Saturday, December 09, 2006

Helicopters Over Derry

Every Wednesday for the past six years, I have facilitated Derry Playhouse Writers, a support group for writers of all genre. This past Wednesday as we were meeting, we once again heard the irritating, constant, dull thud-thud-thud beating sound of British Army helicopters whirring overhead. As they hovered above our location for close to half-an-hour, the noise was so loud it was near impossible to verbally share our writings of this week.

I haven't heard this irritating sound in years. This was the sound of Derry I remember so well from my first visits here in the early 1980s. Those sounds and the sounds of women banging their metal garbage bin lids on the sidewalk to warn others living in The Bogside that British Army patrols were in the area once again are reminiscent of my initial experiences of life in war-torn Derry, N. Ireland.

So, although there has been a drastic sea-change since those days, Wednesday was a déjá vu day of remembrance. That helicopter whirring blades were the sounds I remember from those early days; the other memory is the fragrant smell of burning turf that blazed in the fireplace of every Bogside home.

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