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The Celtic Tiger

Meanwhile, in the south, the Republic was a major beneficiary of EEC membership and its economy began to accelerate.  First Ireland had success with butter then with IT.



See album
The Butter Museum in Cork records the Irish butter success story.
Until the 1950's Irish butter making was both primitive and unhygienic. 
Farmers wives were still hand milking and using a domestic separator and a hand churn to make butter.
Then came the European Economic Community.
Modern milking sheds; bulk handling; and processing factories were built; improved herds and pastures brought Irish butter into the 20th century.
Thus butter became a first step in the late 20th century Irish economic miracle.


Soon educated Irishmen and women returned from overseas and foreign immigrants reversed the old pattern of brighter children emigrating as soon as they were able.  Ireland's population began to grow and among these new Irish the old religious enmities were put aside in the interests of a better society.  For a period, at the turn of the century, the economy grew so spectacularly that the Republic would be called the 'Celtic Tiger'.

So today it's a different story. Ireland is no longer represented by a three centimetre thick computer printout of inappropriate jokes about stupidity.  As we'd hoped in the early 1970's, both Britain and the Republic of Ireland are, or were, members of the EU and the border is indeed transparent.  The military control points have long gone.  Traffic flows are unhindered by what has become a line on the map and people from either side of the border mix freely, as they do across state or provincial borders in Australia, Canada or the US.

The only noticeable difference when one crosses this border is that the road signs revert to imperial distances and miles per hour and Euros give way to Pounds. 




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

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In September 2019 we left Turkey by air, to continue our trip north along the Adriatic, in the Balkans, to Austria, with a brief side trip to Bratislava in Slovakia. 

'The Balkans' is a geo-political construct named after the Balkan Peninsula between the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

According to most geographers the 'Balkans' encompasses the modern countries of Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Greece; Kosovo; Montenegro; North Macedonia; Serbia; and Slovenia. Some also include Romania. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Soul of the Matter





It was hot, dry and dusty when they finally arrived in Jaisalmer.  But then, how often is it not hot and dusty here? 

In the markets a wizened woman, of indeterminate age, is using a straw broom to aggressively sweep the area in front of her shop. The dust will soon be kicked-back by passers-by; or swept back by her neighbours; requiring her to sweep again, and again.  She will do the same again tomorrow; and the day after; and the day after that.

Jennifer's mind is elsewhere. She's has dreamt of visiting exotic India ever since a client at the hairdressers told her, with enthralling details, of her adventures here.

They've arrived in the dusty city late in the afternoon, by road from Jodhpur.  In spite of his preference to visit California or Las Vegas again, she's finally persuaded Bruce that he might like India. He should try something a bit more adventurous for a change.

Below the entrance to the famous Jaisalmer Fort, is a small square that marks the start of the road winding up, then turning at right-angles, through the protective elephant-proof gates.  In this little square, motorised trishaws: Tuk-tuks, jostle restlessly like milling cattle.  They are waiting for tourists, like our travellers, who may hire them tomorrow to see the town or, if they are lazy or tired, just to mount the steep hill up to the Fort. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Copyright - Greg Ham



I've just been reading the news (click here or on the picture below) that Greg Ham of Men at Work has died; possibly by suicide.

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