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November 2005

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As a child I remember playing football on the green in Churchill Park. We'd make goals with our sweaters, pick teams and individually decide which of our football heroes we'd become for a brief moment of time before we raced home for something to eat and do our homework.
If you lived in Northern Ireland in the sixties and played football as a child, it didn't matter who you supported, there was only one football hero that we all wanted to emulate on the field as we kicked the ball around.
I wonder when George was growing up, kicking the ball around in east Belfast as a child, like we did in Bangor, did he have a hero he wanted to be when the teams were picked? Or did he simply say with a sly grin, "I want to play like George Best".
So long belfast child.

Posted :: Monday 11/28/2005 9:22:00 AM

They say you only miss something or someone when they're gone. To truly appreciate what you have is to be without it for a while. That's kind of where my relationship with my hometown is. Leaving when I was 12 and returning some 35 years later, only to discover that in a lot of ways I had never really left at all.
It took me almost 12 years, as long as I lived in Bangor, to really feel that Toronto was home. Looking back now it's become clear to me that the 8 years I spent in Dublin (see blog1) were a transition period that prepared me for that thing called emigration. And these were important years, my teenage years, spent with my mother and sister at my grandparents house in Clontarf. Where I discovered myself and where I made some wonderful friends, who to this day I am in touch with. And it was a much gentler time than my early childhood in Bangor. A time mostly remembered for the terrible domestic strife that was my parents marriage. So by the time I left for Canada I thought the world was at my feet and it was time to put my foot on the gas and embark on the latest adventure down life's highway. Why not, I was 21 and it was my adventure, it was my independence day. As I write today, I'm certain that I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I live today in a city where the world lives, many cultures and many languages living together for the most part harmoniously. I also have rediscovered my Bangor roots after years of silence, which are a lot deeper than I could have ever imagined. It's almost like I'm speaking a second language for the first time. As promised in last week's blog here is a brief review of John Cale's shows in Toronto last week: "BRILLIANT!" Told you it would be brief! To be continued...

Posted :: Thursday 11/17/2005 8:03:00 AM

blog 2 date: November 11/05 blog place: Toronto, Canada.
I thought it would be fun to have a wee Q and A session with myself that would help introduce part of my character to all you folks in blogworld. As more people colonise blogworld it could be a fun way of us all getting to know each other.
1. What was the last book I read? Sorry to say it was The Messiah by Boris Starling.
2. What was the last CD I bought? Black Acetate by John Cale, who I'm going to see at the Lula Lounge in Toronto on Sunday. Look out for a brief review in my next blog.
3. What, where and when did I eat out last? Beef stroganov at The Estonian House yesterday in Toronto.
4. When did I last have a drink? Last night at home I had a glass or two of red wine.
5. When did I last cry? Tears of joy when Utd beat Chelsea last Sunday and tears of sadness when I really think long and hard about the state of our planet.
6. When was I last in Bangor? July, 2005.
7. What was the last concert I saw? U2 in September. Even though we had VIP treatment, backstage and all, it was a very uneven performance from the lads.
8. When was the last time I was really, really happy? When the under 12 boys soccer team I coach came back from 3-1, last September, to tie our final game with the last kick of the match to force extra time. Alas we lost on penalties but at that point it didn't matter.
9. When was the last time I was really proud? Every time I see my daughter.
10. When was the last time I went to a movie and what did I see? Last Saturday I went to see Jarhead. A mustsee film about Desert Storm, with Marines (Jarheads) in a country they don't understand against an enemy they can't see for a cause they can't fathom.
From these answers I hope you get a picture of where I'm coming from and who I am. I plan in the near future to include some my favourite websites and add some pictures and introduce random topics for debate. Next blog will talk about what it's like to be a Bangorian in exile and why my hometown is so close to my heart, or maybe I'll talk about something totally different. It's my blog and I can do what I want!!! To be continued...

Posted :: Friday 11/11/2005 8:02:00 AM

Welcome to my blog
blog 1 date: November 5/05
blog place: Toronto, Canada
Hello. My name is Andrei Talbot and this is my first ever blog. It's mission is to go where no other blogs have gone. To entertain and inform, to make you laugh and make you cry, hopefully when you're supposed to, but above all to connect and communicate on a very human level in the coldness of cyberspace.
I'm looking forward in the coming weeks to tell you a little about myself and my interests and engage in some lively debate about all things great and small. This will be our journey...
So lets begin, you guessed it, at the beginning.
The Bangor Connection Part 1: Next month, December 4th to be precise, marks the 52nd anniversary of my first birthday at Newtownards Hospital, up the road from where my family lived in the North Down Riviera known as Ballyholme.
Fast forward to 1966 when my father died and my mother and sister retreated to my mother's home town of Dublin.
Fast forward to 1974 when I embarked on a self imposed exile in Canada.
Fast forward to June 2000 when I decided this would be a good time to take my daughter and then wife, now ex wife, back to where it all began almost 53 years ago. To be continued...

Posted :: Friday 11/4/2005 11:09:00 AM