Let me tell you that I love you, and I think about you all the time…

So. My word, it’s been ages and ages. At least I can blame an Act of God – or for those heathens among you, a bloody great volcano – for my absence.  I’ve been holed up in Northern Ireland/Ulster/the north of Ireland  (delete as politically appropriate), enjoying the ministrations of a doting granny and grandpa who can whip up a tasty dinner as speedily as an overly complex plan for a simple day out.  Picnics, educational days out, nature, weather and physical activity abounded (what I gained in excellent meals I nearly lost in one run along the shore to Ballyholme), and I return fitter, cleverer, a little fatter, and far more ambitious vis-a-vis household chores than hitherto.

Another emotion stirred whilst across the water was that odd kindred link that prompted the naming of my children (meaningless to discuss here, as I don’t name the little diamonds, however you may infer that they’re rather Irish names).  In that weird way that we’re all familiar with, I’ve heard more about ‘The Troubles’ since my return than ever before.  In particular, the painfully beautiful poetry of Padraic Fiacc, featured on Radio 4. Hear his haunting and often unbearable poetry before 9th May on iPlayer.

I wonder if my children will ever understand the faltering explanation I muster regarding one of the most complex parts of the world. I hope they have the wherewithal to investigate further for themselves and to interpret what they discover with the vast empathy and understanding that is required so as not to take sides.

In the meantime, how do everyone and to those of you who had extended breaks, I hope they were in the main enjoyable and informative. Or that you got nice dinners too.  x

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