does not make you happy, that we are not materialistic and that we can see through all this nonsense about what you own reflecting your worth.
Then some wee man from the Halifax or some other building society has the cheek to tell me that “Casa Turlough” is worth 3% less now than it was three months ago and I am hit by a wave of panic. I’m paying through the nose every month for a house that is going down in value.
So I’m going to buy a tent. Then I won’t have to worry about a mortgage, value or anything else. We looked up tents on the net, my wife and I, but we couldn’t find what we wanted; I’ll design my own.
I have a neat little nest egg coming soon in the form of an Ulster Bank compensation for “bother rendered,” during the recent computer debacle. Some people I know are saying that the Ulster Bank has no notion of paying any compensation but I don’t agree.
Jim Brown, chief executive of the bank, is a decent man. He’s waiting till the property prices collapse completely and then he’s going to give us all enough money to buy a tent each. But my tent shall be special; I’ll set the standard.
I need a porch, a conservatory and an en suite bathroom and if I have any difficulty fitting it all in to a six man tent I can always call on the services of Daniel Libeskind.
The Run Run Shaw
Creative Media Centre, Hong Kong,
Architecture: Daniel Libeskind,
Photos: Gollings Photography PTY Ltd
Daniel has been picked from among all the world’s architects to design our new “conflict resolution centre” at the Maze or Long Kesh, depending on who you vote for. His other works include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Run Run Shaw centre in Hong Kong and the Wohl Centre in Israel.
The Jewish museum looks like a Borg cube out of Star Trek, the Wohl Centre reminds me of a disjointed Rubik Cube while the Run Run Centre has corners sharp enough to shave yourself with. Actually, his buildings make me feel that Daniel has some conflicts within himself that he would need to resolve.
Jewish Museum Berlin, Germany
Poor Daniel has taken on a hard task. What will the building be called? We can’t go on forever with this dual name business, some resolution shall have to be found to this philological dispute. In order to maintain parity of esteem and to make both communities feel involved I propose that we drop the words Maze and Long Kesh completely and call the new conflict resolution centre “The Mesh.”
Will the building face south towards the dreaded Republic? What colour scheme shall adorn the walls? Too much green and Carson will turn in his grave; red and blue make relaxing backdrop colours for a dining hall. Ooops; if I was Daniel and I found myself in need of a colour for a “conflict resolution centre” I would invent a new colour; “Royal Black.”
Royal Black Knights
The Royal Black Institution were out in all their glory on Saturday doing us all a favour. These worshipful gentlemen and their glorious parade bring down the curtain on the marching season. From Easter Monday till the last Saturday in August we in Northern Ireland endure a succession of band parades and marches.
Now honestly, I don’t mind marches. If a man wants to march up and down all day proclaiming his Britishness who am I to object to his hobby.
In fact I have a proposition for Daniel Libeskind; a huge Borg Cube, made out of mesh, with sound proof rooms fitted with moving floors, where the Blackmen, the Orangemen, the Apprentice Boys and any other disparate group of potential marchers, could march ‘till their hearts are content and we could drive the roads in peace.
For interior decoration, our new conflict resolution centre, aka “The Mesh” we could, in order to make all sides of the community happy, bedeck the walls of said building with portraits of the Royal Family in various states of undress.
Queen Victoria in 1842M
in her early twenties
Ok, so Harry was caught “in flagrante delicto” with some young woman in Las Vegas. You would think that after the behaviour of older royals and their spouses such an event would have passed unnoticed. The British are a rare crew. They are so modern with their Victorian values.
The bit that I don’t understand is that he was playing “strip billiards.” Now I have never heard of strip billiards and I can’t for the life of me think what it could be, but come on, Harry comes from a long line of scandalous behaviour; George IV, who was so ugly that he had to pay women to have sex with him, Edward VII, who had a penchant for ladies of the night, the lady “who was not amused” who was even called Mrs Brown by her own press and finally we had “the little chappie, who had to forego the crown after a dalliance with Mrs Simpson in 1936.” Jolly good show, what!
I wonder would the Royals, past or present, pass the HCLA test. You have to be someone very special to even have to sit the HCLA test. In fact only a presidential candidate in the US elections is even considered by this examining board.
The HCLA is the Hispanic Catholic Leadership Association in the US. The HCLA chose 23 important Catholic social issues from unemployment benefits and social housing, foreign aid, and compared the attitudes of Mr Obama and Romney. It works on a point system.
I admire the HCLA; they have the courage to stand up and say “this is what we believe in, now where do you stand in relation to us.” There are 80 million Catholics in America or 25% of the voters. That’s a lot of votes.
