Home Comforts–and Ugly Reminders

I find myself on the same stretch of the Ravenhill Road where I had a flat thirty-five years ago. Then, I chose not to notice the ragged flags that shawled every lamppost, flapping damply in the wind. I ignored the murals glorifying terrorism on gable ends. Today it is rather a shock to find the same flags–red, white and blue; orange and purple–flying still. There is fresh paint on the UVF mural on the corner opposite the wee shop selling filled sodas, bacon baps and sausage rolls. They have an Ulster Fry to go. Can’t wait, but must: I am in quarantine for two weeks.

From the kitchen window, I can see the twin cranes of Harland and Wolff. The room that will be my office boasts a view of Napoleon’s nose. These reassuring landmarks are visible from almost every part of the city, forcing me to confront why I looked for a place to live only in South and East Belfast, and never considered North and West. I am more of a tribalist than I choose to acknowledge, I realise now I’m ‘home.’

About Liz Barron

Returned US Peace Corps Volunteer (Armenia 17-19). Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger, cook, painter, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveller.
This entry was posted in Belfast, identity, Northern Ireland. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Home Comforts–and Ugly Reminders

  1. Peter Weil says:

    Dear Liz,

    Welcome home! I hope your flight went well and that the experience wasn’t too horrendous. .

    You’ve certainly chosen a challenging time to come home. Although we can’t actually meet up at present ( FX: sounds of relief from somewhere on the Ravenhill Road), I’m always available for gossip and the spreading of petty malice and spite through Zoom (sounds of boking from the Ravenhill Road).

    All best wishes,

    PF xx


  2. Louise says:

    If you need anything while you’re isolating Liz just ask xx


  3. Liz Barron says:

    Thanks so much Lou


  4. Paul Prentiss says:

    céad míle fáilte!


  5. goris.tours says:

    Hope you will be happy there, Dear Liz.


  6. Denise Force says:

    Glad you arrived safely.
    Good luck with quarantine.


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