Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Grave Matters

It’s no secret that on our travels, I’m often to be found in grave yards. I find them a fascinating social history, and wildlife refuges.

Whilst on our trip along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, we thought we’d look up some Mr Uphilldowndale’s ancestors

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Frustratingly, given that we’d already been in about 20 graveyards ,and some of them were very impressive, I have to say; this is Kilmacduagh dating back to the 7th century 

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we found the one we wanted in Edgesworthstown to be locked.

Edgeworths town church.jpg Ahh well, we’ll make an appointment next time.

 

The Irish, take dying very seriously, it’s not  a topic they shy away from. My holiday reading for this trip was ‘My Fathers Wake’ by Kevin Toolis, how the Irish teach us to live love and die  it helped me to read the graveyards in a different way.

You’d never see a sign like this in an English graveyard.

Grave Matters

In England the  neighbours of the bereaved might bring flowers, offer their condolences, but would they offer to dig the grave? No.

The artefacts left at graves, also told a story, and were very different from what you might see in most of the UK, apart perhaps from areas where there is  a large Irish Catholic populations.

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We were a bit worried about Mary, it was 25c, it must be very hot in there.

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And when the Irish talk about family graves, they can go back a few generations, with newer  memorial stones added.

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Makes you think, doesn’t it.

the greatest sin

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High Summer

Goodness me its warm, I’m a delicate skinned Derbyshire lass, like the landscape around me I tend to get a little frazzled in the heat.

Moorland fires are still burning, on the hills above Manchester, we’ve had grass fires locally, but thankfully they’ve been caught in time.

At this time of the year, just briefly, the sun is high enough to cast its rays through the roof-lights on the north side of the house, the shadows that form surprise me, we’ve been trying to work out how this image, of a palm frond, taken around noon today, on the grey tiles of the hall floor, appears to be a negative image. My heat addled brain didn’t really compute this, until the moment had passed.

Negative Fern.jpgWe shall have to investigate further tomorrow.


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Sunday Special

It was the first Sunday in June when we were in Dingle Co Kerry, Ireland, a special Sunday it seems, there had been a confirmation service, that flooded out on to the streets, everyone dressed in their Sunday best.

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The majority of the shop windows had religious figures, pictures and flowers displayed, this is the pharmacy, it looks of it, this may not be the first Sunday in June he’s seen.

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I wanted to show you this  house window themed in red, which I imagine has a special significance*, Jesus wearing a road cone, wasn’t quite what I expected when I downloaded the images.

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*If someone could explain, I’d be grateful, I tried searching the Internet, but got lost in things I didn’t understand.


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Sweet Scented Shady Lanes

A delightful place to be on a hot day, the deeper the lane the better.

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Whilst many plants suffered during the ‘Beast from the East’ some seem to have had a bit of a boost, rhubarb for example, every one seems to have so much they are making rhubarb gin, or maybe it is that  rhubarb crumble has fallen out of favour.

The honeysuckle is divine this year, especially  first thing in the morning, so sweetly scented.  However, my precious pink rowan, has not a flower on it, and its usually smothered at this time of year, we came home from Ireland, to find small withered stick and buds scattered along the path, presumably what should have bourne this years flowers and berries, oh my how we will miss the berries


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Skibbereen

We touched on Ireland’s Great Famine in the last post,  It’s difficult to comprehend, it needen’t have happened. Greed, arrogance, indifference and even ‘fake news’, that monies sent to help the starving would be used to buy arms, now where have we heard that?

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There’s always a bit of a dilemma when you’re travelling, how long to stay in one place how far to push on, have we seen everything we want to see, is there something else just around the corner?  We’d decided with this trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, ‘we’d get as far as we get’ there was no final destination, we’d a ferry home booked from Dublin, we’d  travel around the  south west coast and get as far north as we wanted, then hack east across country to catch our ferry. I’m glad we did this because otherwise, we could have missed spending time in Skibbreen, and finding the Skibbreen Heritage Centre, diminutive in size, it packs a punch, it caught me a little of guard to be honest. Some of its material is harrowing. Time spent there, informed the rest of our journey.

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Here in this communal grave are  the remains 9,000 men women and children, many more died along the roads, or trying to fee to safety emigrating to America in the ‘coffin ships’.

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The grave is the two areas of mown grass, near the wall, next to the now busy road

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We paused to reflect on what we’d seen in Flanders earlier this year, and how the human race can think its self so clever; and yet it never learns, history repeats itself, and is in so much danger of doing so again

 

 

 

 

 


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Daily Bread

Continuing our journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Altar church

Altar Church, beside Toormore Bay on the Mizen Peninsula, near Ireland’s southernmost point, is also known as Teampol na mBocht, the Church of the Poor.

It was built in 1847, at the height of the Great Famine.

Before we set off on our journey, knew a little about Ireland’s Great Famine, we knew a little, but we didn’t comprehend its enormity nor its horror.

This church was built, to provide work for the starving.

During Black ’47, The Illustrated London News reported that in the village of Schull, five miles from Toormore, an average of 25 men, women and children were dying every day of starvation, dysentery or famine fever.  At nearby Cove, the population fell from 254 in 1841 to 53 in 1851.

 


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Moving On Slowly

 

We’ve been away, to Ireland, we’ve been driving the Wild Atlantic Way (well part of it, its a long route, and there is a lot to see). The first thing to do  in Ireland, is  to slow down, there is no need to go anywhere in a hurry.

As the farmer said ‘Cows only have one gear’. (Unless of course they are ‘knocked out of gear’, then anything is possible and usually unstoppable).

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Taking the cows back to the field after morning milking, County Clare.