‘Blessed with Belfast Cousins’ by Ms Paige Turner
We landed at the George Best Belfast City airport last week and stayed at the Titanic Hotel. (The latter interestingly enough was the setting place of the Sunday Times Short Story comp this week with Danielle McLaughlin’s ‘A Partial List of the Saved’ bagging her £30,000.) My grandfather, who died seventeen years before I was born was a riveter on the Titanic and I hope it wasn’t his rivet that did it.
We place orange lilies and red roses on six graves at the cemeteries Dundonald and Rose Lawn and it was a joy to see my granddaughter Princess Maddie Moo Moo laying flowers on her great, great, great grandparents’ family grave. That would have been my grandfather’s parents’ grave if you are still with the arithmetic. My cousin Raymond collects us, pulls up beside the graves, opens the boot and gives us a bottle of water, scissors and tissues (for our hands).
After this customary visit, we are free to enjoy some Belfast booze and copious craic where my honorary cousin (I have 22 and Susan is a second cousin) pulled out some old black and white photos and I was able to show Miss Trial, Master Mind and Mister Justin Case who was who and who was buried with whom. Susan truly brought the older generation to the table and asked who was who and I actually felt like the older generation. It’s wonderful to have so many lovely cousins who turn up and talk about my dad as if he was here with a pint and not been gone for forty two years. It makes me feel like I have or had one.
At the end of the weekend we waved ‘goodbye’ to Miss Trial, Master Mind and Princess Maddie Moo Moo at the George Best Belfast City airport when Maddie with her almost three years said, ‘Goodbye. I’m going on my holidays now. I’m going on the plane and I will see you when I get back’.
In fact, Mister Justin Case and I were going off to the Giant’s Causeway for the week. I did notice that beside a big picture of George Best there was a sign saying ‘Multi-Faith Prayer Room’. Yes, I thought, only the Irish could name an airport after an alcoholic and a hotel after a sunken ship. But I do love them.
The next Creative Ink Evening workshop is on Wednesday 2nd October at 8.00pm in Amersham. £18 for a two hour workshop with me, Catherine’s ravishing refreshments and hand out sheets. Theme: Keys to the Door/Opening and Closing. Email me for further details.