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”