Thursday, July 08, 2010

I'm Back

Yesterday we returned from a 12-day group tour of Scotland and Northern Ireland under the auspices of Irish singer Seamus Kennedy. A native of Belfast but now living a couple of towns over from us right here in Maryland, he performs traditional material as well as some funny pieces such as "The Unicorn Song" and the one about the Scotsman's kilt. Visit his website:

Seamus Kennedy

Buy his CDs! Read his book, a collection of true anecdotes about life in the Irish music business compiled by Seamus and a few of his friends.

The soccer World Cup games dominated public awareness while we were over there, not a topic that holds much interest for me, but it certainly added to the holiday atmosphere.

Among many other historic sites, we visited the places I was most eager to see, Culloden, Loch Ness, and the Ulster Folk Park (about the Scots-Irish immigration to North America, with a village of period-authentic cottages and other structures). I didn't see the monster. In fact, I was mildly disappointed in the Loch Ness cruise—great scenery, but the guide didn't talk at all about the history of the monster's legend and alleged sightings.

In Ulster the most memorable experience aside from the Folk Park was the walking tour of Derry, which focused on "Bloody Sunday," the Northern Ireland analog of our civil rights upheaval that was happening at the same time. The guide's narrative conveyed such gripping emotional immediacy; those events of almost 40 years ago are still like "only yesterday" there.

More about the trip next week.

Margaret L. Carter
Carter's Crypt

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