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Over the Tins

Sid Kennedy

A terraced house bubbling with siblings, an expansive wasteland perfect for playing, and the mouth-watering smells of Ma's home baking wafting through the Four Streets - what could be more idyllic for a young boy from Derry?

But a strict authoritarian da, fierce sibling rivalry and the smoky-grey skies of the Troubles pierced every sinew of his skinny frame.

Fear didn't just visit him - it was part of him. Only his own imagination offered some escape.

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The author grew up in a mixed religious community in Derry during the Troubles. He often questioned the British Protestant ideology and culture that he was indoctrinated into and in his teens began to explore the sense of Irish culture and history available to him, through its music and stories. To escape the Troubles, he left for mainland Britain in 1981 aged nineteen. He studied as a mature student in southern England and eventually moved to Cardiff in South Wales. His careers as a college lecturer in English, a therapist (still is) and a manager of a university wellbeing service gave him an insight to human behaviour, the human psyche and the complexity of family relationships. It also encouraged him to spend much time in self-reflection - which became the drive to writing the memoirs of his childhood years.