|A picture taken last year of 'Bantry Bay' from our kitchen window.|
Any road (proper Northern English talk), me and this middle aged farmer are sat on these hay bales drinking bottles of Budweiser, eating sandwiches and he had a smoke or ten. I remarked about there being a lack of infrastructure ("pubs and buses and job, repeat...) in rural Ireland, and I couldn't understand why rural houses are so expensive. The farmer thought for a second and then he said:
"You're right boy. There's Feck all here. Feck, feck all."
I laughed, but he didn't.
Is that why the countryside is so beautiful, because there is nothing there?"
My grandmother used to say to people when they talked about the wonderful view from her farm:
"The view won't feed you."
My late father left Ireland in the 'Black' 1950's. There was no paid labour any where, so he went to England. In the 1980's it happened again and now it's repeating itself. Ten thousand people are emigrating from Ireland every year. There are no apprenticeships for the young. I pray to God my children won't have to emigrate like their grandfather. I'm nearly fifty and I have my cattle and little farm to pass my days. When will the young get a chance and the countryside be full of jobs and communities?
Here's a song by 'The Seekers'. It's one of my earliest memories of my parents records being played in our house in the nineteen sixties.