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Barbara, Germany/Northern Ireland

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.