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
On Being Irish March 10, 2021 by Una Suseli O'Connell - At the turn of the last century, my Great Uncle Jack was banished by his Catholic father in Ireland for dating a Protestant girl. Henry left money on the kitchen table, together with a note, instructing his eldest son to buy a one way ticket to America. I tried, for many years, to find a… Read More
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