Sugar paper in the beaks of birds of paradise September 11, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - from ‘Last Words’ by Michael Symmons Roberts   (www.https://symmonsroberts.com) (i) You have a new message: Kiss the kids goodbye from me Keep well, keep strong, you know I’m sure, but here’s to say I love you. I lay these voice-prints like a set of tracks, to stop you getting lost among the tall trees beneath the… Read More
‘If a body catch a body coming through the rye’ September 9, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Our granddaughter has recently learnt to say ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’, sounds that are accompanied by an outstretched arm and a small wave. As any parent remembers and any grandparent knows, it is a captivating and charming development in the life of an infant. Thea is generous and inclusive with her salutations. She greets the lady… Read More
La Tavernetta: Portrait of a Landmark September 3, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - In the early 1960s, Felice Puricelli and his friend Romano came to Folkestone from the shores of Lake Como. They found work at the Metropole Hotel, one as a chef, the other as a waiter. In order to improve their English, they took afternoon classes at the School of English Studies and, in 1965, the… Read More
Manege Frei… Step Right Up … August 20, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - The Knie, Switzerland’s national circus, is back on the road.  Every year, during the third week in September, the Knie sets up on the Gurzelen Platz in Biel. Until I was six years old, Onkel Bobi always got us tickets to a matinee. Since 1926 the Knie has travelled across the country by train. Everything… Read More
The Unremembered is not Forgotten August 10, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - On July 22nd I heard the news that Chris Vickery had died. I hadn’t seen him since 1978, the year we left Folkestone to go to University. He went to Leeds to study Medicine. I went to Reading to read French. We all unfolded our wings and flew away. We became invested in other things… Read More
Under Wembley’s Lights July 9, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - I am in Chicago, where few people, it seems, are aware that there is a major football tournament happening in Europe. It’s rather refreshing. It is 55 years ago that England won the World Cup and ‘the beautiful game’ has changed almost beyond recognition. I do not, as a rule, follow football of any stripe.… Read More
World Cup 1966 June 29, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - My father wanted to create “a mini United Nations that really is united”, so he and my mother founded an English language school in Folkestone. In July 1966, Dad invited all the students to watch the World Cup final on our relatively modest television. I was seven years old and had absolutely no interest in… Read More
Tower House April 11, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Today, I am meeting my cousin, Mark at Tower House in Enfield, the former home of his grandparents, Leonard and Mabel Arnold. In his will, Uncle Leonard left the house to a charitable trust and in 1969 Tower House became Arnold House, a care home for physically disabled adults. In the summer of 2020, the… Read More
Gruezi, Salut, Ciao, Allegra April 6, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Our son-in-law is learning to speak Swiss-German, bravely seeking to communicate in his wife’s mother tongue. The first word he learnt was ‘Pferd’. He subsequently discovered that the Swiss word for horse is in fact ‘Ross’. It was a disappointing start but Mike was not discouraged.   My Anglo-Irish father also sought to speak his wife’s… Read More
Whose Life is it Anyway? March 22, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - As a Swiss passport holder I am legally permitted to travel to the country of my birth and enlist the support of Dignitas or Exit in order to end my life. In England, assisted dying is illegal. In 2002 Diane Pretty, who was suffering with advanced Motor Neuron Disease, was denied the right to travel… Read More