Vegetable Roll, courtesy of McCartneys of Moira
And The Buntings Flew, Food, Reading and Books, Writing

8 Foods of Ulster featured in “And The Buntings Flew”

I recently read a great article in the Guardian Food in Books series by blogger Kate at The Little Library Cafe; - you can read the latest article here. Kate writes about the food that features in some of her favourite books, and she often recreates recipes for foods as described in such classics as To… Continue reading 8 Foods of Ulster featured in “And The Buntings Flew”

Poetry, Writing

Commission (Ezra Pound)

Not my poem, alas, but one that I wanted to feature here; it's always relevant for the poet, the writer, the artist. Go, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied, Go also to the nerve-racked, go to the enslaved-by-convention, Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors. Go as a great wave of cool… Continue reading Commission (Ezra Pound)

And The Buntings Flew, Language & Dialect, My writing, Writing

Writing With “Norn Iron” Words & Phrases

Wikipedia defines Norn Iron as "an informal and affectionate local nickname used... to refer to Northern Ireland, derived from the pronunciation of the words "Northern Ireland" in an exaggerated Ulster accent (particularly one from the greater Belfast area). The phrase is seen as a lighthearted way to refer to Northern Ireland, based as it is on… Continue reading Writing With “Norn Iron” Words & Phrases

Poetry, Writing

Hold The Front Page

I wrote (borrowed? appropriated?) this in 1999, using headlines taken from the 28th May 1999 papers;  I'm going to write a followup this May, as an interesting exercise in observing what has changed in 17 years, and what remains the same in absorbing us, news-wise. Tragedy of babies born into A BUS SHELTER CALLED HOME Ferguson’s £12million spending limit Upsets the Deaf War crimes move The start of the weekend SORRY SOPHIE We never meant to cause you distress Topless photo was a mistake – Two heads four legs and sex appeal!!! Ban on Viagra to cost millions… Continue reading Hold The Front Page

Poetry, Writing

For Boxer

 I wrote this poem last summer for a work colleague who really should ease up but on whom lots of us rely, daily.   Not tall, but sturdy London born. Not quite A Cockney. Unremarkable maybe except for That quiet determination, Hard as granite, soft as shit Your sentimentality Like jellied eels A backbone in the mush. A dying breed But don’t be dying, We need your help, as always. Your achievements chiseled from Honest dignity and care; You’re always there.