Bring Us More Whisky!

UPDATE: The Water of Life has its very own website!

Attention whisky lovers, history buffs, avid readers and fans of vivid storytelling!

For the last couple of years, I’ve invested a great deal of time, energy and love into translating a fantastic, award-winning French-Canadian novel called L’eau de vie (Uisghe beatha) by Daniel Marchildon from French into English. This is a story all about whisky and whisky-making, a historical epic which dances between times and places in Scotland and Canada, and also a family saga full of mystery. I’m really gripped by this book, I feel it should be shared with a wider audience – and that’s why I’m excited to announce that my English-language translation, The Water of Life, will be published quite soon (July 15th 2015) by Odyssey Books!

I look forward to sharing The Water of Life with the world. Slàinte (cheers)!



Whisky, uisge beatha , water of life

“After Auchentoshan”

Chug-a-chug-a, chug-a-chug-a

rattling into the hills

on a small train

green grey brown flash past,

bridges and sheep flicker

in the corners of your eyes.

It’s been a day of big oak barrels, gleaming copper,

cool underground smells, heady fumes.

A bottle of dark gold

whisky uisge beatha water of life

nestles like a curled-up story in your bag,

waiting for dark after-supper time

when hot-coal colours flicker in the fireplace,

familiar well-loved voices warm the air,

talk is long and slow,

hummed notes distill

into bright rich song.

~ Marta Ziemelis. Written in Glasgow and Dubai, copyright August 2013.

Auchentoshan is the name of a whisky distillery near Glasgow, which I toured on my recent visit to Scotland (more about the trip in this post). Part of my reason for going to the distillery was research for a translation project I’m currently working on, and the other part was sheer curiosity. Definitely an intense place – I think I’m beginning to understand why whisky has the potential to fascinate people so much. Slàinte!