There are Bloomsday celebations taking place all over the world today, the day that is featured in James Joyces’ Ulysses. Although published in its entirity in 1922 the novel is set on 16th June 1904. That is the date that Joyce first met Nora Barnacle, whom he would eventually marry.
Considered to be one of the most important pieces of literature it has become known as a difficult read but one Irishman on the Costa del Sol has, for the past nine years done his bit to spread the Joycean word by celebrating Bloomsday each year on the beach in Fuengirola. Roger and his wife Dolores have gathered a number of people who have come to the event over the years. The numbers vary each year and this year there were 13 attendees at La Cepa Playa from Spain and Ireland who settled in to read chapter nine. There was a 14th member who could not attend as she is in Finland but recorded her assigned passage and sent it to be played at the appropriate time.
Annually, there is a variety of nationalities who read extracts from the relevant chapter in their native tongue. In previous years those in attendance have heard English, Spanish, French, German, Finnish, Thai, Chinese, Swedish and Japanese. Roger says “we are still looking for someone to read in the Irish language but maybe on our 10th anniversary we will be treated to that”.
During the reading which took just over two hours, the sun did its best but conditions were generally overcast. As the group was settling in prior to commencing t-shirts and shorts were the order of the day with a few pullovers, cardigans, light jackets, scarves being worn awaiting the sunshine. Then it appeared…. Roger was not satisfied with a mere jumper. He produced his fluffy white dressing gown and settled into his deck chair all set to commence the proceedings. Just as he started his newly acquired attire was noticed and one of the group mentinoed that he looked like someone who had wandered away unaccompanied from a nursing home and happened to find the group on the beach and decided to join them.
A sample of the events can be heard below in a package that was prepared by Ger Sweeney. It will offer a sample of the atmosphere and the fun that was enjoyed. Following the reading everyone moved to a nearby chirinquito (café) and some well needed coffee and food was consumed.
Mark it in your calander – Bloomsday 2020 in Fuengirola as you’d be most welcome!