"Is he from our side of the house?" Is he, in other words, a Catholic? It was a question Michael Kerr heard often when he was growing up in Northern Ireland during the worst years of the Troubles. But his was a house where both sides were welcome; a seaside boarding house that was home to a family of eleven and temporary residence for hundreds more. In this memoir, which is by turns funny and sad, he recalls an "occupied Ireland" with a difference. There were no soldiers on the streets, but there was an army of strangers in the beds.
Michael Kerr is a journalist and writer. He was born in Northern Ireland and grew up there in a seaside boarding house -- a boyhood recounted in his memoir, Our Side of the House (Quartet).
He works as a commissioning editor and writer on the travel desk of The Daily Telegraph, from which he escapes occasionally, usually to visit the Americas or Spain.
He has edited three volumes of Telegraph travel anthologies, all published by Aurum Press: Last Call for the Dining Car; Bon Voyage!; and, most recently, Sunrise on the Southbound Sleeper.
When time allows, he blogs at kerraway.com.