Sunday, 31 August 2008


Bettina Linke is originally from East Germany but has been living locally with her three cats for the past twelve years. Her son, David is studying physics and astrophysics at Maynooth. During the day job, Bettina answers phones for Keith Prowse in Lisfannon, but her free time is spent delving into our local history. Her passion, enthusiasm and energy for the preservation of local historical monuments is inspiring and she shares her knowledge on her website, Unknown Swilly. She also writes a blog keeping readers up to date on heritage sites. A keen photographer, Bettina’s website and blog are full of her beautiful local images

What music do you like?
I enjoy listening to Bob Dylan and Kila. Kila are an Irish traditional band with Eastern European influences. I grew up with music and most of it had lyrics in English. I didn’t have a clue what they were singing about but it didn’t take away my enjoyment.

What would you never throw away?
My stubbornness and independence.

What book are you reading?
I don’t really read novels or works that include fictitious people anymore. I have piles of reference books, everything from, history, heritage, archaeology and lost civilisations. I also have books by Harry Percival Swan and Mabel R Colhoun, they are invaluable.

What was your favourite childhood game?
When I was young there was a lot of concrete jungle development work in Eastern Germany and we used to play in the large concrete pipes on the building sites. We would head out in the morning with our lunchbox full of goodies for the day.

Have you been to the cinema recently, what did you see and was it any good?
The last film I went to see was Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings. It was right up my street, I loved their long swords.

What is your idea of a good night out?
I had a ball during the O’Doherty clan meetings as I found myself in the massive conference room at the Lake of Shadow hotel packed to the rafters with people interested in heritage and history. Since this medieval dinner is only held every five years, I fill the gap in between listening to live music sessions and great musicians around the bars around Inishowen.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
More embarrassing than filling in this questionnaire?

Have you a favourite TV programme?
Midsomer Murders, Babylon 5 and Star Trek. There are still episodes I haven’t seen.

How do you relax?
Walking in the countryside around Inishowen. You can nearly fall over the historic sites that we have. If you find an early church ruin, you can bet that there was an older settlement there before. Take Carrowmore for example, the stones there would have probably been from a monastery and originally come from the Stone Age. The ancient builders were great recyclers…

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
I would love to travel into outer space, as long as there was a smoking room.

Your idea of heaven?
Inishowen bathed in sunshine for weeks and having time to enjoy it.

Your idea of hell?

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
The builders of Grianan, a representative from the Office of Public Works involved in the “Restoration”, and so they have company I would also invite Cahir Rua, Eoghan, from where Inishowen gets it’s name and the Minister for the Environment.

Favourite animal?
Cats. I have three, Setanta, Odin and Trouble, who lives up to her name.

What couldn’t you live without?
My son.

Biggest fear?
Losing him.

Biggest thrill?
The last thrill was just a few days ago, I had the opportunity to see and go into a newly discovered underground chamber (Souterrain) in the north of the peninsula.. These tunnels are rich in heritage. I am sure there are more thrills to come.

The world’s most irritating inventions?
Bureaucracy and plastic.

What is your idea of a good night in?
A “Plotting session” with my best friend Ann over a bottle of wine or two. The idea for the tourist shop on Buncrana pier came from one of them.

Biggest disappointment?
When people (myself included) give up their hopes and dreams.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
Between 5000BC and 500AD. I would like to have been at Greenan Hill every time a new structure was built. I suppose I would need a time machine…

World’s most useful invention?
The Internet. I couldn’t do research without it. I use it to get onto the Celt website and the collection of old manuscripts called The Annals of the Four Masters, an invaluable document that was published and printed in Donegal town in 1604.

What do you have for breakfast?
Coffee, coffee and more coffee and anything else that I can grab.

What is the best/worst piece of advice you have been given?
The best was from my mother. A man can eat everything but doesn’t have to know everything. The worst: Say nothing.

Personal philosophy?
Find out who and what you are and what you want then don’t let anyone tell you different.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

und wie geht es dir Betty

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