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A Celtic Childhood vividly portrays Bill Watkins' eccentric Celtic family: his vibrant Irish mam whose "hand is on the tiller" as head of household; his principled but stout-loving Welsh dad; and his Grandda, who has "a generous supply of Celtic songs and tall stories." These tales from Watkins' boyhood find him disrupting weddings while dressed as a gangster, illegally operating a ham radio, and getting kicked out of Ireland for "vagrancy." The lively anecdotes of A Celtic Childhood sing from the page with a keen sense of rhythm.
This first volume of a planned trilogy of memoirs reflects upon the boyhood years of Bill Watkins. The stories take place in Limerick and Wales and are told largely through dialogue. This volume includes a glossary of words and phrases. Watkins also provides the lyrics of some traditional songs.
Twenty-one-year-old Bill is stranded in a Gypsy camp with an injured foot, where he is cared for by the beautiful and unavailable Riena. When he eventually makes it back to his parents' home in Birmingham, he has difficulty finding work in recession-ravaged England. Complete with family secrets, the last section of Bill's trilogy has him taking off again in search of a new girl, and coming full circle in his ongoing spiritual journey.
"This witty true adventure of Celtic culture, language and history opens with twenty-one-year-old Bill stranded in a Gypsy camp with an injured foot, cared for by the beautiful, unattainable Riena. With his prowess on the fiddle and keen interest in their centuries-old way of life, the Gypsies - and Riena - grow to accept Bill as one of their own. He discovers that his Celtic roots may not be so different from the misunderstood Gypsies." "Following the call of the Celt, the hireath - in reality, an excuse to pursue another girl - Bill encounters a raving racist, a giant on a Biblical quest and the shortest lived rock band in history, the Farting Pixies. The narration of Bill's journey is infused with the joy of being a Celt, a culture on the verge of its great revival." "The Once and Future Celt is a sparkling and hilarious tale of identity, the power of family, the origins of language and the opposite sex. It completes a trilogy started by A Celtic Childhood and Scotland Is Not for the Squeamish."
Continuing from where A Celtic Childhood left off, Scotland Is Not for the Squeamish reflects on the events that transpired through Bill's early twenties and shaped him as a man. After realizing his childhood dream of becoming a wireless operator at seas, Watkins narrates his amazing predicaments. Whether it's a hurricane on a trawler, sinking docked warships, or hunting for gold in the mountains of Scotland, the tales of the ever-vibrant Bill Watkins capture his adventures with glorious effect.
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