America, Asia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Our world is ever changing

Our world is ever changing but not according to the cork map I’ve been sent.

OIt has taken me, in truth, the best part of a week to realise that this world at my fingertips was the one of my schooldays.

When Britain was still in denial about the loss of Empire.

Pin sharp

A different world

It was only after I’d stuck the pins in (I’d expected them to include them as in the picture) that I’d realised.

I’d covered Western Europe in red, blue and a spot of Irish green.

And adapted as your sticky pins only seem to come in the primary colours.

Red, white and blue

Don’t tell the Indians

So you end up pinning the Oranje Netherlands in red which to be fair is one-third of their flag.

And Italia in verde green the same, though Il Bel Paese is more associated with sporting azzurro.

Some countries have spent generations fighting not to go red so it seemed wrong to pin Germany red, but hey ho.

Red, of course, means different things, in different places and America and the Arab World proudly flashes red.

We will pin them on the beaches

And it can’t be a Beijing Duck

Of course it’s not just travel-longing Travel Editors who pin stickers to an atlas.

And world leaders are probably doing the same as we speak.

I’ve seen it too first hand at Winston Churchill’s War Rooms in Whitehall in London.

Now I’m thinking that I must have been delivered one of Winnie’s maps when I turned my attentions to Asia.

It can’t be a Mumbai mix

It’s not Queenstown any more: Cork

And saw that my mapmakers are still clinging to old British names of Bombay (Mumbai) and Peking (Beijing).

Before scanning back to Ireland to check that the names were correct.

It truly would not have surprised me if their cartographers were working to a 20th Century template.

I should have known when they insisted that my purchase was for a Queenstown map of the world.

Rather than a Cork one.

Our world is changing for sure, it’s just some are stuck in the past.

 

 

 

 

Asia, Canada, Countries, Europe

Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille

Oui, the French are celebrating their national day today… Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille.d Fr See e ex

But why did nobody well us that the French aren’t celebrating the storming of the Bastille at all?

And that it is only a coincidence that the day falls on the samed date as the start of the Federation of France.

Bastille daze

Oui mais non… Bastille

So, a tip ici. Don’t wish your amis Happy Bastille Day.

All of which makes sense.

I mean who’d make a thing of freeing seven prisoners.

And two of them lunatics, and one an Irishman who thought he was Julius Caesar?

Well without further adieu Bonne Fete National around la monde.

La Mère ship

Grab an Eiffel

Paris, France: Naturellement. And as you would expect it’s all fly past entertainment, fireworks and flag waving.

And free entry to the Louvre… say bonjour to Lisa and the Parisiens.

The Montréal thing

Vive Montréal

Montréal, Canada: And emigrées are toujours more Francaisez

Canadiennes whoop it up in French Canada with all the Paris pyrotechnics but a Canadian twist with their r own home-grown Montréal Cirque Festival.

Something to Prague about

On the King Charles Bridge in Prague

Kampa, Prague, Czech Republic And you might not associate our Czech chums with July 14

We don’t know if it’s a throwback to Bohemia to Napoleon tor if it’s shared experiences of 1968.

But it’s jazz time in Prague with thousands in the square by the Vlatva River and on Charles Bridge. Ah oui, la joie de sax.

Tahiti treatment that

Ooh, really rela la: Tahiti

Tahiti, French Polynesia: And doesn’t July 14 and every fête remind us all how interconnected we all are?

Coconut cracking, fire walking (ouch!), stone weight lifting, food tasting and beauty pageants in Papeete’s To’ata Square anyone?

It’s all part of the Heiva i Tahiti Festival since independence day from June 29. Maeva Tahitians.

Indian Côte D’Azur

Vive L’India

Pondicherry, India And this little bit of the Tamil Nadu in the south-east of India will for ever be France.

Which is why it’s often called the Indian Côte D’Azur (not to be confused with the original French one) or the Riviera of the East.

So fly the flag for India and fly the flag for France. Et a La Tricolore.

And we’ll return to morel in vexilology treats at a later date…

Only today belongs to the French et Bonne Fête Nationale mais non Bastille mon amis.

 

 

 

 

Africa, America, Asia, Culture, Europe, Ireland

Give us this Day – funerals

It’s not been a typical Sunday – when I got to my new church today the regular priest wasn’t there because he had died the previous week.

A monseigneur, the good man who was clearly well liked had worked until his mid-eighties.

But then again my Dear Old Dad would have done the same.

The Big Man in Donegal

Should you be passing through somewhere on your holidays, and like me you go to where people play and pray, then you might witness a funeral.

I did in Marrakech when I was trying to get out of the souk without being robbed blind, by a jewellery seller trying to thrust a mint tea into my mitts.

And so here is an unscientific funeral procession around the world:

The Marrakech Express

Souk life in Morocco

Morocco: The Muslim tradition is that the dead should be carried shrouded through the streets with their feet exposed.

Through a busy souk cheek-to-cheek with a Moroccan huckster… https://visitmarrakech.com.

The funeral pyre

Fiery funeral

India; Note to family and friends, I’m considering Antyasti…

Being burnt on a pyre by a river where Hindus like to put rice into the dead person’s mouth among other rituals.

Being of the Glaswegian variety, I’d ask for some chicken tikka masala in there too. Visit https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredible-india-v2/en.html.

Hang ’em high in the Far East

Hillside haven

Philippines, China, Indonesia: The superstitious people of the Far East like to get a rung up on the route to heaven.

By hanging funerals to the side of hills.

They don’t say what happens when there’s a landslide or avalanche though! Visit http://www.tourism.gov.ph, https://www.discoverchina.com/article/china-tourism,

They do them well in Ireland

Life is just a bowl of cherries, Dad

Ireland: And naturally there’s drink involved.

On the night before the funeral traditionally the body is laid out for the wake.

And that would mean in the front, or best, room where the deceased would be togged out in their best clothes.

And drinks would be had around them and stories told. Slainte. See www.tourismireland.com and https://www.failteireland.ie.

And for some country life see Monaghan’s country roads.

The Saints are coming in New Orleans

Let the music play

New Orleans: This is the way to go… with trumpet blast at a jazz funeral.

And its the way that the good people of Norleans do it.

Me, my introduction to Norleans was at the American Travel Fair, IPW, when the New Orleans convention treated us to gumbo, jambalaya and Sazeracs…. for breakfast.

My type of town… before the famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band piped us in with When The Saints Go Marching In, and we did, to the conference.

Where I think I fell asleep. But I will visit https://www.neworleans.com.

And if you like the Deep South you may want to try out my American Trilogy The Promised Land, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings.