I’m off to Ireland, the south-eastern corner, to a small Barony known as Gaultier and the tiny hamlet of Faithlegg, to the wedding of my youngest brother and Godson. An odd thing, having a brother as a Godson, but his son is also my Godson. It was a privilege his dad wanted to share with him, I imagine, as it’s the nearest thing to being a father I became, and a role I enjoyed with him. Originally I became his Godfather as there was some fifteen or so years between us and my mother, in a moment of insight, suspected I would emigrate once I came of age. It was only a hunch, as none of our family had emigrated, but Ireland wasn’t in great shape in the early 80’s and 100,000 people a year were legging it out of the place in search of a life … any kind of working life. I believe her fears were that our age differences might mean that we would grow distant, were I not to come visit regularly, and she feared I would later meet my brother as a stranger. I didn’t visit regularly for the early years after leaving, but her insight ensured that we have remained close over the years, and have always remained in touch.
As my novel “By Hook or by Crooke” is set in the Barony of Gaultier, I’m delighted to have an excuse to pop over and do a little bit of leg work also. I’m into the sequel already, and am now trying to find an agent to build a relationship with, as I’m going to try and publish the novel along the more traditional route. I’ve mentioned Gaultier previously, and how this long narrow strip of river and coastal land has played host to several invasive incursions into Ireland.
The early Vikings meandered along Gaultier’s coast before settling further upriver beyond where the city of Waterford now sits.
The Normans with Henry II at their head also landed at the village of Crooke, and Henry, in a typically royal supremo gesture, granted the majority of the land that he could see to the Templar Knights. 12,000 acres in fact, and at the time he didn’t own a jot of it. Nobody really did. It was under the control of the local tribes and chieftains, but ownership was an alien concept where land was considered, so
disputation didn’t arise more due to a lack of understanding, rather than any kind of acquiescence. It seems that the first steps in the ridiculous dance-of-death between the islands for the next 800 years was one of misunderstanding.
I’ve a few places picked out to visit, and hopefully once I return I can flesh this out a bit too.
Wishing all a happy New Year, and a good session to see this year out. Perhaps next year all decent minded people will just ration their professional services and advice to the goose-stepping nutters who’ve managed to somehow get in control via idiot-alley. Take some time-out and remove the opportunity for them to scape-goat. The mess they make will be someone else’s fault, but if there’s no-one obvious to blame it’ll stretch their creative abilities to actually create causal links where none exist … or is that their main skill? I’m trying not to think about them.
It’s that Blairite anthem tune in my head … can things only get better?