The orthographical conventions adopted throughout the various entries are those of Australian English- so stop pointing out my “mistakes”, Uncle Sam!
The Summa Quotidian is a series of 10 albums featuring 12 songs apiece. Each song is preceded by an essay of about 850 words, canvassing a variety of topics, with accompanying illustrations. Sample these essays and/or songs sequentially or at random. The highlighted song is the album title.
These are now being progressively rolled out as podcasts entitled Letters From Quotidia comprising four podcasts weekly (Monday-Thursday) which conclude with a song plus a supplement on Friday to be subtitled Postcards From Quotidia comprising four songs with commentary from the section, A Bit of Banter, comprising 120 songs which forms another major part of this site. There will be over an hour per week of material broadcast (podcast?).
About Letters From Quotidia: Quentin Bega was born in the middle of the last century, and then stumbled into the present one with something more to say. If you chance to visit Quotidia, a customs official, dressed in motley, will say to you: “Welcome to Quotidia- you don’t need a passport to get in here… but if you have one we will make sure your visa is stamped “entry always permitted“.
At least 30 weeks will be taken up in this new venture. The podcasts may be found on Apple, Spotify, Google, here at WordPress, and also on SoundCloud. Update– And here we are:[14/07/2021] I have just recorded and scheduled my last Letter From Quotidia, Episode 120. I am still trying to retrieve a decade-old Banter cassette tape from 2010 for my last Postcards issue (which will be edition 30), without success so far. Nevertheless, the sequence comes to an end on August 6th 2021. I hope that you have enjoyed the rodeo: to all quotidians out there- thanks for your support. Update 2 [26/09/2021] I have continued to podcast after the original series reached its conclusion on August 6, 2021.
Each week, until December 17, 2021, I will produce a podcast featuring one song from the folk tradition of the English-speaking world and one original composition. Then, after a break where I plan to go on holidays with the family, I will return in January to continue the series.
And so, the series continues. I have adapted two of the blog items from my site for podcast: between 4 January-7 January, 2022, I have subsumed Making the Living Poetry, in four parts, into Letters From Quotidia Episodes 171-174. Between 10 January and 14 January; then 17 January and 21 January, I adapt And Leave Him There, in 10 parts for podcast, comprising Letters From Quotidia Episodes 175-184.
From Friday 28 January, 2022, I will resume podcasting once a week where I present a new recording of a folk song from one of the traditions of the English-speaking world, and an original composition with a short spoken mini-essay on each. The aim I have set myself, is to continue these podcasts, published each Friday, until podcast Episode 200 which, all being well, touch wood and Deo Volente, will be published on Friday the 13th of May! 2022. On this (auspicious or otherwise) date I will take stock of where these podcasts have taken me (and my listeners) and either declare that date a terminus or merely another stop on the journey through the strange land of Quotidia.
Below are 120 blogs that comprise The Summa Quotidian on which the Letters from Quotidia podcasts are based. This is followed by 120 blogs that comprise A Bit of Banter on which the Postcards Edition of Letters From Quotidia are based. These contain visual text to supplement the written text. For those who prefer to consume text through the ears rather than eyes, the podcasts are recommended.
A Bit of Banter- Banter is a folk group from Western Sydney. They play songs from (and inspired by) the folk traditions of Ireland, Australia, Britain and North America. Presented in the traditional 12 item CD format, I had finished five such groupings and started a sixth. Then I slacked off in 2018 until the pandemic hit in 2020. From the fourth song in Banter VI on, I have recorded 55 songs in lockdown in 56 days- the group, like the crew of The Irish Rover, has therefore, in terms of these recordings, been reduced down to one- me.
96- Joe Hill (redux)
101- A Bunch of Thyme( Redux)
Outliers There are two major song collections on this site, The Summa Quotidian and A Bit of Banter. Each contains 120 songs. This collection will be much more modest, comprising those songs composed in lockdown from mid-2020 on, and quirky songs which make their way to the surface from a time long, long ago (or it might well be yesterday)- and were thrown a lifeline-or maybe just thrust into the pitiless glare of the limelight…
…And Leave Him There is a playscript. (20,000+ words anyone?) Set on the morning of the 11th of September, 2001, in Manhattan, New York City, it encapsulates the tag of this blog: a tale of three islands, Aruba, Ireland and Australia. The songs, which form part of the play, are all accessible as part of The Summa Quotidian. Update: this playscript is being adapted for presentation as a 10-part podcast between 10 January and 14 January; then 17 January and 21 January, 2022.
Making the Living Poetry by Quentin Bega This is a memoir in verse which bridges my first stint as a teacher in Australia, and my first encounter with unemployment upon my return to Northern Ireland. (Again, songs included here can be heard in The Summa Quotidian.) This verse memoir has been adapted for presentation as a four-part podcast between 4 January-7 January, 2022.
Wollongong Sonnets Here is a crown of sonnets. First published in 1978 in Poems in Public Places, a real, published poet told me they were the first authentic poems of mine he had read. (He was wont to pour scorn on various effusions I had shown him over the previous five years…) These sonnets can be heard as part 3 of the podcast series from Making the Living Poetry, above.
Quentin Bega is introduced as a character from a novel. This is the first chapter. Whether there are to be any more chapters is in the lap of the gods.
Feel free to leave a comment on any aspect of these posts. All such commentary will be thoughtfully considered…