Hello. How are y’all? This morning’s
nail biting session coffee break comes from Campbell College Belfast (AKA Hogwarts). I’m currently speed drinking black coffee and comfort eating cranberry shortbread in the dining hall as Cub No. 1 sits his AQE exam in one of the classrooms.
This is the second of three exams. The last will be next Saturday.
I hate this wait, he’s 40 minutes in at time of writing; but there are definitely worse places I could be.
You probably haven’t heard of Campbell College, but you might well be familiar with one of the features in its grounds; a certain lone lamppost that provided inspiration for one of Campbell’s famous alumni: CS Lewis.
I loved The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, actually I loved all of The Chronicles of Narnia; I can still remember being absolutely shell shocked, (in a very positive way) when I found out that not only was CS Lewis from Belfast, but much of Narnia was inspired by Northern Ireland. As I mentioned in Open Season at Royal Portrush the ruins of Dunluce Castle provides inspiration for Cair Paravel and the Mourne Mountains provided much of the geographical landscape.
It took a long time to celebrate Lewis as a son of Belfast, much more prominence is given to Seamus Heaney (😡) but we’re getting there. If you visit Belfast you can take a Lewis inspired walking tour. You’ll visit his birthplace in Dundela, the artwork in Lewis square, maybe get a cup of tea in either Jack’s or The Lamppost Cafes before visiting the archives in The Arches Library. Aficionados will remember Lewis lamenting that he could never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to satisfy him.
Lewis wasn’t at Campbell for long, but enjoyed his time there, and now Cub No. 1 has a chance of also going to school here too, the lucky wee sod, so I’m keeping fingers crossed. Oh God, he has 5 minutes left. Arrrgh!
….. and he’s out, seems chipper, a far cry from his Ma’s experience so many years ago. Less said about that the better.