The Twelfth

The Twelfth

This last week in Belfast has been very quiet, as it was the Twelfth. There’s a really weird atmosphere around the place this time every year, as on the twelfth of July itself, absolutely nothing is open. Shops are all shuttered, offices closed, schools off. So you kind of need to remember to stock up on supplies of food and that before the twelfth itself.

Thankfully things stayed quiet this year, and there wasn’t the weird atmosphere hanging in the air that there has been in the past. The pic above is the view from my window on the night of the 11th, when bonfires are lit all over Northern Ireland.

I’m not from here, so I don’t really have an opinion on the situation of Northern Ireland as I don’t think it’s really any of my business. And I know the majority of people here just want to get on with things. I must say however, I do find the twelfth quite intimidating in a weird way. Although I’m Scottish, I grew up seeing the Union Jack all over the place, and it made me feel kind of homely. On the twelfth its meaning seems to be different.

I took the day off this year, and just pottered around my flat. There was a constant stream of people outside my block of flats though, using the area right outside as a venue for vomit and urine. Not very pleasant, particularly when I kept looking out of my window at the parade, and inadvertently making eye contact with women in the middle of going to the toilet.