Delighted to offer this space to a post by ATW regular Seimi! Make sure you read it. Hope you will join me in giving a warm welcome to Seimi as a sometime contributor. ATW is a place for broad minds and strong opinions!
“Last August, in Belfast, three giants of Northern Irish politics met for the first time, to thrash out the ‘Northern Irish Problem’. Over a civilised glass of ruby-red port, these three intellectual and political Colossi, these Three Wise Men from the North, argued and debated heatedly, countering each stinging verbal attack with their own bone-jarring counters. The port flowed, shocked patrons of the Gentleman’s Club in which this meeting of minds took place, stared in awe at this Battle Royale of intellect and wisdom.
Or, to put it another way – last August, Me, David and Paul McMahon met for a pint and talked about all you lot.
I won’t go into detail about what and whom we discussed (it’s on a ‘need to know’ basis, all very hush-hush), other than to say that David, having foolishly ordered a third sparkling water and losing all inhibitions, gazed at us in an aqua-induced stupor, and said, “If either of you guys want to write something for the blog, just send it to me and I’ll post it.”
Those 21 words, so casually thrown out in the Crown Bar, Belfast, may come back to haunt him one day. In fact – they just have.
With David’s kind permission, and your kind indulgence, I will post occasionally here. I say occasionally, as my life is so full at the minute, that parts of it have started to spill over the edge and seep through my grasping fingers – mainly the parts involving me having a social life.
Although I do, on occasion, delve into NI politics, my interests really lie in culture and history. My posts will, for the main part, reflect this, as I attempt to show people here a different side to life in the north of Ireland.
Daphne reminded me recently that I ‘chided’ her over some remarks she made about life in Belfast. I would like to draw a pen-picture of what life is really like here, for those who were raised and live here. This will also include some local history, which does extend a bit further than riots, mayhem and supposedly unsinkable ships.
Mairin2 showed an interest a week or two ago in improving her Irish. I would love to write something about the language. I was raised with Irish as my first language, and learned most of my early English from my maternal grandparents. The language is part of who I am. I am employed as Development Officer with an Irish language organisation. My kids all speak it too. I have been involved in its resurgence here since I was a child. The Irish language surrounds us here in NI, in our placenames, street names, surnames etc. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to show you this.
None of what I write will be intended to offend, or insult others’ beliefs. I always try to respect others and see their side of things. If anything I write does annoy/upset/anger you, please don’t hesitate to inform me.
I look forward to the debate. We shall meet at Philippi. “