We meet former teacher and storyteller Eithne who’s taking part in this year’s London Stories: Made By Migrants.
How long have you lived in London?
We came to London in 1963 when I was only 6 years old and have lived here ever since. The only time I’ve not lived here is when I went away to university but all my life I’ve lived in North London and East London mainly.
Can you tell us a bit about your story?
I write short stories and poems, and this piece that I’m going to perform as part of London Stories is a piece from my journey that I remember when leaving Ireland and coming to live in England. It’s one of those things over the years that I’ve gone back to from time to time because I’m trying to remember it as a little girl but I wanted to write it in a proper adult voice. So when I saw the call out I just thought, well if this piece fits that would be ideal and I was really lucky that it does fit.
Why did you want to take part in London Stories: Made By Migrants?
I think there is a richness to living in London, you live in this really rich place and everyone has a story to tell. So I just think it would be quite nice for people to come away with the idea that we are all here and we all had a journey to get here. When you look at me or listen to me you wouldn’t think I’ve got a migration story to tell, but of course migrants aren’t always people who come from diverse ethnic minorities, they’re here amongst us all the time so it’s quite nice to tell it from my perspective.
Have you faced any challenges in preparing your story?
Coming away from your piece of writing to telling a story is quite a challenge but I’ve enjoyed the process.
Do you have a favourite place in London?
I live near the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow and I’m a friend of the gallery. It’s one of my favourite places and I’ve had the chance to go there because I write poetry and my poetry group sometimes performs there which is fantastic, and it’s a lovely park as well.
> Find out more about London Stories: Made By Migrants, 4-26 November