Sunday, August 01, 2004

News and Gratuitous Nostalgia Once again I must apologize for not posting my next section of my treatment of Wright. I was exhausted after arriving back from Ireland and the weekend was extremely busy. The journey over did not go very well. Our train was delayed for an hour or so following a death on the line ahead of us and we missed our first ferry. However, once we were there, the time in Ireland went very well. We stayed in the house of C.S. Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, for a conference. The house is an old Irish house set in the midst of beautiful countryside; Mr. Gresham is a fantastic character with a touch of eccentricity. He is also a committed Christian with a ministry to those who have been abused as children or suffered pregnancy loss. Ireland has changed a lot since I moved over to the UK in 1996. Secularization continues apace. New housing projects seem to be sprouting up everywhere. The whole centre of Dundrum, for example, was being transformed, with huge cranes lining the horizon. Even the roads don't seem to have as many potholes (although they were still reassuringly bumpy in places). A lot of EU money has been channeled into Ireland's infrastructure; most of the big new construction projects have been largely underwritten by this money. One wonders how long this can last, particularly as other poorer countries join the EU. Every time I return to Ireland I realize how much I miss the place. However, I realize that the country is swiftly moving beyond the country that I was brought up in. Nevertheless, despite the prosperity and ubiquitous building sites, the country still retains much of its beguiling beauty. Unfortunately, I was not able to visit Clonmel (where I lived until I moved to the UK at 16) during my time. Maybe next time. Here is a picture of the street where we lived during the vast majority of our time in Clonmel. I must confess that it was more than a bit of a letdown to move from the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings of Clonmel to Stoke-on-Trent.

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