Posts

Welcome

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Welcome to Old Ireland.   My initial idea for this site was to cover only classic vehicles, but since classicireland.ie was already taken and the best alternative I could find was this one, my thoughts for the site began to broaden.   A lot of the inspiration for this comes from the few magazines for which I have written articles.   Let’s get these mentioned early, because you should not be surprised to see a little of their influence here.   Real Classic is subscription only in print, but also has an excellent site at https://www.real-classic.co.uk/ , where Frank, Rowena and a host of writers entertain and inspire.   Then there is Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, formerly in print monthly, but now only on line at http://mnmotorcycle.com / (unfortunately now obsolete.  You will need to use the Wayback machine to find it).   MMM’s archives could keep you reading happily for months, and the like it or not truths told by Thomas Day (Geezer with a grudge: see his own site at http://geez

Spot the Birdie.

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 There was a little discussion on Grandad's site last week ( One for the birds – Head Rambles ) about how versatile and intelligent some birds could be.  I had added a comment about birds enjoying cat baiting as a spectator sport at the bottom of our garden: " They are smart though Grandad. We heard a racket at the bottom of our garden years ago, loads of small birds chirping in what sounded like excitement. When we went to look, there were loads of sparrows, blue tits etc (at least 30, possibly more), all as high in the canopy as possible. Below them, much lower, and in complete silence was a magpie, carefully monitoring a cat that was a few steps behind it. Every time the cat moved, the magpie enticed it further and further up the tree. This went on for half an hour or so until the cat was on tiny branches that were much too small for it, where one eventually broke, and the cat fell (with no apparent harm). The audience of small birds were there the whole time calling their

2020 - The year of Covid

 I found this old article of predictions for 2020. Boy, that really didn't work out did it?  It is completely out of context, so I have no idea where it was originally published.  Instead of moving entire towns around the globe, we were stuck in them come rain or shine because of all the lockdowns.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so this makes interesting reading today.  Enjoy.  :-) 20 Hilarious Predictions about the year 2020 made long ago  "We stand on the threshold of rocket mail."    It’s hard to fathom that we’re just 14 months away from the year 2020. There’s something about those four numbers together that just sound futuristic, like a date that George Jetson or Flash Gordon would have signed on their checks. If you asked us ten or even twenty years ago what we expected in the year 2020, we probably would’ve guessed that we’d all be eating synthetic food pills and being served by robot butlers. But ask us the same question now and our best prediction is that 2020

Yet another gripe.

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"In the four parts of the earth are many that are able to write learned books, many that are able to lead armies, and many also that are able to govern kingdoms and empires; but few there be that can keep a hotel."    Omar Khayyam (Poet, philosopher, mathematician and genius in many other fields.  He lived in what is now Iran from  18 May 1048, to  4 December 1131)    It seems to me that in many respects, little has changed in the last thousand years or so.   I'm not really that grumpy a person by nature, although I suppose you might need to get a second opinion on that statement.  Yet, looking through past posts here, a hell of a lot of them are complaints about services.  Oh well, here is another one. We booked a short hotel break at the end of January.  It wasn't far away, but we were looking forward to a good meal and nice surroundings for a few days, and to having the beaches and scenery of the Antrim coast within easy reach.  We could have done day trips to this

Joining the dots.

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  WW2 was still a big influence on life when I was born.   I suppose it wasn’t much more than a decade and a half earlier, but its effects were still all around.   Many of the houses near my childhood home were inhabited by single women, and many of those had been widowed by the war.   Local fishing boats often lost nets when they snagged old mines.   There were constant stories of these being shot to make them explode, resulting in complaints from the fishermen who lost nets as a result.   There were occasional problems with the souvenirs (Well, it was assumed to have been a souvenir, but I do wonder about that), that the servicemen brought home too, as below.   By the mid 70’s when I was in my teens but still at school, the troubles were of course at their rampant worst.   You would think that in such a situation, our local Police would take explosives seriously, but …….. On a beautiful summer’s day during the school holidays, I arrived home to news that the Seacliffe Road, clo

Rogue State?

