Category: Everything Else (Page 2 of 2)

One time at band camp…

I remember the day in primary school when someone from the City of Belfast School of Music (CBSM) came in to my classroom. She had all sorts of equipment with her and for whatever reason I was given a bit of hosepipe to blow into. Whatever my technique was, it was decided that I was destined to be a trumpet player and a few weeks later a brass Yamaha trumpet arrived and my association with the CBSM began.

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Memories of a great man

On Friday 21st December 2007 I was part of a group from the City of Belfast Concert Band playing carols in Forestside Shopping Centre, raising money for our tour to America the following summer. I was there with my cousin (also in the band), his parents and our granda.

My granda sat as close as he could to us both, feet tapping throughout, and seemed to be really enjoying his night. After I had been left home, my uncle was due to leave my grandfather home but phoned to say that my granda was complaining of not feeling well and that they were taking him to hospital where he was admitted.

The following day I was bag-packing (again as a fundraiser) in Sainsbury’s at Holywood Exchange. I noticed my dad outside a lot earlier than I was expecting him and he told me that my granda had died. A part of my world fell to pieces. This was the person who I had spent the majority of my summers with growing up, had travelling the length of Northern Ireland and further afield with and who I had seen on a daily basis for the majority of my life.

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For those in peril on the sea

It is Saturday 19th December 1981. The weather in Cornwall on the south coast of England is horrific – winds are gusting at up to 100mph (hurricane force 12 on the Beaufort scale) and waves are up to 60 feet (18 meters) high.

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Christmas time

You probably can’t have missed seeing or hearing about the Christmas advert for the German supermarket Edeka. It amassed nearly 30 million views on YouTube in under a week and tugs at the heartstrings. If you haven’t seen it you can watch it here and it is very similar to the John Lewis advert from this year – both of them show people who are lonely at Christmas.

john-lewis-christmas-advert-2015-screencapA still from the John Lewis advert “The Man on the Moon”

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To the memory of the fallen

The Poppy Appeal was launched in central London yesterday by David Cameron. The theme for this year is “To the memory of the fallen and the future of the living.”

Most people think that the Poppy Appeal is remembering solely British or Commonwealth soldiers. The fact is that it isn’t. World War I resulted in the 36th (Ulster) Division having over 32,000 soldiers declared dead, missing or wounded. The 36th (Ulster) Division was formed through the merging of the Ulster Volunteer Force (who were formed to fight against Home Rule), the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Of the nine Victoria Crosses awarded on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, four of them were awarded to 36th Division soldiers.

From 1914-1918, over 200,000 Irish people served in the British Army. Of these, over 49,000 Irish people paid the “ultimate sacrifice.”

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Irena Sendler

Have you ever heard of Irena Sendler? I only came across her name recently, so I wouldn’t blame you if her name wasn’t familiar.

She was born on the 15th February 1910 in Warsaw, Poland. When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the brutality of the Nazi occupation soon became apparent.

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The Thin Blue Line

It isn’t hard to have realised that the PSNI have started a new recruitment drive in the past week. Those on the outside will look at the job, will see the starting salary, will think that officers are overpaid and probably not think any more about it.

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