Friday, 30 June 2017

Oops. I Missed.

I forgot to write yesterday. It might have been the three martinis at dinner. It might have been the exhaustion of a busy day. It might have been the change in routine to writing an evening post instead of a morning post. It might have been all those things combined. Regardless, I forgot.

At this moment I am glad I am using a keyboard rather than writing long hand. My hands are shaking like a badly loaded washing machine, wildly, off balance. I am having trouble hitting the correct keys, the shaking is so much. I am pretty sure this shaking has to do with exhaustion, yet I don't feel particularly worn out. Nor have I had a particularly difficult day.

In fact we are taking it easy, sleeping in, getting a late start most days. Between the slow beginning and a desire to be back in the hotel by dinner, we are lucky to see one or two things in a day. Yesterday it was the Battle of the Boyne Museum at Oldbridge House, near Drogheda, followed by a quick visit to St. Laurence's Gate.

Both these sites tell the tale of the bloody history of conquest visited upon the poor folks of this beautiful land. The St. Laurence Gate in Drogheda is notorious for the slaughter visited upon the townsfolk here by Oliver Cromwell in 1649. The Parliamentarian leader besieged the town, then offered safe passage to the women and children if they came out the gate. When they did come out, he slaughtered them as a message to the men remaining inside the town. Ultimately he forced a group of about 100 men into a church, then, once trapped, he set fire to the church. About 30 were burned alive while another 50 were killed on the church steps.

Then, a mere 40 years later, Drogheda saw the last battle of what is called "The Glorious Revolution" in England, where William and Mary deposed James II, who just happened to be Mary's father, replacing the Catholic monarch with a Protestant and pro-Parliament monarchical pair. The fact that William was Dutch, from the House of Orange, has had a long lasting impact on Ireland and remains the basis for much sectarian violence to this day.

Today was a visit into Dublin itself. The largest part of the day seemed to be taken up by finding a parking spot! We did, eventually, then headed to Dublin Castle. It's a fortification which has been in place since 1204, perhaps longer if you look at the Viking ruins beneath it. King John of England had the castle built to administer his newly conquered land of Ireland. Yet for all the conquering, the Irish people never seemed to settle down to the English yolk.

The next part was the Anglican Office of Evensong, an Anglican service at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Founded in 1191, the cathedral construction immediately followed the Norman Conquest of Ireland, generally seen as the period from 1169 to 1177. The battle between England and Ireland goes back a very long way. It is a beautiful cathedral, with amazing internal acoustics. The service, mostly sung in chant and song, was uplifting if only for its choir content. The setting helps a lot too.

Tomorrow we hope to get to the Dublin General Post Office and Trinity College. Explanations will follow.

1 comment:

  1. Was worried about you yesterday. Glad to hear all is well. Enjoy!