This Place, These Experiences

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about my experiences, good and bad, growing up in Northern Ireland. It sparked a few interesting conversations, and I guess I felt that it deserved a bit of a follow up.

Maybe it was my fault for writing in to vague & generic a tone. I don’t mean to paint N.I. with such broad strokes… for all it’s size, it is an incredibly diverse little country.

My post was written from a deeply personal perspective; shaped by my experiences growing up there. Others have had completely different experiences, no less valid.

The post was coming from a place of truly grappling with my past for the first time; with being ready to start to face the fears and hurts I carry from it, as well as the joys.

Those experiences I wrote of come from a particular set of circumstances.

It comes from growing up in the D.U.P. heartland, “Ulster Says Never” area.

It comes from watching a friend be run out of her home because she was the “wrong” religion for the village.

It comes from a lack of space to question.

It comes from attending 5 funerals by the age of 23, only one of which was for someone above the age of 30.

Those are a few of the things that have shaped, moulded, and marked me. They are (some of) what I wrestle with in my dark nights. So, please forgive me if my previous post was too broad-sweeping and perhaps not quite honest enough. It’s all a learning curve, right?

Giant’s Causeway

Months ago, one of my Glasgwegian buddies came to visit me in Northern Ireland, and we did a little sightseeing…


Got to hear one of my favourite bands play last night at King Tut’s in Glasgow, NEEDTOBREATHE. At the end of the gig, they played one last song all acoustic… got off the stage and walked right over in front of me, where they promptly stood/sat down & played.

So close, in fact, that the drummer bashed me a time or two with his tambourine.

It was a beautiful thing. Music to heal the soul.

Here’s a little video I shot on my phone – you can’t see much as there were (obviously) no stage lights, but the sound still comes out…