The Attachment

The Attachment

Ailsa Piper

Travel / Nonfiction / Cultural

Dear Ailsa, Sometimes I wonder whether the friendship that has caught us both-a most unlikely friendship I must confess-might find an echo in a far off Irish village somewhere in the wild, windy hills of old Donegal. Or am I allowing that uncontrollable imagination of mine too much slack?This is the story of an unlikely friendship.When priest and Sydneysider Tony Doherty emailed Melbourne-based writer and performer Ailsa Piper to say how much he had enjoyed her latest book, he was met with a swift reply from a similarly enquiring mind. Soon emails were flying back and forth and back again. They exchanged stories of their experiences as sweaty pilgrims and dissected dinner party menus. They shared their delight in Mary Oliver's poetry and wrestled with what it means to love and to grieve. This energetic exchange of words, questions and ideas grew into an unexpected but treasured friendship.Collected here is that correspondence, brimming with empathy, humour and a...
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Sinning Across Spain

Sinning Across Spain

Ailsa Piper

Travel / Nonfiction / Cultural

With these words Ailsa Piper's journey begins. Less than a month later she finds herself hiking through olive groves and under translucent pink blossoms, making her way from the legendary city of Granada, towards the cliffs at Finisterre in the far north-west of Spain.On her back she carries an unusual cargo - a load of sins. In the tradition of medieval believers who paid others to carry their sins to holy places, and so buy forgiveness, Ailsa's friends and colleagues donated sins in order to fund her quest. She's received anger and envy, pride and lust, among many.Through glorious villages and inspiring landscapes, miracles find her. Matrons stuff gifts of homemade sausages into her pack. Angels in both name and nature ease her path.Sins find her too. Those in her pack and many others tempt her throughout her journey.And she falls in love: with kindness, with strangers, and with Spain.Sinning Across Spain celebrates the mysteries of faith, the possibilities...
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