Tag Archives: Specials

You South African beauty

Nelson MandelaWho could resist that winning smile? Well… 28+ years in prison proves there’s no accounting for taste.

What a beautiful man.

He may have been a bit of a rubbish MK leader of the armed struggle, but Rolihlahla the troublemaker went on to be the world’s most effective ambassador for peace and reconciliation in prison and afterwards. (Though here’s a less rosy view of Mandela’s legacy.) He changed tack on HIV/Aids too. If only more of us were able accept enlightenment.

I was fascinated with South Africa when I was young – one of the causes. So in 1984, when “Mary Manning of Kilmainham, a 21-year-old cashier” (as the song goes) and IDATU member was suspended for refusing to sell South African (apartheid) produce in Dunnes Stores on Henry Street in Dublin, Irish Anti Apartheid Movement members like myself got up to mischief at other Dunnes branches in support.

The strike never really grabbed the popular imagination in Ireland, but it also led to a law change on the import of apartheid produce to the country, and the strikers eventually had a street named after them in post-apartheid Johannesburg. Back then the strike made me proud to be Irish. (Here’s the song – I can’t find the Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger version.)

Nelson Mandela mural, Falls Road, Belfast 1988

Nelson Mandela mural, Falls Road, Belfast 1988

Nelson Mandela has long been (appropriated as) an icon in some parts of Belfast. However, to be fair to the appropriators, the same man seemed pleased and sympathetic.

I guess it was at least partly because of Madiba that I travelled to work and wander in South Africa. Lots of good times.

Among the highlights – taking a street paper seller to Cape Point (he was the only black visitor), operating an informal taxi service for the day round Khayelitsha Continue reading

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Surprise as parent wins wet t-shirt contest

Hee hee – it’s great isn’t it? Whatever you were hoping for can’t be any better than this pic.

It’s catch up time with some of the strong things other people are up to.

Ras Jacobson from the Lessons for Teachers and Twits blog (for which I once revealed a shocking piece of personal history* via here) accidentally stumbles on to someone in trouble in webland. Very challenging and involves annorexia. Have a look here to see how she handles it.

Noble Cause Corruption (a police officer posting anonymously) is Continue reading

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Euphemisms for… ahem… you know…

Death in the North is different. We don’t like to acknowledge the event. Down South they’re weeping and wailing and partying round the coffin.

But up North we don’t like to talk about it.

We come up with euphemisms instead.

He’s tatey bread Continue reading

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