'One Fine Day'…..‘The Accursed Share’….

by Bernie Bell - 08:38 on 10 May 2023

'One Fine Day'…..

When we ordered ‘One Fine Day’ by Ian Marchant  from our local independent bookseller…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/06/21/stromness-book-shop-scotlands-only-drive-in-book-shop/ , I wondered what it would be like. 

From reading  Ian’s previous works – ‘The Longest Crawl’,  ‘A Hero for High Times’ and ‘In Southern Waters’  -  I guessed that it would be well written and entertaining. I hoped there wouldn’t be too much heavy historical fact, as historical novels usually aren’t really my thing – but I also thought Ian might be as keen to entertain as to inform – which turned out to be the case. 

Ian’s website…. https://ianmarchant.com/  featured a map and I wondered if, when I read the book, would I find that it’s a map of lives lived?

I’ve wondered and wandered enough – I’ll now present my impression of the book…



If my Mum observed someone displaying some kind of family characteristic, she’d say….  ‘It wasn’t off the wind he took it’.

On reading ‘One Fine Day’ it looks like Ian’s ability to observe, and tell of what he observes, wasn’t taken ‘off the wind’.

Ian’s seven-times-Great-grandfather kept a diary from 1714 to 1728, not only telling of his own life but also of the life of the times.

That he was literate says something about him, and about his background, as most working people at that time couldn’t read or write. 

This was an exceptional time to be a worker in England, the wealth of which was still mainly based on agriculture, but with industrialization looming ahead in the near future and scientific developments burgeoning.

As Ian himself says….

“Old Thom Marchant was one of the last people before industrialisation to understand how his world worked – and how to be largely self-sufficient in it. He knew where his food came from, his fuel, his water, his clothes. He knew how the welfare system worked, and was part of its administration; he knew who looked after the roads, too. He collected taxes. He was not separate from the system, but part of it.”

He also says ….

“Blood is thicker than water, but love is thicker than blood.”

‘One Fine Day‘ is an historical novel, but the historical information goes hand in hand with the story of a family - the times they lived through, and are living through.  People make history happen.

There are parallels between Thomas Marchant’s  time and our time – and Ian draws those parallel lines.

I don’t know what Ian will think of my making this connection but - re. blood - families - the difficulties they encounter and how they face them and deal with them.  I didn’t watch the Coronation of Charlie 3, but it co-inciding with my reading ‘One Fine Day’ got me thinking of how Harry - in a suit rather than decked out in gee-gaws - & Meghan have stepped away from that particular family and its history and troubles to make their own way, together. 

Love being thicker than blood.


‘The Accursed Share’….

From Talbot Rice Gallery….

“Special Event

Owning It

Friday 26 May, 6pm

Talbot Rice Gallery is inviting you to a special event dedicated to Lubaina Himid's Naming the Money installation, currently on display in our historic Georgian Gallery.

'Owning it' refers to taking responsibility for historical injustices, embracing the current moment with confidence and to the themes of debt and money which run throughout Talbot Rice Gallery’s current exhibition, The Accursed Share.

As one of the gallery's 'cabaret' evening events, this celebration will bring together film, performance, poetry and music with short talks designed to explore different aspects of this subject.

For more information click here.


Online Artist Talk

Marwa Arsanios

Thursday 18 May, 6pm

 Artist Marwa Arsanios will join us remotely to discuss her practice and the series of works, Who is Afraid of Ideology? in her online artist talk.

 Visit the event page here.


In the Gallery

Friday Lunchtime Tours

Owen Kelly

Friday 12 May, 12.30-1.30pm

 This week's Friday Tour with Owen Jones will help us to think about debt and justice through the lens of classical philosophy.

 Book your free spot here

Charlotte Rommerskirchen

Friday 19 May, 12.30-1.30pm

This Friday Tour looks at 'debt as a time machine', led by senior lecturer Charlotte Rommerskirchen, to think about how it carries forwards the inequalities of the past.

 Book your free spot here


And don't forget...

The Accursed Share

Catch our current group exhibition, The Accursed Share, open until 27 May.

 Admission free

Tue-Sat, 10am-5pm

Visit our website


Here’s one I made earlier…. https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/06/25/stenness-brodgar-20th-june-2021/


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