Terms of endearment


For those of you not living in Northern Ireland, the past few weeks have seemed surreal. Up until today our weather was mediterranean almost mediterranean in quality, with bright sunshine every day and even a little considerate dew in the morning to keep the plants happy. All the news was good, and there’s still hardly a cloud in sight. Little update below the foldHaving grown up partly in Ireland and having been very involved with the politics of the place, and felt I had a reasonable understanding of the comings and goings, the complexities, the raw feeling that drove our conflict. I once met Ian Paisley in the 1970’s and although he was unfailingly polite to our delegation, he terrified me!
Like many others, I think I have been just a little suspicious of this recent outbreak of love and understanding. Unfortunately, I think many of us are waiting for it to go tits up, in a manner of non-sexist speaking.

Well anyway, this morning I was gently waking from my slumber trying to take things easy after a little episode recently. In the background, I heard the unmistakeable Martina Purdy doing a piece on Marty and the Doc. She re-played the Jose Manuel Barosa incident, and when Martin McGuinness was asked how he felt about Paisley calling him ‘Deputy’, he replied that he felt it was meant in an endearing way. He calls him Ian you see, and thinks that they are getting on just magically.

Well, that was that for me. I am now convinced that either the end of the world is nigh, or we are all collectively asleep and will wake sharply from this pleasant land of make believe. Lets all just hope that what we are not doing is sleep walking into another nightmare.

wee bit extra:

I hadn’t really considered that the Sheriff (I like that, thanks Aldamir), had actually been taken away by aliens, or indeed by the fairies like a changeling in the old Irish fairy tales. But then I read Suzanne Breen’s piece and I felt dizzy.

Indeed, Paisley thinks the Republic’s politicians should pay heed to what’s happening across the border: “They’re tearing strips of each other down there,” he says (with obvious delight). “They should learn to love one another, to copy the example of the hate-mongers in Northern Ireland!”

And do you know that feeling when you suspect (gasp) that your parents might be sexual (yeuch):
His only complaint is that family life has suffered in recent weeks: “I hardly see Eileen at all. I’m out with the girlfriend, Miss Work, all the time and she’s a terror – a real slave driver. I will be glad to get back to the soft, tender embrace of Eileen when things settle down.”

Anyway, you couldnt make this stuff up, so it must be happening.

  • Merrie

    Miss Fitz

    Quoting an important man:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers…”

  • austin

    That very nicely summed up the strangely unseasonal weather and the even more surreal political situation.

    Hope you are recuperating well, Miss Fitz.

  • Miss Fitz

    Thank you kindly Austin, I am just grand!

    Merrie, I cannot disagree with you, but I cannot be wholly accepting just yet……..

    I remember a couple of years ago, I was working for a large charity in Belfast. I suggested to the Director that we should join up with a simialr charity in the South to do an ‘all island’ event, a national tea day. (This was before every charity was doing them so no groans)

    She appeared to consider my suggestion, but in the end she decided it was safer not to proceed in case ‘this peace thing doesnt work out.’

    Good old Ulster suspicion, where would we be without it?

  • Aldamir

    “Up until today our weather was mediterranean in quality, with bright sunshine every day….”

    Sorry, but I have just returned to Northern Ireland after living abroad for the last year and 15C is not “Mediterranean”.

    “….when Martin McGuinness was asked how he felt about Paisley calling him ‘Deputy’, he replied that he felt it was meant in an endearing way.”

    If Martin is the Deputy is Ian the Sheriff??

  • austin

    I had the same experience when I worked for an NI Charity helping homeless people. This Charity was very wary of engaging in joint-fundraising initiatives at all with a Charity from the South which shared the same name and purpose.

    The reason cited was the risk of alienating funders (probably true, sadly) but I found it a bit disheartening that our homeless people, like our graveyards, needed to be segregated as well.

  • Dewi

    Miss Fitz ! – U r either bickering or absurdly cheerful ! – Enjoy your summer – things are looking up !

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve had a number of heart attacks Miss Fitz and the most important thing is to get to the hospital immediately you have unusual chest pain. A lot of people die because they go into denial and wait. Hospitals don’t care if you come in with a false denial.
    The problem with women having heart attacks, of course, is that they often don’t have the same symptoms as men.

  • joeCanuck

    false alarm

  • missfitz

    Joe, having treated so many people over the years in the ER having their MI’s, I was genuinely totally convinced it was the ‘big one’. Felt like an eejit of course, but every health care professional I came across said the same as you. Better be safe than dead.

  • merrie

    Mary McAleese thinks this is a bit of a miracle too:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6621715.stm

  • JG

    “though I’d rather have been down there 300 years ago giving a helping hand to a certain Dutch duke!”

    Silly man! the Pope of the time was Italian!

  • joeCanuck

    It seems that humour is verboten.
    A certain dour religionist I guess.