It’s all about chess on episode 36, with interviews with three members of the QUB Chess Club, Chris Millar, Steve Scannell and Ciara Pugh. Since the club was brought back to life in 2005, its players have found great success, winning the title of Irish University Champions last year and Ulster Club Champions this year. This month, several of the Queen’s players head to Greece for a Europe-wide tournament. In today’s episode, Chris, Steve and Ciara talk about their entry into the world of chess, their stress levels, their game faces, their addictions, and their strategies for victory.
A young Belfast woman talks frankly about life with ME (or chronic fatigue syndrome) in the first half of the show. She discusses how the illness arrived, how it induced swearing and rattiness from her, and what the trade-offs have been. Also: whether she wants people to push her in the wheelchair, her plans for family or nunhood, and how she’s found men look at women in a chair.
In the second half, foster mother Susan Hagan talks about all the babies that have come in and out of her home. She, along with her husband and family, has been fostering newborns for the past seven years through a Pittsburgh agency. The babies stay for a weeks or months, and Susan describes what life with them (and without them) is like — including the health concerns, naming choices, attachment issues, and relationships with birth and adoptive parents.
This week, bicycling in Belfast.
Sam Ruscica, the ‘Mother Teresa of Broken Bikes’ in Belfast, talks about his shop “I Fix Bikes” in the Smithfield Market, as well as his plans for the future. He’d like to move from rescuing all the abandoned and abused bikes in town to managing a community bike shop, teaching people how to build and fix bikes for themselves. Sam also talks about Bike Pirates of Toronto, the abuse and flying objects he encounters while riding through the city, and the DIY Wednesdays he hosts at his shop.
Then Austin Brown of Belfast Bicycle Workshop talks about his work repairing and selling bicycles, as well as leading bike tours of the city. He is located in ‘The Workshops’ on Lawrence Street in the Holylands, after having run Lifecycles down in the Smithfield Markets for many years. Austin explains why there’s not a critical mass in Belfast & how he’s trying to generate a bike culture here. He can be reached at 028 9043 9959, or at email@example.com.
The ‘Bicycle Repair Man’ skit from Monty Python, from which Sam derives his job title.
Episode 13 goes to Spuds to talk with its owner John Vance about the restaurant’s place in Belfast. The second half features an interview with Stephen Blakeney, the head of Queen’s Movie Society, about the society’s short films and the state of film-making in Northern Ireland today.