Locked Down. Locked Up. March 3, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - The end is in sight. If we do as we’re told, many of the restrictions on our daily lives will be lifted on June 21st.  Naturally, I’m delighted and excited. Dan and I will get to see family and friends again, eat out in our favourite restaurant, go to the theatre, swim at the pool,… Read More
It’s in the Blood February 22, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - I live in Letchworth, the World’s First Garden City. Population 33,600. Founded in 1903, the town is also known for its religious freedom and spiritual diversity. Over the course of its one hundred and eighteen year history, it has welcomed Anglican, Catholic, Liberal Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, Congregationalist, Pentecostalist, Theosophist, Spiritualist and Quaker. Today there are… Read More
Wilhelm Tell’s Daughters February 13, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - In her final year at the University of Bristol, our daughter, Lucy wrote an essay she titled: Wilhelm Tell’s Daughters - The Myth of Autonomy and the Long Road to Women’s Self-determination in Switzerland. My English grandmother, Grace was given the vote in 1918. Lucy’s two Swiss grandmothers were not authorised to vote, in either… Read More
In the Green Room February 5, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - And I do choose life. Every day. I choose life in all its complexity; aware of its beauty, its pain, its hope, its fragility, its love. Life, I believe, is a gift of unimaginable proportions. I don’t know what the future holds – for me or the world – but I have faith in the extraordinary power of humanity. I am… Read More
Bones and Bricks January 30, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Any intervention must come to terms with the structure of the place   Luigi Snozzi   (1932 – 2020) Switzerland’s most famous architect is undoubtedly Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965).  Luigi Snozzi is a name that is less well-known outside his home country. He died last month of Covid in Minusio near Locarno. Snozzi believed that understanding… Read More
A Pied Piper in Switzerland January 27, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Tomorrow was created yesterday. To ignore history is to ignore the wolf at the door.                                                                         John Le Carre The Swiss government has recently admitted to ‘oversights’ in adoption regulations that resulted in 900 babies from Sri Lanka being illegally sold to Swiss parents between 1973 and 1997. Following an in-depth investigation, prompted by a… Read More
The Last Men on the Moon December 14, 2020 by Una Suseli O'Connell - A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, so does God. That’s why you can see the Grand Canyon from the Moon. from Jellyfish by Andrea Gibson. Today would have been my father’s 102nd birthday. December 14th also marks the day, forty-eight years ago, that the last men walked on the Moon. Read More
Two Quilts December 9, 2020 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Part One 1973 My mother’s favourite television programme in the 1970s was The Waltons. The series tells the story of a three generation Baptist family living in rural Virginia during the Depression. Critics considered the show naive and sentimental, but its dedicated followers found it charming and sensitively written. I liked it because there were… Read More
Kris Kringle Associates December 6, 2020 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Fifty years ago this week, my husband, Dan was hired by Kris Kringle Associates to be the Sears Roebuck Santa Claus in Oak Brook, Illinois. Dan was eighteen, working the night shift at MacNeal Memorial Hospital in Berwyn and saving for a trip to Europe. Every afternoon, he would hitch-hike to Sears, make his way… Read More
I’m a Human Being and You’re a Human Being too November 3, 2020 by Una Suseli O'Connell - One bleak winter afternoon in 2013, I typed the words Rustic cabin on the water, North Carolina into a search engine. I had never heard of Harkers Island but the salt-stained, wooden cottage with its floor-to-ceiling windows and views across open water to Shacklelford Banks, looked perfect. Shackleford is home to a herd of wild… Read More