These days, it seems possible that donating £3 million to the Tory Party can buy you a seat in the House of Lords, and with it, should you be interested, the opportunity to influence British legislation for the rest of your life. This bizarre possibility only occurs because members of the House of Lords are […]
Author: Judi Sutherland
Judi Sutherland is a scientist and writer who has lived all over England, including six years in County Durham. Recently she has emigrated to the Republic of Ireland as a 'trailing spouse' and can be found in North Dublin County. Her first book pf poetry, 'The Ship Owner's House', was published by Vane Women Press in 2018.
“The country I live in is called Ireland.” Judi Sutherland looks at the language, the history and a bit more.
Milo said it had to be a Pilsner dry as a saint’s bones, so we invited Tomasz, the Czech craft brewer, who brought yeast through Heathrow in a plastic bag. We used pale malt, a complicated mash, Saaz hops (minty, grassy, herbal); ran a slow fermentation, then we lagered it cool in the tank for […]
I found this reel of cotton in my sewing basket, and I don’t remember how it got there. It’s obviously old, from the style of the label, and the fact the reel is wooden rather than plastic. Maybe my mother acquired it in the mid-1960s when our family spent a couple of years in Antrim. […]
I’ve been quiet for quite a while from my new home in Ireland. We’ve been buying a house and settling in, which was a lot of work, and getting vaccinated (my car died in a plume of smoke as I drove to the vaccination centre – I don’t want to talk about it). It turns […]
I’m guessing Amazon will be thinking hard about starting up an Irish website and sourcing products from places other than the UK. We heard rumours in late December that they have been searching for warehouse space in Dublin. In the meantime, we’ve been advised that the best thing to do is to open an account with Amazon.de, which has an English language option. There is of course no reason why a product made in China for a Dutch company should have to go anywhere near the UK, but like so many companies that have hitherto treated the UK and Ireland as a single entity for trade purposes, Amazon seems not to have thought this through – yet.
In these northern latitudes, the light is sparse and winter bares its white and weathered fist against the fastnesses of night. We decorate the darkness, cannot stand its plain finality. Daub it with tinsel dress it in baubles, switch on season’s greetings in the streets. Perhaps God is dead; perhaps the shortest day will dwindle […]
Here in Ireland we had a longer autumn lockdown than you’ve suffered in the UK, including a 5km travel restriction from mid-October to December 1st, and even now, a request to stay within our county. In our case, that would allow us to sample the delights of Dublin City, but we have restrained ourselves, having no wish to actually go looking for the virus, like the famous shellfish vendor; “She died of a fever, and no-one could save her, and that was the end of poor Molly Malone”.
I don’t feel responsible for what happened long before I was born. At the time of the Great Hunger, my ancestors were living lives of rural poverty as farm labourers in Scotland and England. None of them would have been able to vote for the British government that despised the Catholic Irish and conspired to keep them in poverty. I don’t feel responsible, but as an Englishwoman in Ireland, I have to be sensitive to the difficult history of our two countries. As last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests indicated, we Brits have a lot to learn about our country’s history of colonial rule.
At night, when the last train rumbles to the depot and the piston-draught dies down, the night shift keeps its silent hours; cleaning, repairing, watching CCTV screens of empty platforms, shutting down electrics with a key; trackwalking near Stockwell, where an engineer holds a Tilly lamp – he died in 1950 – and cowled monks […]
“Parkinson’s Law –
“Work expands so as to fill the time available to complete it.”
CN Parkinson, 1955
I think everything has changed. The smashed fragments are still in the air, so we’ll have to see what happens when or if things settle. What will the new ‘normal’ look like? Search me. I know I’ve had to get used to reading to my own face on a screen at Zoom events, which is weird!
Ireland, although about one-fifteenth the size of the UK, is facing many of the same challenges. So it might be interesting to look at the different reactions and consequences of some recent events in Ireland, remembering the aftermath of similar events in the UK.
We didn’t set out to become Brefugees. What happened to us may well become more and more common as the UK’s Brexit recession sets in.