Closing the Circle May 24, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - I was a free man in Paris. I felt unfettered and alive. Nobody was calling me up for favors. No one's future to decide.                                                               … Read More
The Beatle of the Bullring May 6, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - In 1959, my parents founded an English language school on the southeast coast of England and in 1970, The School of English Studies welcomed ‘El Cordobes’, Spain’s most celebrated bullfighter. I was eleven years old and had never heard of the man they called ‘The Beatle of the Bullring’, but I was fascinated by the… Read More
Guernica/Gernika April 8, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Gernika is the happiest town in the world. Its affairs are run by a group of peasants who meet beneath an oak tree and always make the fairest decisions.      Jean-Jacques Rousseau c.1760 From the village of Mundaka, we boarded a single-track railway line which took us through tidal flats and salt marshes, past… Read More
The Kindness of Strangers March 12, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Yesterday I lost my wallet. By late morning, having conducted repeated searches of the same pockets and all the rest, I decided that it was time to call the bank. My money was safe and that was a relief, but where was my velvet purse with its white beaded stitching? – a gift from a… Read More
Standing on the shoulders of giants March 3, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants  Sir Isaac Newton 1643 – 1727 Rikon, founded in 1926, is a leading Swiss brand of cookware. In the early 2000s, a factory worker, who had been with the company for many years, retired. His job had been to remove pans… Read More
A bell’s not a bell til’ you ring it. A song’s not a song til’ you sing it …. Oscar Hammerstein February 22, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - In 1953, my father, Peter O’Connell, was teaching at Groton School in Massachusetts. Shortly before he returned to England for the summer vacation, he was asked to direct Groton’s Bellringing Society for the autumn term. His understanding of the rules of bellringing was minimal and he decided to acquire as much knowledge and skill as… Read More
The Cornet January 27, 2022 by Una Suseli O'Connell - Chris is a soft-spoken, modest man who engages the world with a gentle smile and a kindly manner. Being around Chris always makes me feel relaxed and, for a few moments at least, I can lay aside some of the things I normally find tricky and sticky and painful. Chris recently appeared on The Repair… Read More
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