A Dog’s Life

Happy Paddy’s Day, everyone!


From just a few hours ago. I wasn’t going to post again tomight but I thought you might like this:

A Day to Remember

Unfortunately, Ireland has witnessed several Bloody Sundays in its history. One of them took place exactly one hundred years ago today, on 21 November 1920.

The Irish War of Independence was in full swing, and the day began with an operation by the IRA (the original Irish Republican Army) against their British occupiers, which involved the assassination of British intelligence officers. Sixteen men were killed, five more shot and wounded.

In a totally separate, later incident, British armoured cars of the Auxiliary Division, plus the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary, disbanded after Irish independence) entered the stadium at Croke Park, Dublin, which was playing host to a Gaelic football match between Dublin and Tipperary. With reprisals on their minds, the British then opened fire on the crowd and the players, killing fourteen civilians and wounding another sixty.

The day was not over. Later that evening, two Irish republicans, Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy, who had helped plan the earlier assassinations, plus a civilian, Connor Clune, were captured, beaten and executed by the British at their base in Dublin Castle.

Militarily, the day is considered by historians as a victory for the Irish. The assassinations would greatly hamper the British (which probably saved many more casualties), while very little damage was done to the IRA.

But thirty-three people…

How Much Longer?

I’m sorry, I do not have the words. Especially after the news coming out of Wisconsin the last few days.

Today is the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech.

57 years.


This was one of the reasons I used to love going over to Normandy regularly. Seen on my Facebook feed a short while ago.

Sea of Tranquility

Callantsoog is on the North Sea coast of the North Holland province of the Netherlands. Much of North Holland lies below sea level, so the dunes you see (when you view the webcam) are largely manmade, to keep the sea at bay. My main memory of Callantsoog is having the most amazing fish’n’chips there – we Britishers are used to fish cooked in batter (i.e. stodge), but these fish were fried instead in the most amazing seasoning. Not a bad view while we were eating, either.

Is it any surprise we used to holiday here?

Who Won the Week (23 February 2020)

I have Fandango to thank for this title – he has been posting regularly on this subject from his west-coast-USA vantage point. I am interested in current affairs too, and normally have some nonsense or other to spout about one of the UK’s topical news stories. So, I like to join in. Maybe there’s something in your world that you’d like to post about?

I didn’t really have a winner this week, but I did read a quirky news story in the Irish Times which raised my eyebrows. It’s becoming clear to me that I need to think of these posts more in terms of quirkiness than in terms of winners/losers, but I’m going to keep the title and tag, just so I remain consistent with other posts on the theme.

Anyway, I bet you never picked up on this story from your reegular news feeds!

We’ve all heard of the Mary Celeste, right? The American ghost ship which was found drifting off the Azores in the late nineteenth century? Such an unusual story it has passed into folklore, so surely lightning could not strike twice?

Let me introduce the Alta. The Alta is is a freighter, which was en route from Greece to Haiti when, in October 2018, it suffered unrecoverable engine failure out in the Atlantic, about 1,400 miles from Bermuda. Its crew of ten were picked up by the US Coastguard, leaving the ship to drift.

You’d think someone would care about a ship, wouldn’t you? It’s not exactly tiny, it must be worth a bob or two, and after all, this was 2018. But the ship was allowed to drift. And drift. And drift. Last August it was spotteed back across the ocean, off the coast of Africa, having drifted about 1,500 miles across the Atlantic.

But the Alta wasn’t finished. She continued drifting. This time, northwards, until Storm Dennis finally lifted it onto the Irish coast at Ballycotton (what a beautiful name!) in County Cork last week. Because, of course, before Storm Dennis hit the UK, it tore through Ireland.

You wouldn’t have thought any of this was possible in this day and age, would you?

There was a serious side to this story, though, because when it was abandoned, this ship had an amount of fuel on board, so the Irish Times were actually reporting this story from a pollution perspective. If it breaks up, the Irish will have a job on their hands to clear up the mess. I did have a look this morning to see if there was any further news – as of yesterday, so far so good. It is still ongoing but the vessel hasn’t broken up yet.

Iowa Democrat Caucus

Just wondered if anybody following the US election might be interested in what’s being said on this side of the Atlantic.


I was particularly interested in what people were saying about Trump, about 2 minutes in.

For my money, Channel 4 News is about the best (i.e. serious) that the UK has to offer.