Heritage – Weekly Photo Challenge

This topic, when I read it, felt like opening a can of worms. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I love where I live, but am very aware that I am walking through history every time I turn down a new street.

The trouble with history and a built heritage is, you often only find out about the rich people, the land owners, the gentry who allowed their name to be attached to their gift to the nation. Rarely do you hear about the lives that were ruined in putting them on their pedestals.

Living in Ireland, I often feel I have clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,¬†when I hear the news from England and America. Phrases constantly repeated by rich people, blaming the poor for being the problem, while giving more money to the rich. Poor people using Food Banks by choice, rather than, having no hope once they had funded their landlord’s millionaire lifestyle.

Sorry, back to the photo, I was getting a bit carried away there.

One of the threats used by teachers around here, to encourage unmotivated students, is to say “Get a move on Rover, or you’ll only be fit for breaking stones!”. Not the idle threat it sounds like on paper. You all would know of the images of Nelson Mandela, sitting in the prison yard breaking stones as a punishment, but in Ireland it was the basis of the social welfare system.

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A Stone Depot, County Waterford, Ireland

This photo was taken on the road to my village, I suppose you could call it the original Benefit Street [a programme on English T.V.]. It looks just like a small lay by at the side of the road, mostly overgrown in the summer, un-noticed for the rest of the year. But these compounds were where the man of the house would go to be able to feed his family.

These stone depots were one step away from the workhouse, while able bodied men could still work, they came to break stones in exchange for food. He would have to work here for 10 hours a day, and in return he would be given sustenance for his dependants. I fear when I listen to modern politicians, that they would like to go back to this system, with ideas like Welfare to Work mimicking this old policy.

“the Commissioners recommend the Guardians to establish a system of breaking stones by Measure, as the most suitable employment for able-bodied males requiring relief. The advantages of stone breaking are, that it is easy to superintend and regulate as task-work-that the materials are generally available, the implements of labour few and simple and above all, that it is less eligible to the labourer than most other employments, provided that it be vigilantly superintended and that a full day’s labour be rigorously exacted from each recipient of relief”.

 

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Reflecting – Weekly Photo Challenge

I took this picture some years ago, and have spent the week trying to recreate it. Bad weather, tide in, Sun in, tide out, Sun out, all added up to you seeing the old photo. I think this week’s lesson is you have to be in the right place at the right time!

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Kilmurren Cove, Copper Coast, Waterford, Ireland 

For a few weeks in the summer, tourists discover this cove, for the rest of the year it’s our playground. Dogs, kids, kites, tennis, football, skimming stones and impressions of King Canute all in a day’s work at the beach.

Danger – Weekly Photo Challenge

Danger is a strange one, when you’re younger you don’t see it,when you’re older you see it every where. I don’t have a problem with heights, but I do have a problem with people at heights.

You go somewhere as stunning as The Cliffs of Moher, you see the wall is there to protect the cows not the people (It’s quite windy up there, and the cows could quite easily get blown off the edge, nobody wants to see that!). Yet you still have to go to the edge of the crumbling path to build yourself a tower from the crumbling rocks.

I don’t understand it. There seems to be some kind of competition, as to who can build the tower in the most dangerous place. I don’t know when this idea started, but I don’t like it.

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Little towers, getting nearer the edge.