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A 'potted history' of Ireland

Cumulatively we spent many happy hours in a variety of museums and visited a lot of historical sites but despite my discovery of mutual ancestors I realised I knew little of Ireland's complex history until this visit. I've subsequently relied a lot on Wikipedia for fact checking but I'm happy to be corrected where I have strayed upon 'alternative truths'.  So this section is rather long and those of you who like your reading constrained to 140 characters or less may wish to skip to the next section or if you would just like to see some photos go to the Google Photos Album. 


There are many Australians with Irish heritage so a little bit of Ireland's history had indeed seeped into our awareness as Wendy and I grew up. For example, when I was at UNSW (post Grad) learning Computer Science, typing: 'get irish' into a computer consol produced a three centimetre thick pile of green and white striped fan-fold line printer output listing hundreds of 'Irish Jokes' like: 'Did you hear about the IRA man who went to London to blow up a bus and burnt his lips on the exhaust pipe?

A bit earlier in the 1970's we had both, quite independently, lived in London.  At that time there were several Irish terrorist events that dominated the news.  Yet those IRA (Irish Republican Army) bombings in London were just a first taste.  The bombings were to continue all the way into the 21st century as a result of the escalating 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland.

The origin of 'The Troubles' can be traced to many past events, perhaps to the arrival of Christianity as a result of the Romans.  But like all history one event follows another so we could go all the way back to when modern humans first arrived in Ireland.




# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
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Southern England




In mid July 2016 Wendy and I took flight again to Europe.  Those who follow these travel diaries will note that part of out trip last year was cut when Wendy's mum took ill.  In particular we missed out on a planned trip to Romania and eastern Germany.  This time our British sojourn would be interrupted for a few days by a side-trip to Copenhagen and Roskilde in Denmark.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Egyptian Mummies





Next to Dinosaurs mummies are the museum objects most fascinating to children of all ages. 

At the British Museum in London crowds squeeze between show cases to see them.  At the Egyptian Museum in Cairo they are, or were when we visited in October 2010 just prior to the Arab Spring, by far the most popular exhibits (follow this link to see my travel notes). Almost every large natural history museum in the world has one or two mummies; or at the very least a sarcophagus in which one was once entombed.

In the 19th century there was something of a 'mummy rush' in Egypt.  Wealthy young European men on their Grand Tour, ostensibly discovering the roots of Western Civilisation, became fascinated by all things 'Oriental'.  They would pay an Egyptian fortune for a mummy or sarcophagus.  The mummy trade quickly became a lucrative commercial opportunity for enterprising Egyptian grave-robbers.  

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Opinions and Philosophy

A modern fairytale - in a Parallel Universe


I've dusted off this little satirical parable that I wrote in response to the The Garnaut Climate Change Review (2008).  It's not entirely fair but then satire never is.




In a parallel universe, in 1920† Sidney, the place where Sydney is in ours, had need of a harbour crossing.

An engineer, Dr Roadfield, was engaged to look at the practicalities; including the geology and geography and required property resumptions, in the context of contemporary technical options. 

After considering the options he reported that most advanced countries solve the harbour crossing problem with a bridge.  He proposed that they make the decision to have a bridge; call for tenders for an engineering design; raise the finance; and build it.  We'll call it the 'Sidney Harbour Bridge' he said; then less modestly: 'and the new crossing will be called the Roadfield Highway'. 

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