Friday, August 27, 2010
On the 20th October one of the greatest raconteurs in the Liberal Democrats is coming to Belfast.
I know of very few Liberal Democrats who tire of hearing Paddy Ashdown tell his stories, the stories of his life and his experiences. Seeing as he is coming to the place where he grew up (indeed attending Garth Prep School here in Bangor) and where he spent some time of his military service it is somewhat of a homecoming.
Indeed it was his spending his formative years in Northern Ireland that Jeremy John Durham Ashdown was never know as that for the rest of his life, he was nicknamed Paddy when he first turned up at Bedford School aged 11 and has worn the moniker with pride ever since.
No doubt some of what he will be regaling in Belfast I will have heard in Edinburgh when he was promoting his autobiography A Fortunate Life but that will not stop me enjoying the journey through his memories again, as ever. Indeed as one other famous Ulsterman, comedian Frank Carson, would put it "It's the way he tells 'em".
Here is what I wrote from copious notes about Paddy's talk in Edinburgh in March last year as a taster, but he will tell it far better than I, so if you are in or around Belfast at the time do get along.