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  West Bank settler expansion: a year on the frontline – Channel 4 News   Have a look at this Channel 4 report about a Palestinian farmer trying to live on land he owns on the West Bank.   It is scary, horrifying, and ridiculous all at the same time.   I said before in a previous piece about this damned conflict that Israel must take the moral high ground and live by the law.   If not, then how much better than the Hamas terrorists is it? The report looks at a Palestinian family who lost their land when Israel was originally set up in 1948, but who managed to buy a plot in what is now the West Bank, to the south of Hebron.   So then the 1967 war happened and the family once more found themselves at least nominally in the stare of Israel.   That would be fine if the state actually treated all their citizens equally. The report shows how numerous incursions by Israeli settlers are taking land by force from its existing owners, and how owners like this family have been trying for

The First Million Dollar Movie - 1924

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  Just to get in slightly ahead of time (for once!), the world's first million dollar movie was released almost 100 years ago on 18th March 1924.  How do I know about it?  Well, many years ago, a friend and his family were moving to England, and I went round to help them pack the van they had bought to move their stuff in.  It was relatively small, and a lot of their things were being left behind.  One of the things they were going to dump was a copy of the rather classic movie poster shown above. I asked for, and was given the poster for my help.  Then, some years later, Channel 4 showed a series of historic movies, including this one, and since I had an interest in it because of the poster, I watched it.  Channel 4 included a short presentation on the movie before showing it. Of course these days, it is freely available on YouTube if you want to see it.  The visual effects which seem so crude now must have been stunning to audiences back then.  The silent overacting does seem par

Putin’s War

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 Alright, democracy isn’t perfect, but it is a great deal better than what Putin is offering the world. Putin is not just at war in Ukraine, he is also doing his utmost to destabilise pretty much every western democracy.   Russia’s attempts to spread misinformation during elections is pretty well documented.   We have all heard about it during British and the United States elections, and you can be certain that it happens in European and other countries too.   It has got to the point where a number of organisations that I know of, make particular efforts to screen internet traffic for anything that can be traced as coming through Russia.   Monitoring Russian (and I’m including other countries here too that are supported by Russia) internet traffic is not an attempt at censorship, rather Russia’s unseen information and economic war is everywhere, and in my opinion is just a small part of deliberate attempts to undermine the fabric of modern society.   We should all be aware of, and wo

On eating out.

  I’ve mentioned before that we were building an extension.   Because of it we lost our kitchen for a few months and were living on what we could either microwave or air fry in the house.   That is a pretty boring diet, so we also had more carry outs than we have had in years and have been doing the rounds of local pub grub establishments and restaurants. I have to say that for a town the size of Bangor, the restaurants despite not being cheap to dine in are almost universally pretty poor.   Buying wine in a restaurant costs a lot, but what you get in return for your hard earned cash has frequently been not much more than vinegar.   Why is it that £6 to £7 quid can get you a pretty decent wine in a supermarket, yet three or four times that amount in a restaurant buys something only fit to put on chips? Restaurants here have been complaining for years about people not eating out as much as they used to yet provide a not very enjoyable eating experience when you do go out with medioc

Two Wrongs…….

 This has been bugging me ever since Hamas were stupid/ callous enough to raid Israel on the 7 th October. What did they expect would happen with the current right-wing government that is in power in Israel?  There is a lot of truth in what Israel are saying about Hamas using their own peoples lives for propaganda. However, and this is a very big however, there is, or at least there should be, a huge difference between the terrorist organisation Hamas and a legitimate state like Israel.   I’ll give you a couple of rough, home grown definitions that might hopefully illustrate the point.   We have a lot of experience in dealing with terrorists here in Northern Ireland.   What Israel is doing categorically will not work.   They will not get rid of Hamas, in fact heavy handed tactics like they are applying will only drive more volunteers into the ranks of Hamas. 1)       A terrorist organisation does not follow the rule of law, that's why they are an illegal organisation.   Th