Friday, May 22, 2009

The 12th and Guilty Prods

I am currently a guilty Prod. Not the usual type though - ie not because I'm ashamed of some colonial oppression that my forefathers are alleged to have imposed on the natives (what opportunities did poor peasant farmers and hand-to-mouth fishing folk have to do such a thing anyway?*) - but because we have decided to go to England for a week with the weans, during which we'll hope to call in with Hilary's parents - and because of other diary commitments we may well have to leave on the 11th of July. Meaning we will miss the 12th.

I enjoy the 12th. It gives me a chance to coat-trail in a rather triumphalist fashion as we watch the bands twice, yarn to folk in the field, and eat warm egg and onion sandwiches out of the back of the car. And try to stop the weans spending their special 12th-Day-only £5 handouts on red white and blue tat like spray-on hair dye and Red Hand of Ulster sunglasses with wee holes in them. On that score, I usually fail.

This could well be only the third 12th I have missed in my 37 years. To do so will be a shameful dereliction of my duty to uphold the cause. Therefore I will have to enter into high-level wifely negotiations to adjust the travel arrangements.

[ * to be specific, on my da's side of the family he is one of five children, raised by a widowed mother that scraped a living out of 3 acres. On my mother's side, she is one of nine children rared in a three room house with a tin roof, and whose only breadwinner was their building site labourer father. Burning down the nearest chapel in the middle of the night was probably not top of the to do list.

It makes the 1920's Depression situation in America, which Gillian Welch summarised the rural experience as being where "...We lease 20 acres and one Ginny mule from the Alabama Trust..." sound like the lap of luxury. Here's the song on YouTube, with a great slideshow video.]


Colin Maxwell said...

I have to say that I've missed a wheen o' Twelth's in my day - well, living in Cork dinnae help!

However, I havena missed any for a wheen o' years now, Cork or no. I think it is an important part o' our culture. I hope that they don't play too much to the Tourism crowd. Tnhe last thing we want is another bland Lord Mayor's Show type parade.

Fair fa ye

Stephen Jamison said...

Shame on you Mark!

Stephen Jamison said...

Only joking!