When Obama was a state senator in Illinois, he even voted against a law that would have required doctors to save babies born alive following a failed abortion. No points for him.
It appears Romney is out in front with his anti gay marriage views. Cardinal O’Brien is keeping up the pressure on that front in Scotland. He’s had a letter read out at Mass on Sunday stating the Church’s position. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, whose parents hail from Ballycastle, is an Irishman who is not afraid to make his views known.
Another wee Irishman made his views clear to Pat Rabbitte who was lunching on Friday afternoon, in Buswells Hotel, Dublin.
Buswells Hotel Dublin
“Buswells is an elegant 3 star hotel with special character in the heart of Dublin 2. A charming 67-bedroom Georgian hotel, we are ideally located in the centre of Dublin city. A short stroll from St. Stephen’s Green, Trinity College, Grafton Street and many other visitor attractions.”
This statement comes from the introduction to the hotel on the internet. Hardly the type of place you would expect to find a good socialist like Pat Rabbitte, Minister of Communications in our beloved free state’s government.
The wee Irishman whose name the Garda have not made public, castigated Comrade Rabbitte about the state of the nation. “Four people dying by suicide a week while we pay back foreign bankers,” he repeatedly shouted at Comrade Pat.
The usually verbose Pat, cast your mind back to 19 Nov 2010, when Pat Carey, a minor minister in the Cowen government, took a vicious tirade from our Pat, was unusually quiet. This time it is Comrade Pat who knows he has sold the people out.
It was a humble step down for our Pat.
Neil Armstrong took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” when he stepped onto the moon in 1969. In 1968, Pans People stepped onto the stage on Top of the Pops. Louise Clarke was one of this troupe of dancers and she brought delight to many homes on a Thursday night at 7.30pm for quite a few years.
Both these people died at the weekend. The icons of our youth are beginning to leave this little world and move on to the next where Neil Armstrong can now see the whole universe in a moment and Louise Clarke can again dance with the stars. It’s a sobering thought but “they are taking out of our batch now,” as a friend of mine said to me the other day.
Charlie Bird is one of our batch. He has announced his retirement from RTE. I was hoping that was the last we would hear of him but alas, he has also announced that he shall continue to do a bit of freelance work, seeking the odd coup. Perhaps he could find out what was in that letter. That would be something that we all would want to know.
In November 2010 Jean Claude Trichet, head man at the European Central Bank, is reported to have sent a letter to Brian Lenihan demanding that Ireland ask for a bailout from Europe. Trichet was becoming afraid that the bond holders would not get paid. When asked by thejounal.ie for a copy of the letter, the Department of Finance refused saying that publication “could reasonably be expected to have a serious adverse effect on the financial interests of the State, or on the ability of the Government to manage the national economy.”
Europe is in recession, Spain is officially in a worse state than America during the Great Depression, Greece is on its knees and we still cannot even find out what is going on. The bankers need protected. How can we have faith in these foreign money grabbing bankers?
Imagine you have a family. One of the children gets in to a bit of bother. You bail them out. Do you demand full repayment and threaten to exclude them from the family home if they cannot repay in full? Would you leave your son homeless because he borrowed a few quid from another son and couldn’t repay? Not much of a family that is it.
Well, that’s exactly what Europe is doing with Greece and the rest of the periphery nations; pay up or get out! A community is a community only as long as all members are equally important. It appears that this no longer the case in Europe.
Here’s a question for you. What kind of a reception would the prodigal son have gotten in the Merkel household?
People need each other, countries need each other. But when we make the law more important than people we tear our society apart. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and these countries can’t pay; its time to wipe the slate clean and start again. If we don’t we’ll all finish up as naked as Harry in Las Vegas.
Harry has let the side down. He has been caught cavorting with some young woman in a hotel room; so what.
Harry shall be pulled up in front of his dad, his grandmother, the Queen, given a good telling off, be told to grow up and act his age and then the family shall return to normal.
Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, has watched her family fall apart through divorce, adultery, the murder of Mountbatten, the death of Diana, the foolish behaviour of in-laws, and she has struggled on through it all, holding the family together, representing her nation the world over.
The Windsor’s are as dysfunctional a family as there is in these islands and as such are an example to us all. Philip at 91 is old and frail. He must be getting ready to follow Neil Armstrong and Louise Clarke sometime soon. He got out of hospital last week after having a bladder infection.
And where does the Queen take him as soon as he is fit? To the Crathie Church, a short distance from Balmoral, where she probably prayed for God’s help in looking after her children and grandchildren, just as the rest of us do.
Greece would have a better chance of a fair deal from the Queen than from Frauline Merkel!
“Our God is a great God.”
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published in Observer Newspaper group, N.I.
30th Aug '12