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Christmas under grey skies…

December 20, 2013

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…we can hope, because that might mean we get a little snow with the holidays. Under a Grey Sky will be cuddling up under a warm blanket by a lake for the next week or so, with service resumed in the New Year. So all that is left is to thank everyone who read and contributed to the site over the past twelve months. During this, the second year of Under a Grey Sky, we welcomed a lot of old friends to these virtual pages but also many new ones as well. No-one gets paid and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has shared their words and images with us.

On a personal level, Katrin and I have once again found that Under a Grey Sky has not only been a great place to collect our words, our thoughts, and what we capture through a lens, but also inspires us to get out the door and look for new adventures. This year we made it over to the United States as well as a couple of trips to England, but we have also enjoyed many smaller trips out from Berlin, up to the Baltic sea or the Oder river, the lakes and forests of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg, or even days exploring corners of our city both familiar and otherwise. Over the two years of the website it has definitely proved to be kick-start to get us out the door on a Saturday morning…

Hope you have a great couple of weeks and we will see you on the other side.

Music: Seanin and Trubadore

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Phil Scraton permalink
    December 20, 2013 10:17 am

    Thanks Paul and Katrin … and for sharing Seanin’s Berlin Christmas reflections. In the grounds of Belfast’s City Hall the Christmas market – a recent addition – has again been a great success. Last week the City Hall’s impressive front was lit spectacularly in the colours of the South African flag to honour Mandiba’s passing – perhaps the only non-contentious representation of a flag in this still divided city. Across Europe people will have read about the ‘incendiary devices’ left in busy areas downtown as minority ‘dissidents’ put violence ahead of peace. This has not been helped by the ‘Haas talks’ and the persistent intransigence of dinosaur politicians often defending the indefensible. And seemingly progressive attempts to ‘draw a line’ under the past fail to address the simple fact that in many unresolved cases, not least those involving state forces, the bereaved seek truth, acknowledgement and justice for their families. On the up side the optimism of the spirit (ahh Gramsci!) is such that people have defied the publicised ‘threats’ and are out and about in town, at shops, in bars, at gigs, enjoying the unseasonal, mild weather.

    Derry’s phenomenal year as the UK (no irony there!) City of Culture draws to a close with the Peace Bridge across the Foyle achieving more than symbolism in bringing together the City’s East and West … a simple footbridge spanning more than a river! For me the highlight was the remarkable staging of Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness – it then travelled to Sarajevo, Mostar, and Ljubljana. The legacy – everybody talks ‘legacy’ these days – of Derry’s fine year will endure. It also hosted the all-Ireland Fleadh for the first time in Ireland’s North bringing 400k visitors to the City in one week.

    Last week I wandered Magilligan Strand in quiet contemplation looking east to Rathlin Island, west to Donegal. I reflected on the profound beauty of this wonderful place and the generosity of its people. Transition from conflict takes generations. Aggression manifested in violent expressions of cultural identity will gradually diminish and the resoundingly inclusive experience of Derry 2013 will prevail. Good wishes for 2014.

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