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The Good Friday Agreement, Teletext and an Anonymous Phone-Caller October 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Good Friday Agreement, Teletext and an Anonymous Phone-Caller

The Good Friday Agreement – and we’ll come back to that name in a minute – was signed 10 April 1998. It was the single most important step in the winding down of the low grade civil war that had marred the province since the late 1960s and that cost over three thousand lives in […]

Headless Coachmen and Crime August 7, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Headless Coachmen and Crime

In the Middle Ages they had the wild hunt, the insanely nasty cavalry that rode across the sky. Then, come the early modern period, when everyone had ‘grown up a bit’ and men with shag and swords were so, well, ‘medieval’, that they moved on. They started seeing, instead, headless horsemen out on the toll […]

Fairy Death Bed Conversion December 15, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Fairy Death Bed Conversion

Beachcombing’s fairy year continues. In his grazing through the accounts of the fairy faith on the western and northern fringe of Europe one of the things that has most fascinated him is the belief of the connection between Catholicism and things fairy. There is a famous early modern comment – irritatingly Beach can’t remember by […]

White Horses, Sex and Sovereignty December 12, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
White Horses, Sex and Sovereignty

Inspired by Southern Man’s comment on yesterday’s post Beach thought he would today quote from some of the passages relating to Irish sovereignty. There was in pre-Norman Ireland the idea that the land is a woman, Sovereignty, who must be courted and seduced by the successful king. Take, for example, this rather tame passage relating […]

Image: Omagh Ground Zero December 23, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Image: Omagh Ground Zero

Beachcombing has had to miss writing a serious post today because of the arrival of his second-born at the local hospital. He thought that, in lieu of that ‘serious post’, he would offer instead this extraordinary photo from Omagh in Northern Ireland 1997 – a celebration of what it means to eat, breathe and read good books. The […]