Category Archives: Media

Novel Research, Kindness and Methodology

The third research trip for my novel started and ended with snow. My flight from Cardiff to Belfast was delayed by 23 inches of it near the airport and by another fall on the return but I encountered nothing other than warmth from the people I met in Northern Ireland.

It was a pleasure to spend time with teachers, schoolchildren, community workers, experts in Irish and Ulster Scots, journalists, farmers and agricultural experts. I also enjoyed two great reading gigs and came home with a prize certificate.

Receiving Commended certificate in Bangor Literary Journal 40 Words Poetry Competition from Poet, Moyra Donaldson

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Research Trip 3

The motto of Belfast on the carpeted floor of the City Hall: For so much received what return can we make? I’m looking forward to returning to Northern Ireland for my third research trip for my novel from 3rd to 19th March.

I hope to be mainly outside the capital this time but here are two of my favourite Belfast buildings: the Art-Deco former Bank of Ireland…

Bank of Ireland, Royal Avenue

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Novel Research, Kindness and Trauma

Research Trip 2 for my novel, from 21st January to 2nd February in Northern Ireland, gave me access to generously shared experience and expertise from writers, sociologists, historians, academics, journalists, teachers and an educationalist, former civil servants, librarians, language activists, clergy, lawyers, a farmer, a statistician, a youth worker and many who shared from the cutting edge of their painfully gained experience.

I was struck too by the kindness with which I was treated.

I cannot do justice to the events and individuals who gave me their time. I will, however, single out, among the public events I attended,  the conference organised by the Ulster University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences: Addressing the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma and Mental Illness in Northern Ireland.

I had noticed something of a narrative about Northern Ireland along the lines of: the effect of the Troubles is exaggerated; it’s all behind us now and I wanted to get beyond personal opinion to some facts about ‘legacy’ and ‘impact’.

Logo of the Institute of Mental Health Sciences, University of Ulster

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BBC Radio Wales Film Review 2017

With Nigel Ipinson-Fleming and, down the line, Peter Francis of Gladstone’s Library I had the fun job of helping review 3 of this year’s major films, hosted by Roy Jenkins, for All Things Considered:

I, Daniel Blake

A Quiet Passion

Hidden Figures

The programme will be broadcast on Sunday 10th December at 9.03am and will be available afterwards  at BBC podcasts

 

TV Commissioning: Demand & Supply

For decades I have, without knowing it, been walking past the place where Broadcasting in Wales began. It launched on 13th February 1923  in the building that’s now a NISA store, opposite Cardiff Castle. I spotted the commemorative plaque only recently.

Mostyn Thomas sings ‘Dafydd Y Garreg Wen’ in the first BBC broadcast from Wales, 1923

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