Friday, September 01, 2006

Islands.






Across the world, most people believe that the british live on an island near Europe.
Apparently, they are for the most part, English, and are polite and non-confrontational.
Then there are the Irish, who live nearby on another island, and are not completely like the British.

Now, of course, in reality, there are the Scottish, Irish and Welsh and English. Not forgetting that only a minority of the Irish are british, most of the Scots prefer independence, as do most of the Welsh.
The Welsh have no nuclear bombs or plans to build them, neither, as far as I know, do the the Irish , but the Sots do give home to a fleet of submarines. The English are anglo-saxon, the Scots are no... enough already!
Or in other words, even we brits don`t completely understand each other!

The fact that we are all islanders means we share the ocean, and its` ever present perils.

Between Arklow (Ireland), and Aberystwyth (Wales) there lies 90 or so miles of the Irish sea, a fast running and often stormy expanse of water.
So being Celts, the Irish and Welsh decided to have a race. We used to have wars, you know, but that was long ago. Now Ireland and Wales have a long tradition of trade and custom. So instead of a clash of warships, they decided on a row of a different kind.
Rowing boats! Small open craft of about 25 feet in length. Being Celts, the race is open to both men and women, some boats have male crews, and some have female crews. Some boats, and I`m told these are the most fun, carry both men and women.

This year the race was won by an Irish team, from Bantry Bay, in around 16 hours.

16 hours, it must however be said, of sweat, blister and ache. Of faith and wonder, belief, trust, spirit and endeavour.

The prizes are limited to a few bottles of champagne, and it really is just one of those events in which taking part is bigger than winning.

4 comments:

betmo said...

too bad that we couldn't solve all of our differences that way instead of the way we usually do.

Glenda said...

Oh, how I would like to see that race!
What a great anaolgy to finding peace in a nonviolent way.

landsker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
landsker said...

It must be said that there was a time when the Irish and Welsh did not always agree. (hundreds, if not a thousand or more years ago.)

I believe that humans enjoy competition, it is our leaders who channel that competitiveness, into sport, academics, into trade and art.
To lead teenagers and young people into war is a government decision.
The race is held every two years, in May and is open to all!
There are four rowers and a cox, this year seventeen teams took part, here is a link.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=P8&xml=/health/2006/04/04/hrowing01.xml