My new job at the Ulster Historical Foundation has had the benefit
of trips to America. I got home twice last summer, first via Washington
DC, and then again for a genealogy exhibition in Fort Wayne, Indiana. [Madame Oui] originally despaired with my rekindled interest in “chasing
dead people”, but I’ve helped her learn more about her own ancestors,
so she’s a little more tolerant.
We managed a few excellent holidays this year. In early June we
discovered Cyprus and loved it. Friendly people, gorgeous weather,
delicious wine and food. A highlight was driving a 4×4 over rocky
terrain to get to Lara Bay, a turtle sanctuary. We also spent a
romantic evening in Latchi, where the hotel owner told us his story of
meeting Prince Philip.
We also spend a weekend in Berlin in October. For me I was a little
worried about a bittersweet trip nostalgic, as I was last there in
December 1989, participating in those historic events. Yet it was a
great time. We had afternoon tea in the roof garden restaurant at the
Reichstag, and took a thoroughly enjoyable bike tour to all of the main
sights. It was also a great opportunity for [Madame Oui] to see some long lost
friends. We’ll be back again.
Although no longer working for the party, loyalty and duty compelled
me to fly the flag, as it were, and stand as an Alliance Party
candidate in the Fermanagh & South Tyrone constituency, in the
elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in March. There was
absolutely no prospect of actually getting elected, but I was flattered
by my boss’s concern if I did!