Picking up where I left off..

Thinking about it, I have been picking up and leaving off various blogs for a decade. Generally it’s quite easy to come and go, metaphorically picking the pen back up after a few blank pages or, if too many chapters have passed, starting fresh with something new and allowing the predecessor to gather dust on some forgotten shelves of the internet. But in this case, even though it’s been a year since I put pen to paper here, it doesn’t feel necessary to start fresh.

Which is odd, because in every other respect, I have done.

It’s a long, and at times, a bit of a sticky story, but the facts are that last Easter my view of the future changed dramatically. In July, I made a decision. In August I accepted a dream job in the city I had left aged seven, and been heart sore for since. In September I said goodbye to friends and loved ones in the city I had called home for twelve years, and took a one-way flight home.

I settled in. I was fortunate to have family to stay with while I got on my feet. In December I found a house in a neighbourhood I had adored from afar for years. In the first few days of January 2020, I moved in. Again, I settled in, feeling right at home. And thank goodness, because in March, we went into lockdown.

And every day since, I’ve counted my lucky stars that I am here, in Dublin, in a house I can call home, with a garden, and sound housemates, and tree-lined roads and nearby parks to run through, and a job that I love, with a network of friends, family and colleagues on the other side of a Zoom call. Like everyone else, I can’t wait until this is all over, but I have family in hospital, a grandparent cocooning, friends and family working on the front line, if the only thing I can do to help us all get through this alive and well is to stay at home, I will do it.

I miss Liverpool. I miss my friends and family there. But I am home.

Which is perhaps, 12 months later, why I find myself back on these pages, picking up where I left off, still eating, reading and rambling (within a government mandated 2 kilometre radius for the time being), and without the same distractions of everyday life, returning to the age-old storytelling I’ve been doing for over a decade now. Even though everything has changed, some things never will.

So, here I am, adding to the internet clutter yet again with a few words and heavily edited pictures, telling some stories. At least until the pubs reopen anyway…

Digging by Seamus Heaney

This month I made a trip home for the first time since last Christmas. It is perhaps the longest period I’ve gone without at least a flying visit and although this trip was less than a week, we managed to take in the three places closest to my heart – Dublin, Donegal and Tyrone.

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April Reads

Again, another interesting pairing to read so soon in succession. The Glorious Heresies and The Scarlet Letter are divided as much by time and geography as any moral high ground and yet there were still comparisons to be made and similarities to be noted. I haven’t embarked on this year’s reads with any kind of academic or philosophical considerations in mind but, much like in life, these things have presented themselves anyway.

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