I’ve missed the past few BEDN posts, I’ve tried playing catchup but failed on it so today is a new day!
Today’s prompt is to write about your hometown. I’m a Belfast girl born and bred and even though it can get a bit of negative press at times I am proud to say that’s where I come from. It’s a fascinating city steeped in history and culture but also benefits from being on the coast. That’s something I struggle with now I live so far inland. Having the coast on your doorstep gives a sense of freedom and reminds me that there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.
Belfast is a divided yet united city. Yes there is the issue of religious divides but that divide is growing smaller with each new generation. I grew up in one of the high conflict areas that is often on the news but as a little kid I wasn’t really aware of the Troubles; seeing a soldier crouched behind my garden wall was perfectly normal. Our house was right on a peaceline and we knew as kids that once stones started being thrown over from the other side we had to come in. It was a strange time to live but it was our normality. A few years ago I brought some English friends over for a visit to show them the murals where I grew up. We then got a taxi into town but when the taxi driver realised my friends hadn’t seen the Shankill yet (a highly Loyalist area of the city) he removed the badge of his taxi from the window as it was a catholic taxi firm and gave my friends a guided tour.
The 30 years of the Troubles really pulled the city apart but everyone has worked so hard to build it up to the wonderful city it is today. World leaders have visited and we have hosted the MTV EMA awards. When I talk to my parents and they think back to how things were during the height of the Troubles they said they could never have imagined that it would be the city it is today. Our long term goal is to move back there, one day we will!
Yes there are some muppets who are determined to halt the peace process but they are in the minority. It really is a gem of a city and when you think of visiting Ireland, don’t just think of going to Dublin, take a wee trip up to Belfast too!
I haven’t got many photos to hand that show off the city well so all of these have been pinched from google!
|The house I lived in until I was 12, you can just see the peaceline behind the trees.|
|One of my favourite murals|
|Belfast Castle - not really a castle but a stunning building|
|City Hall, it's always reminded me of a mini White House|
|The cranes, I love that you can see these from many different points in the city|
|Titanic, a new visitors centre that has recently opened. A wonderful piece of architecture and a beacon of positivity for the city|
I can't wait to catch up on everyone else's posts about their hometown.