Whatever you do – say nahim!- The way we were

Tis the Winter season –

Time to stay at home of a cold, snowy evening and enjoy a film!

I liked the name of this film.

And I liked the eye-witness testimony of the Falls Curfew

Which we described here


Confirmation of the eye-witness’s reports of lack of food in the area was the permission granted by the British Army officers in command  to go to the shops.

“Saturday 4 July 1970 The Falls Road curfew continued throughout the day

5.00 pm A British Army officer announced by loudspeaker that people could come out for one hour to secure vital supplies . There were scuffles between British soldiers and locals during that hour and even children did not escape the brutality. An eight-year-old boy had his head split open by a British army baton and was then refused permission to be taken out of the area for badly needed medical attention.”

Opinions on  the film vary

What a fantastic documentary. What we Irish had to put up with. Ending was superb and so poetic“.

“A great documentary and chilling to the bone

Something not right about this documentary, actors perhaps?”

What a fragmented, badly scripted documentary. Why could they not just shoot in chronological order instead of going back and forth with the timeline. Pointless!

Which means it should be thought-provoking or an arty-farty pseudo avant-guardish sorta production!

Make up your own minds!


Who was William John from Portadown? Part 2 – the Belfast linen Industry

Since this time of year is for story-telling, let’s continue with the tale of Anne and William John

You may remember they met at a dinner party  in the USA – Anne and her father having emigrated from Mayo after their homestead was destroyed in the Great Wind


William John was from Portadown,

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An Orange Lodge Grand Master”, whispered some of his descendants .

When he met Anne

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he was touring round the USA to source markets for his linen business.

He was  a “middleman” – buying cheap from the peasants who wove the linen and selling dear to anyone who would buy it. He was working on the cusp of linen industrialisation and he  certainly knew how to profit  as linen passed from being just produced locally to turning out  finished products in Belfast mills.

William John eventually acquired a large number of warehouses on Belfast docks and made his profits from buying cheap from the linen mills and selling dear to whoever would buy his linen ware –

Risultati immagini per hand painted irish damask linen


Risultati immagini per hand painted irish damask linen


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lace-trimmed tablecloths, sheets, towels, pillow-cases, shirts, chemises, petticoats.

Whatever you wanted for your person, house, shop or hotel, William John could find it or order it made, ship it to you and turn a pretty pound or more on it for himself.

Had he lived today he would probably have been an on-line sales billionaire!

He was charmed by Anne –

“an American wife is a great business asset”.

Her French-origin Irish Catholicism was easily overlooked.

Risultati immagini per I'll cross that bridge when I come to it

In Belfast. she could be passed off as a Hugenot” he reasoned to himself

there’s a nice Hugenot community in Lisburn, They’ve helped make Ireland the lead producer of linen.

That’ll do – she can be an American  Hugenot”

Risultati immagini per anne's thoughts

Anne liked William John. She liked his prosperity  and his business intelligence.

Like many Americans, she loved the idea of returning to  her homeland. From Portadown or Belfast she could travel to Mayo and look up family friends and relatives.

Irish Catholic peasants” thought William John  “There’ll be no visiting with themRisultati immagini per 19th century marriage proposal

She accepted his marriage proposal

She agreed that any male issue  would be brought up Protestant and the girls  in the Catholic faith

She soon found out William John was an arch controller.

As time went by,  she became a battered wife.

Refs and Pics






Remembrance Sunday – Trendspotting for Unionist Ladies!

A special post for all Unionist Ladies.

Yes indeed. I’m addressing  you and

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you two!

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I understand that to your great chagrin, the  “Poppy Kermesse” is over for another year.

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You will no longer  be able to phone in to object to  somebody on TV, the radio or playing football without  a Poppy.

Until this time next year you will no longer be able to complain, softly, softly,  sotto voce like all true, blue Ladies  about Poppy-less shoppers, shop assistants, bus drivers and so on.

Nothing but ingrates!

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I know you were  aghast to see posters like this


the horror

or this

But enough of politics. Today we are going to focus on much more serious issues.

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Poppy Fashion!

Have you Unionist Ladies spotted the latest trend?

One poppy is not enough!

Do you all   realise that fashion-wise you’re a  nobody unless you wear at least three Poppies ?

Preferably with a silver or silver-gilt brooch pinned underneath them


Better 5. Like HM. Lest we forget. Though forgetting is more than likely at her age.

Maybe her 5 poppies were less a fashion statement and more a pro memoria


Urgent Message to all Unionist ladies:

Fashion costs, Ladies! One poppy is not enough!

You have to  triple or quintuple your donations to the British Legion.

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Coming back to our home turf. Can I use the word “turf”  in the presence of  you Unionist Ladies?

Or is it too Irishy?

Maybe something like “Coming back to our home

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peat briquettes is better?


 The burning question is

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Will our Arlene update her look next year?

It looks as if she’s only got half a poppy today and that hat is so, so 1920s.

A half- upturned brim doesn’t bring it into the late 2010s.

But she’s taken one step towards  full fashion status!.

She’s got a silver brooch pinned on underneath her half-Poppy!

PS Why’s our Arlene wearing a line of ribbons? Where did she earn those medals? What did she do? When was she on Active Service?

NB  1 poppy is still enough for Unionist gentlemen (See Duke of Edinburgh above).

They put their hands in other people’s pockets, not their own!