top of page
  • Writer's pictureLizzy Shannon

Sectarianism - the comedy

Day Four back in Northern Ireland. Despite some serious computer technical difficulties, I've managed to pick up the writing again. It's funny how I could write about the British stuff just fine in the States, but had to be back here for the Irish. Definitely worth thinking more on when I've time!

My Netbook appears to have gone on strike. It can barely open my Microsoft Word 2010. If it manages to, one time out of five attempts, it can only do it in safe mode. Otherwise it just tells me it doesn't have an internet connection, which it does. It won't recognize any of my flashdrives or SD card. I've run exhaustive virus and malware scans to no avail. I attempted a restore point, but the computer indicates there are none. Which is nonsense. I've had to do that a few times in the past couple of months, so I know there were previous points. It all indicates a virus, doesn't it? I'm damned if I can find any, though.

So, I ordered a new computer on It'll be great to have one based here, and keep the old one as a back up. I also splashed out and ordered a smart phone for here, too. So spoiled! Got used to my touchscreen Galaxy, and couldn't go back to my ancient Nokia non-smart phone that I keep for use here. For now I'm writing on Notepad, which works just fine. Better than nothing! Got through one of the most difficult scenes, (yay!) and now have carte blanche leading up to the finale.

Saturday evening, my brother and sister-in-law took me to a live performance in Belfast for a belated birthday present. It was called "Give My Head Peace" -- a theater adaptation of a popular television show here in Northern Ireland. I had a great time and laughed a lot, but it was certainly something I'd never seen the like of before. Sectarianism remains alive and well in Belfast! Basically, it's the Catholic Nationalists poking fun at the British Protestants, and vice versa. All done in fun, with gentle teasing. Thirty years ago the show might have ended in a bloody riot, but in the present it proves to be incredibly popular, with full houses all through its two-week run, and the only rioting is the riotous laughter throughout the show.

I don't know what to say about it all, to be honest. I spent way too many years forgetting about this kind of thing. But of course, the book has resoundingly brought it all back. I'm very glad that times have changed to the point people can laugh about it; that's maybe all I'll say until I've had time to marinate on it.

Twenty-one days until I go to Scotland to write the finale! In the meantime my writing is aided by genuine sound effects... across the bay on Ballykinler Army Base I hear the gentle patter of short machine gun bursts, as various groups including the police train there. Very thoughtful of them to provide such an appropriate sound backdrop. :-)


bottom of page