Norma Harpur

Norma Harpur. This is a name that the vast majority of you reading this will not know. However, I have come to realise that what I write, if it helps me or just one other person, then it’s worthwhile doing. Norma died last week, aged just 62, surrounded by three of her friends, one of which was my mum.

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Katch 27… again…

I’ve written twice about Katch 27 in Kircubbin here and here, but I feel it is worthy of another mention following my (long overdue) visit last weekend.

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Sinbad The Sailor

My last tradition of the Christmas season took me to Lagan Valley Island in Lisburn for ‘Sinbad The Sailor’, the annual pantomime from the Lambeg Players. My first experience of their annual pantomime was way back in January 1993 and we have been going as a family ever since, with this year being my 25th outing.

I’m always wary of the term “amateur dramatics”, as The Lambeg Players are anything but amateurs. They were formed in 1966 by the late Clifford Boyd OBE and rehearse in Harmony Hill Presbyterian church. As well as their annual pantomime, they perform several plays throughout the year, including a week at the Portrush Summer Theatre.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Everyone has different things they do at Christmas, and that is what makes it unique for each person. My traditions vary from the oldies, such as my Christmas Eve Chinese (don’t ask), to my more recent ones, such as seeing ‘Ireland in Christmas Praise’, performed by New Irish Arts.

If you haven’t heard of New Irish Arts before, they were formed in 1994 by the very well known contemporary hymn-writer Keith Getty. They continue to go from strength to strength and now have several hundreds members in both a choir and orchestra and they formed a Youth Choir a few years ago.

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Operation Mobilisation at 60 years young…

If you have been a follower of this blog for a while, you will have worked out that I am a big fan of New Irish Arts. Indeed it has gotten to the stage where members of the group refer to me as some sort of “groupie” and I think some start and get a bit nervous when I don’t show up to things.

It’s because of my (strange??) fascination with all things New Irish that I ended up in the Waterfront Hall last Saturday night for the 60th anniversary concert of Operation Mobilisation (OM).

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When a City stands United…

I had just gotten into bed on Monday night, stuck my phone on charge and left it on my beside table. It buzzed and something made me check it. It was a notification from Sky News and told of some sort of on-going incident in Manchester. I watched the rolling news for a while before I fell asleep.

When I woke up, I put the radio on and my heart sank, as it did after the 7/7 bombings and the more recent attacks in Nice, Paris and London. Some “man” decided that a group of young people out enjoying themselves, possibly at their first ever concert, were legitimate targets for his bomb.

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New Irish Arts present Ireland in Christmas Praise

I have several Christmas traditions. Some of them are strange, such as having a Chinese for dinner on Christmas Eve, but most of them are perfectly normal, such as always going to get our Christmas tree with my mum. One of my more modern traditions is heading to the Waterfront for Ireland in Christmas Praise, presented by New Irish Arts.

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Caught again at Katch 27

I first visited Katch 27 in Kircubbin in May with Maria, the niece of our former Spanish neighbours. She was boarding in Victoria College and my parents became her guardians when our neighbours, Pilar and Alejandro, moved back to Spain.

Alejandro and Pilar are over staying with us for a few days and following Maria’s positive comments about Katch 27, we decided to take them there for Sunday lunch.

TogetherPilar, Alejandro, mum, dad and me

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Hearing The People Sing at Les Mis

Friday 26st August took me to The Grand Opera House in Belfast. I’ve been to many shows in this fantastic venue over the years but it was my third time seeing a Belfast School of Performing Arts BSPA production, after seeing Les Misérables (Les Mis) in 2013 and West Side Story in 2015.

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The end result…

It would be impossible to not realise that A and AS Level results have been
published today and that GCSE results are to be published next week. As we are getting used to hearing every year, I am sure that UK pupils will again have “excelled” across the country and many will go on to further study at a university or college. But why does everyone put so much emphasis on results?

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