Reading My Way Around the World

Thursday 30 June 2016

Looking back on June

Rain clouds were gathering across the water in Europe on Tuesday evening when I finally got out for a walk along the shore to clear my head after all the shouting, anger and depression caused by the Referendum vote.  

I can't have a look back on the month without mentioning it so you may bear with me and then I'll get on to happier thoughts :)

I voted Remain as did most people along the border here in Northern Ireland.   And I feel that the result will have a huge impact on us - not least of which is that we have the prospect of having the border back again.  

Since 1992, we could sort of pretend that we were one island, a part of a larger group of islands, and with the benefit of all places - the UK, Europe and Ireland.  But now, with huge respect to my friends in England and Wales, and to my friends here who voted Leave, for the first time in my life I feel that we are simply an annexe of England.

My dread has been that we would see a re-emergence of the Troubles and most of the thugs who were involved back then don't need much excuse to find their jollies wherever they can.  I do hope the politicians see the necessity to get on with things quickly and not let the place descend into anarchy.  And I hope that our friends living here who hail from outside of the UK and Ireland stay safe.  Sad to say that, as in other parts of the UK, the barely contained sectarianism is showing its ugly face again, although there hasn't been such blatant racist attacks as on the Mainland.  But there's been enough to make me afraid.

If the shoe was on the other foot, and the Leave camp had lost,  I'd be most angry if they were calling  for a repeat of the vote, so although I'm disappointed,  what's done is done and we wait with baited breath to see what happens now. One thing's for sure - the news has never been more fascinating.

On the plus side, already the changes in the value of the Euro:Pound exchange rate has meant that the shops North of the Border are having a little boom but the many farmers who have farms straddling the border are worrying as to where their income will come from now that European money will be withdrawn.   Any goods or services we buy from across the border are now costing us a good bit more - we'd be across in the South at least a couple of times a week - we were in Dublin yesterday, in Donegal on Sunday - but the exchange has always been very mobile here and most of us carry two purses, so that will all adjust.   We're quick to learn where the petrol is cheaper!!

* * * * * * * * 

It's been great to have a bit of downtime after all our travels and we arrived back to a fabulous couple of weeks of sunshine.   We finally got our hedges trimmed back and the garden is starting to take shape. 

I spotted this chap one evening - they're so skittish
so I was pleased he stood still long enough for a quick snap
We missed the Blues on the Bay Festival-
this sign outside one of the pubs summed it up.

Thistles in bloom along the shore
 Tom was involved in recording a CD for a local Church and at their launch last week I was thrilled to see these lovely modern stained glass windows.  The colour of stained glass always delights me but to see unusual use of it made it all the more beautiful.

Now preparations begin for Fiddlers Green Festival at the end of July.   They have a new website up, so visitors can now buy tickets in advance.  We're playing on the Main Stage on Monday night with Luka Bloom, and then running the singaround on the final lunchtime.   I'm looking forward to all the visitors arriving over the next few weeks from places near and far and to sharing some drinks, tunes and songs with friends old and new.

But for now it's Wimbledon - and of course its raining :) Perfect weather for enjoying a couple of days on the sofa to watch Andy's progress.

Happy Summer everyone :)


  1. Enjoy your downtime Fil. The devalued pound will affect us personally because we get pensions from the UK. Gotta get used to it I suppose.

    1. Nothing else for it Jo - but it'll bounce back again.

  2. How amazing, dear Fil, I missed you - and got this amazing news about Fiddlers Green Festival! I would have loved to be able to go there! By the way, I love stained glass windows and the pictures you showed about the things you spotted are so peaceful, I can't or don't know how to explain, but I feel like I am there watching the things by myself! Thanks for that, dear Fil, you may know how much it means to me, one day we can sit down and talk again :) about all :) But now, the Leave vote. That concerned me on a personal level, and I am watching the news with great, really great interest. I also thought of Northern Ireland and Scotland. I do think that soon you'll have another referendum, to decide whether NI stays with the UK or not. But I hope that the old attacks won't happen again... that is definitely the sad part of all. I normally prepare my Monday post on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and last Tuesday the main subject of my nest post is exactly that, the racist attacks. I think that every change raises fear, but sooner or later things will adapt... or so I hope! Missing you, really, hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Since the result, I have had such bad dreams and then wake to find them the reality! I always thought we were a tolerant society but now I feel almost ashamed to be English with what has been taking place. The future looks very uncertain for us all and I can well understand your fears for another border going up when our generation thought we were trying to make a better, brighter future for us all in the world. On a much brighter note, the news of you playing on the main stage at the Fiddlers Green Festival sounds great and I hope that July's weather is better than that we endured through June!
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  4. Over here in the US, we have our own worried about that guy named Trump! Imagine the police state needed to round up and deport 11 million undocumented people. So although one thought and wondered about England, Scotland I never thought about how this would affect Northern Ireland. Good you have plans for the festival and some Wimbledon watching until you gain your bearings in this new and uncertain world.


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