With a Sigh of Relief…

… or is that exhaustion? Leaver or Remainer or EU citizen, we can probably all agree it’s time. To all parties: good luck with that.

Quotes: Van Morrison

“Sartre said that hell is other people. I believe that most of them are.”

-Van Morrison, Goin Down to Monte Carlo

Van Morrison, apparently, is a homeboy. He seems to prefer intimate settings for concerts around his hometown, and he does a couple a year. Back on St. Patrick’s Day Eve in 2015, we enjoyed a concert for just 300 at the Europa Hotel in his hometown of Belfast. Please enjoy this recording of the song that contains this quote, said to be from the audio board from a similar concert at the Culloden Hotel, Belfast, January 2013.

Some photos from the show in Belfast.

The European Question

In light of German politicians’ inability to form a government, the German Question has been turned on its head. Post-Cold War, the German Question asked how the unification of East and West Germany might be achieved without creating an economic and political juggernaut, with all the baggage that prospect carried.

Suddenly now, wonders Handelsblatt Global, is Germany “becoming incapable of assuming enough leadership to guide and champion Europe in a globalized world?” In the same week, Matthew Engel’s Travels in Belgium, the dysfunctional, fractured state at the heart of the EU reminds us that that country “went 589 days in 2010-11 without a fully-formed government.”

Meanwhile, Brexit still means Brexit and we can all see how that’s working out. Just ask, (among just about anybody else) anyone living along the once and future Republican/Northern Irish border.

Can European governments govern? That is the new European Question.


Brexit, which was supposed to be about “taking back control” from Brussels, has actually given a great deal of control to a Northern Irish party that no one in Britain votes for.

  • Fintan O’Toole op-ed in the New York Times.

Belfast Castle, Belfast, Northern Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day Eve in Belfast


Making our way to Svalbard for the #TSE2015 total solar eclipse on Friday, we made a stop in Belfast for Van Morrison in concert at the Europa Hotel, a small venue, 300 ticket show last night. Now it’s onward to Oslo and Svalbard.