Today is the 99th anniversary of Ireland’s revolt against British rule in 1916, the so-called Easter Rising. Although it was unsuccessful, and the ringleaders shot by the British Army after they had surrendered, it seems to have been the trigger for a guerilla conflict that resulted in the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 so it is celebrated in high style every year.
This time, the main street of Dublin was recreated in the style of 1915 (“they wouldn’t have to do much”, said Chris B, which we thought was a little unkind). Tens of thousands of people were out in what is probably the warmest day we have had so far this year – bright blue skies and a high of 17 degrees. We saw early examples of motor buses, steam engines, a horse-drawn hearse, a carousel, and a strange-looking replica of a wind-up gramophone, many times life size. Songs were being sung and many people had dressed in the style of the day. The Irish love a party and this was one big street party – a real buzz.
Incidentally, thinking of anniversaries, Pip has now been in Dublin for 1 year as from 7 April (Bruce came over a month after that). Pip will do a reflection on the past year some time soon but in brief, barring one or two bureaucratic nonsenses we have had to sort out, it has been an excellent year and we both feel very privileged to be able to experience it. We have both kept fit and well – fit, particularly, in that our iPhone apps tell us we have walked an average of over 3 kms every day since we arrived; and well, luckily because every trip to the doctor is 50 Euros (about $NZ75) and prescription drugs are two to three times the price they are back home. And don’t get us started on the outrageous prices for beer and wine… But these are minor things in the overall context and we don’t for a minute regret the move over here – it’s a great place to be!