an inconvenient history

I’ve mentioned the theatre across the bridge from here. I’ve mentioned something of our troubles.

In a huge big bundle of symbolism, they all came together yesterday. Heads of state, arts types, politicians- one in particular- gathered together for a love in handshake.

Queen Elizabeth wore green. The Deputy First Minister’s tie was green. The First Minister’s tie was red, white and blue. It’s not only the wardrobe of Kate Middleton that gets analysed for messages you know… (On the other hand, I’m not sure anybody recorded what President Michael D Higgins wore. It might have been blue.)


Great, powerful stuff. Sure, aren’t we all happy about that? (Apart from those who aren’t.) History happening right here, practically on my doorstep. I could probably have watched from the end of the street; if it hadn’t been all hush hush, traffic-yes, that includes you- not allowed, and swarming with security that is.

It turns out that these events are designed for other things than the convenience of the residents. I was, unusually, up and about early. I had a long list of things that needed done, ideally by 9.30. Oh, how they laughed, those folk in hi-vis jackets, and their camoflagued mates.

“This is a sterile area. You need to turn your car round”, said the policewoman. As I passed I wondered if her use of ‘sterile’ showed she’d had her science training from the EU. “No, you can’t cross the bridge,” said the policeman, “You’ll have to walk down to the next bridge, cross there and then come back on yourself. ” Hmm. Pah. I may have stomped off. I left a grumpy message for Dawnriser and charged on, away from where I wanted to be.

Most of the oomph had left the stomps by the time I approached the wood collection/ gathering for the bonfire. There were more police people, in shiny white shirts rather than hi vis outfits. They were relaxed and smiley, away from the ire of motorists.

Then, alongside the path, on the river, a crew came rowing past. Ah. The boat houses are beyond the bridges. These women were sculling their way right through the sterile area, and were going to be going right under the bridge I wasn’t allowed over. Right past the window where the private meeting was happening. Security, eh?

Suddenly the police were less relaxed. Concerned rather than smiley. “Stop, stop,” they guldered. The women rowed on, regardless. Radios were out. Walky talkies called into action. I had to keep on walking, the wrong way.

I don’t know how (or even if) the crew were stopped. Did they have to sit on the water for another few hours? A few hours of extra training? Did they just row on, causing security breaches and hilarity the length of the river?

I got all my jobs done. The powers that be got their job done. This poem was written. A good day for us all.

Apart, perhaps, from the rowers.


8 thoughts on “an inconvenient history

    1. We saw a clip where MMcG went to speak to Philip- who proved himself to be more sprightly than you’d think, by stepping sharply out of the way!

      It’s almost incredible isn’t it, after everything, and yet somehow inevitable. Remarkable.

  1. I just have to respond that I am only marginally aware of all the significance, and I emphasize my personal ignorance, Fiona! But you challenge me to broaden my understanding, and I will do that. Debra

  2. The security was extraordinary. A one-mile exclusion zone round the theatre? Yet the Queen and Prince Philip were driven up to Stormont on an open-topped vehicle and anyone could have taken a pot-shot at them! I suppose there’s some logic in it somewhere.

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