Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thanks for the Calendar

Many thanks again to the reader who sent me the Australian calendar showing paintings of various scenes from Australian life in the past.

Very often, when I look at (or when I turn the page to another month, as I did today), I take a great deal of pleasure in it.

Australia has always seemed interesting to me because it's "so near, and yet so far", culturally speaking. You'd think we'd hear more about it in Ireland (or the UK, or America), but it's another world. However, I rather like that fact. I like the fact that the world is so big and I like "foreignness".

There's also a piquant contrast between the drizzly (and currently snowy!) weather of Ireland and the sun-beaten scenes on the calendar.

I like picture calendars in general. They are a very pleasant combination of the practical and utilitarian.

One of the oldest entries in my purple notebook is "cowboy calendar". This dates from my mid-teens. I came home from school one day and found myself reading a magazine advertisement for a calendar illustrated with oil paintings of cowboys. I was surprised by the detail the advertisement went into. It seemed to me wonderful that there would be such a thing as a cowboy calendar. I liked the idea of accountants and schoolteachers day-dreaming about rugged men of the plains.And there was more to it, too. (The common feature of the my purple notebook entries is that it would take a whole essay to explain why each one means so much to me.)

Thank you. 


  1. Whilst you were contemplating Australia,I came across your the name -slightly different spelling - Maelsheachlainn in a book for the first time last night. Although it's the life of Columcille it looked forward a few centuries..."it remained, indeed,a place of true patriotism. The High-Kings still were termed the Kings of Tara, and there were ceremonial meetings there. A synod once met in Tara, and in 1002 the mighty Brian went to the Royal hill to meet the High-King Maelsheachlainn and to take the High-Kingship from him."