Yes, Belfast is on the move. As evidenced by the photos in this post there's a lot of destruction / tearing down here in this town - making way for The New. Or, if not The New, then New Bad Architecture to replace the Old Bad Architecture.
Anyway, I took these photos the other day and that's great and all - Belfast on the Move and all that. And it got me to thinking about how many of the locations I shot last year making this film:
have disappeared. I was ruminating on this last night during one of my regular evening sojourns around town.
Just thinking to myself about this place, how I found myself exiled here, wondering how long I will stay - things like that.
Shortly after 11pm I came across a late-night market on Botanic Avenue. It's one of those places that stays open 24 hours and you can place your order through a hole in the wall.
There were two young men, maybe about fifteen years of age, queueing in front of me to purchase something from the market. They looked to be what Wayne described in Chapter 41 of the Podcast as 'Chavs'.
Anyhew, from down the slope of the street a ways a group of about a dozen boys, looking around nine or ten years old approached. They were carrying planks of wood as clubs.
One of the youngest of these club carriers came within ten feet of the older boys queueing in front of me. His accent was thick and not being from around here I couldn't make out what he was saying to the older boys.
The older boy's accents were not as thick and I did make out their response: "We're not Catholics."
There was some more talking back and forth.
What impressed me the most at this point was was how the gang of younger boys with clubs, and their leader, were so focused in their obvious rage and hate towards the older boys that there was absolutely no notice taken of other people, us bystanders, in the area.
Being a human I looked around to see what the others who were queueing were doing. They were watching the verbal to-ing and fro-ing as I was - no one was moving.
Stones started to rain down on us. A bottle crashed down near my feet, shards of broken glass hitting me in the face.
Yet, no-one moved. It felt to me like we were watching some sort of historical re-enactment, a wee little slice of the unpleasantness from days gone by.
I heard one of the older boys say "Who you callin' a Fenian Bastard?"
At that the gang of boys rushed the older ones - clubs out to swing. The older boys ran away - down the street, obviously fearing for their lives. The gang of young boys followed.
Though the queue was now shorter I decided not to wait in line any longer and walked home.