stage and thought that her notebook would be useful in that context.

Here, There and Everywhere: Rosita Boland in Conversation with Manchán Magan in Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival Over a period of thirty years, Rosita travelled in places as diverse as Peru, London, Australia, Antarctica and Pakistan. All the time, she recorded her journeying and experiences in personal diaries. She took no photographs but retained boarding passes, tickets, passes and receipts as well as various passports as “evidence of portals to elsewhere”. In between her travels, she worked as a journalist and saved to fund her next foray. When she eventually decided to read her diaries, she found that they provided the source material for the highly appealing “Elsewhere”, her story of one woman, one rucksack and her lifetime of travel.

Rosita, the Newsbrand Ireland Journalist of the Year 2018, will appear at Nenagh Arts Centre on Wednesday 2nd October as part of Dromineer Nenagh Literary Festival’s line up, to discuss her work with Manchán Magan, himself no stranger to travelling. Manchán has made over thirty travel documentaries (Global Nomad on TG4) focusing on issues of world cultures and globalisation as well as being a broadcaster, actor and playwright. He has written on his travels in Africa, India and South America. His current show “Arán agus Im” which he toured with this year, is a celebration of language, land and local Irish food. Both Rosita and Manchán are regular contributors to the Irish Times newspaper.

The last words are left to Rosita herself: I have been travelling around the world at regular intervals since 1987, some 32 years. Whatever about going out your own door every day, going out countless new and different doors in new and different places where you do not know the terrain, people or language is a particular kind of challenge. In all that time, I have been very fortunate. I have never once, while elsewhere, been physically or sexually assaulted, robbed or seriously ill. Those are incredibly lucky odds for all the miles beneath my feet, and I feel charmed to have had this record”.

Come along and be charmed by Rosita and Manchán on Wednesday 2nd October, 8pm Booking https://www.nenagharts.com/event/dnlf-here-there-everywhere/ See also www.dnlf.ie

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