The Child is Father of the Man January 6, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - January 5th, 2022 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer who died during his final journey to the Antarctic at the age of forty seven. In 2002, a television series, recounting the story of Shackleton’s 1914 journey to the South Pole, received international acclaim. As it was… Read More
Poppy December 1, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - In the spring of 2016 I was on a night flight out of Seattle. My travelling companions were two-year old Poppy and her mother. Poppy’s grandfather had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and they were flying to North Carolina to be with him. Poppy told me long stories in a language I didn’t understand,… Read More
The Tide is High but I’m Holding On. November 28, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Folkestone’s most famous Channel swimmer is undoubtedly the delightfully-named Sam Rockett who, following his success in 1950, trained Channel swimmers, managed the open-air pool and owned The Frogmore Tearooms in Sandgate Road. In 1987, Peter Jurzynski became the 329th person to swim the English Channel. Over the next twenty years he made the crossing from… Read More
The Nook November 3, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - My favourite vegetarian restaurant in Folkestone fell foul of the pandemic and is no more.  Its successor, The Nook is, however, a fine substitute. The eggy crumpets, soaked and fried on the griddle, topped with avocado, paprika and pea shoots are excellent and my American husband described his American pancakes as fluffy and delicious. Eleanor… Read More
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