Category Archives: Irishness

Culchie Day in the big city

Today is 8 December. It’s a holy day of obligation, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and when I was a child it was a day off school. Traditionally, this was the day that the country people went to Dublin … Continue reading

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Turnip carving? It must be Halloween

I’ve written before about Halloween, citing a spine-tingling poem and stories of children stolen by the good people. I loved this time as a child, that feeling of uncertainty, that strange things could happen on this one night when the … Continue reading

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Bonfires and St John’s Eve

Yesterday, 23 June, was St John’s Eve, which was traditionally celebrated in Ireland with large bonfires across the countryside. Hence its other name, Bonfire Night. June in Ireland is the height of summer, and the long twilight would be a … Continue reading

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We’re building a wall and adding a foundation deposit

So, we like gardening, although we’re often neglectful and the plants that thrive do so because they’re hardy.  This weekend’s project, in which I played a minor role, was to build a three-course curved wall around the fence that holds … Continue reading

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Tales from the trenches – Philomena the digging doll

Recently, I was reading The Archaeology of Time Travel. And I was reflecting on the idea that people who visit historic sites experience them in a more ‘real’ way when they’re presented as living history or re-enactments or historical role play. … Continue reading

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