Last Monday, I popped into Talinn Airport to donate a copy of Forest Brothers. The facebook link is above!
The idea is travellers can pick up (or donate) a copy of a book to the library as they pass through. They have set aside a nice area, surrounded by bookshelves (naturally!) and furnished with some very comfortable armchairs. It really feels like an oasis of calm and I heartily recommend it!
The article is only in Estonian, for those not blessed with the language, it talks about my idea of Wales and Estonia being similar in some ways – although one is a nation and the other believes it is a nation!
Both have a love and pride in their language, music, arts and song. Both have big noisy neighbours!
It goes on to say I am going to Saaremaa to research my next book. Not strictly true. I went to Saaremaa to find a nice quiet sandy beach and a cold, dark beer. My research is taking me to Kautla next. More later…
http://estonianworld.com/culture/david-drummond-on-the-singing-revolution-at-tedx-houses-of-parliament-2013-uk/ – A truly wonderful tribute to the Estonian independent spirit during the darker Soviet times. I recommend you listen, it is history we chose to ignore at the time
I am over in Estonia on a short visit. It is nice to see the old wooden buildings as we drive past. It is a shame some never seem to get restored, it is structures like that and the really beautiful medieval centre that makes Tallinn. Dodging trams and trolleybuses and generally german made cars, we finally reach our destination. It feels good to be back.
This week, I am going to donate a book to the Tallinn airport library. this is a scheme where travellers can sort of borrow a book. Perhaps even leave one in return. It promotes reading, always a good thing.
I think reading fiction is great, just to get away from the stresses and strains of daily life. Writing fiction is even better for me. My own little stories come to life in my mind and slowly they develope into something larger. At present, I am working on the journey of Märt the baker, prior to the novel Forest Brothers. Some of this story is hinted at in the current novel, but it has been great finding out the rest. My good friend, the author Rod Duncan once told me never to let the characters write the story for you. It sounds a bit loopy, but it does make sense. You stand back and watch the scene in your mind. ok, you metaphorically stand back… Some times the scene does not work out the way you expect. Maybe it is a logical progression. I dearly hope it is not the case of voices in ones head!
Anyway, there may be a feature on this airport visit somewhere in the future and I will post it when and if.. Then during the week, I hope to meet a historian who will tell me a bit about the events around 1941. Accuracy for the historical background is key to me and writing about a time which has little reference in the English language makes it harder. I hope to visit Kautla to smell the ozone. I hope to visit some museums to understand the link with Finland. i hope to finally meet the local rugby coach finally, even if that has no relevance to the story! I also hope to engage with my family, even if my Estonian language skills are still appalling. I have found an online language course, via the Estonian World website. Maybe this should be the next project! Only 16 cases in the language. A doddle after Welsh, you would think. Hmmm….
Do not forget to use the airport library next time you are in Tallinn Airport!
Available for weddings, bar-mitzvahs, cabaret…
‘It’s a swamp, why do you want to go there?’
‘There’s a memorial, to a battle. A pretty famous one, can you tell me where it is?’
And so I end up searching the google map for a village called Ardu, a name that deserves to have a whisky christened after it, and down some pretty basic roads is the Kautla war memorial. An important place. In 1941, an Estonian unit of the Finnish army, called Erna. had snuck into the country on reconnaisance and discovered the area surrounded by Destroyer batallions. Not only did the 60 people fight their way in, but rescued some 2000 locals who were in danger and fought their way back out of the encirclement. In anyone’s book, that feat is an accomplishment worth remembering. And yet so difficult to find the place!
I am currently trundling down google maps and in a few weeks, i hope to be there to smell the air and taste the atmosphere. I wish I could find an English language translation of events – can anyone help?