My name is Barbara Boyle and I’m 54 years old. I am originally from Dortmund in Germany and I’ve been living in Northern Ireland since 1996. I used to be a journalist in Germany. After I did a degree I became a journalist and I wrote for sort of small papers and house magazines. I thought that would be my career, but then my husband whom I met in Germany and who was working in Germany was made redundant and he was working for a British firm and he needed to relocate to Northern Ireland so we decided to come and live here. Also, because he has his family here and I had two small children and they would have grandparents and aunts and uncles. And so, it was quite a nice decision (I’ve been to Northern Ireland many times).
Now I work as a language tutor and translator-interpreter for NICEM. I brought a nutcracker, which was given to me after my father died two years ago, and it’s a special memento, it reminds me of Dortmund, which is a mining town. My father used to work in the coal mine, and both my grandfathers were miners, so I have a memento of that history. I was called Barbara, after the patron saint of miners, and the nutcracker is a very German Christmas decoration.