Please act accordingly.
I am so touched by the heartfelt messages from people. It really means a lot to me. I've also received some lovely emails from folks - and there's some concern re: the end of the Belfast LTA era.
Don't worry folks! Wayne will be doing regular reports from Northern Ireland on the Podcast and I plan on visiting Belfast at least once a year from here on out; just like I said in this Video - once you've had the smell of Belfast on you, you can't get it out.
Anyhew, I'm now in Belfast's sister city: Nashville. Don't know what I'm going to do here. Don't know how long I'm going to stay. But I do know one thing.
It's an LTA GOLDMINE.
Today was my first time here and if I had been recording I could easily have gotten 3 podcasts out of the day's adventures.
First of all, (and I don't mean this as a condemnation of the U.S. Health Care system), the 'mentally ill' seem to be walking the streets. I ran into several folks whose rich fantasy lives seemed to eclipse even my own. My favourite was the gentleman who assured me he was running for President of the United States and had secured Jerry Rice as his V.P., (OK OK maybe this should be seen as a condemnation of the shambles they have for health care here).
There are also so many things to photograph. I especially liked this video sign featured below which advertised, (look closely and you can just make it out), a 'Shoot for the Future' fund-raiser; according to their website the group is dedicated to helping disabled people enjoy trap and clay shooting. This is the kind of thing I'll really enjoy seeing and participating in at some level over here - stuff you would never see in Belfast; (and don't condemn it out of hand Europe - let me tell ya, shooting a gun is fun. Really. It. Is. Fun.)
So I was taking photos of the advert for 'Shoot for the Future' when I noticed that a group of people under it the WERE VIDEOING ME. I was so enraptured by the image of the guy in the wheelchair with a shotgun I didn't notice that the giant flashing sign sat right above the campaign headquarters for Nashville Mayoral Candidate Karl Dean.
Now apparently earlier in the day there was a bit of a fracas with protesters outside the office - so the Karl Dean staff where understandable edgy about a guy intently taking photos of their office. A Karl Dean staff member crossed the street and approached me. I was concerned that there might be fisticuffs. But he turned out to be sweet and there were no problems.
My first impression is that people here in Nashville as extremely friendly. This of course makes my makes my job as a broadcaster that much easier. In fact, already on Day 1 of the LTA Nashville experience my life has been saved by the open hearted warmth of the people here.
You see that pic at top me eating ribs?
Well I wolfed them down just a wee bit too fast Dear Listener.
Right Day 1 is over. Well, at least the afternoon is. I wonder what tonight has in store for me?
Talk to you soon Dear Listeners.
Today, September 1st, marks the 2nd anniversary of the of this blog - originally started to post 'behind-the-scenes' info about the Podcast. It became something more for me - a tool to understand the strange, fascinating place I in which I had become stranded.
As listeners to my podcast know I shape my life to compliment the narrative arc of my various works, regardless of whatever alias/artistic persona I'm inhabiting. With this in mind, after 2 years, now is the time to say goodbye to Belfast.
Though I may work in Northern Ireland on occasion, I will no longer live here - it's been quite an adventure: the 3rd marriage, the attempt on my life, the creation of the podcast and much more.
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who's supported me during this tumultuous period in my life. Without the help of the folks I met here I wouldn't have made it.
Special thanks go to: Alicia Peyrano, Wayne Van Ry, Erin Parish, Gareth Higgins, Beth Lloyd, Raphael Rehbock, Sara Templer, Kirsteen O'Sullivan, Celia Petter, Keith Law, Sonia Butterworth, Dave Torrans, Philip Morrow, Richard Parkin, Allan Gildea, Alan Meban, Stephen Barnes, Marcus Valentine and Lucky Starr most of all for her love and devotion.
I'll end by saying the Podcast will continue Dear Listeners, what form it will take we'll have to see. Thanks to everyone for taking part.
There was a Flickr Meetup today of Belfast Photographers - a great way to say goodbye to the area. Above and below are some snaps from this afternoon.
Here's the gang: digitalEnvironmentalist, Alan in Belfast,
A lovely lady who's name I can't remember, (a little help anyone?) Anna, myself, Red Mum, mymsie, NickyBe and Stepbar; (the indomitable Dogtired arrived later and therefore was not present for the photo).
I'm going to end on the shot below. I've been here 4 1/2 years. Belfast's changed so much in that time.
I've heard a lot of people diss Belfast over the years, complaining about this and that, the lack of culture or the problems with its people.
But there was a war on.
The war's over now. It'll take a long time for things to get better. But I'm hopeful.
A 'David Baxter' has written the following in the comments section of this post:
"You know what Jett, if you don't like it mate, ship out. Nobody makes you stay in Northern Ireland. You do absolutely nothing to show people how attractive this country actually is."
I responded by pointing out that he seemed a bit thin skinned and asked that he watch this LTA Video:
This is how he responded:
Right, am off now to Edinburgh for the Fringe per this post. I've always loved Scotland and have luckily worked there many times over the years.
Now, my plan for this post was to type 'Scotland' into the very able Mac OSX search application 'Spotlight' using the photos it coughed up to illustrate one of the humorous, perhaps moving tales of my time there, (you know - like the time I almost died at Cape Wrath).
But, as you can see from the screengrab below, the above image is the only one Spotlight could find. Since I have no memory of what exactly was happening in said photo please feel free to comment with a humorous caption of your own. I'll find someone in Edinburgh to judge the funniest entry, perhaps a comedian featured on constantcomedy.com, and the winner will receive a prize to be determined in future.
So if anyone has any queries they'd like answered about Belfast, Northern Ireland or the show in general please let us know and we'll try to answer them in this weekend's LTA Chapter 68 - Fear.
(Photo above: Yorkgate Cinema, Yorkgate Mall, Belfast)
Yes, the always reliable Wayne and myself will be recording Chapter 67 of the Podcast this weekend - I feel like answering some questions about Belfast on the show this week so if there's anything you want to know Dear Reader then give us a shout.
Yes, I've inaugurated the World Criminal / LTA / FT Newsletter! What's that you ask? Well, subscribers to the Newsletter will receive private YouTube videos detailing all the behind the scenes action here at World Criminal. To subscribe to the Newsletter just click on the link below and tell you me want to receive the private videos:
I like the idea of detailing some of the thinking behind what I get up to and sharing it with you fine folks out there - there are many layers of artifice going around here at WorldCrim, but why not add another?
(Photo above taken at the Wi-Fi enabled bar here in my hotel in Birmingham where I'm currently staying while working on 'Project X').
The 8th Cathedral Arts Festival is in full swing in Belfast right now:
I can't tell you how great it is to have so many exciting performers in town - the 'Festival of Fools' is injecting a very needed dose of comedy, surrealism and surprise into the street scene here: I was in a bad mood this morn and a troop of Ugandan Acrobats brightened me right up - the icing on the cake was meeting friendly LTA fan 'Steve' whose hearty handshake, though it caused discomfort the rest of the day - and possible some bruising, was testament to his love of the Podcast.
(As to why I look and pose the way I do in this photo: well, I'm a natural clown and I find this look and expression comes in handy while dodging debt collectors, stalkers and ex-wives; you never know.
Also I'd like to take this opportunity to say sorry to the LTA listener who approached me in Manchester last week - I didn't stop to chat as was deep in conversation with the creator of 'Project X' and my mind was focused on that - many apologies).
Cathedral Arts Festival previously on LAT:
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