preparation for student life

I lived in a small town in the west. We had fields behind, a lake in front, lakes all around. Far enough from the border for it not to loom, close enough for it to be an everyday reality. Regular life in Northern Ireland in 1982.

But changes were ahead. I was planning on going to university. I didn’t know any students. Past pupils from my school came home at Christmas, smug and worldly wise, too busy being grown up to discuss their new lives.

I’d intended to go to England, but wasn’t brave enough to head away into the world on my own. Belfast was far enough.  I’d never stayed there overnight. Belfast was scary, but at least my accent would be understood there, and I could go home anytime I wanted. Small steps.

We all prepared for my student life together: Herself, the Old Man, the Brother and I learned everything we needed to know from TV. We laughed and winced and cringed and learned a whole new vernacular.


Rik Mayall died yesterday. Thank you, Rik for all the family fun.*


*not “family friendly”


3 thoughts on “preparation for student life

  1. The passing of a beloved “character” and actor can really throw me into a fit of nostalgia. We seem to unconsciously identify points in our lives with the media we enjoyed. I’m sorry for his passing, and thank you for the name mention. We watch a lot of “British Imports” and most of the time I don’t know names to associate with faces. I’ll be aware. This clip was quite funny. 🙂

  2. The ‘Trouble’ -I don’t know, nor understand how people live amidst conflict and turmoil, but they do some how carry on. I almost asked where does the strength come from, but I think you answered my question – ‘herself, the Old Man, the Brother and I’. Learning a new vernacular, in part, one the reasons I tune into and others I follow. I wish had time to follow others but life and my own regionalism takes the stage. I had not seen the Young Ones before nor knew who Rik Mayall was -but I do now.

  3. gutted. My brother and I were just facebooking about Rik Mayall last week, and started trading all the classic Rik lines we’d memorized from The Young Ones. Best two years of comedy. Genius, genius, man.

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