Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: ireland

Murrayfield and Croke Park

After a thrilling finale Italy today beat Scotland 22-19 to return to the victory in the Six Nations after a streak of seven match – last win was March 16 2013 against Ireland, 22-15. It was an exceptional ending with Italy pushing hard for the try and getting it done a few seconds to the end. There are quite a few things I will remember: the stubborn attacks by the Italian side when everything seemed lost, our captain crying on the grass after the try, the colorful play-by-play of the duo Munari – Raimondi (thank you Dmax for showing the matches free to air), and the gentlemanly behavior of the Scottish captain Greig Laidlaw.

 

This is our second victory in Murrayfield against Scotland. The other time was 2007 and I still remember that match: it ended 17-37 and Italy scored three tries in the first six minutes in what might well go down as the most devastating start of a match the tournament ever recorded. It was delightful. And it was also the first away victory ever for the Italian crew since they were admitted in the Six Nations – previously Five Nations – in 2000. It was February 25, 2007.

The same day another match was played in Dublin. Ireland-England was a historically important game because it was the first time rugby was played in Dublin’s biggest stadium since 1920. Croke Park had become worldwide famous in November 21 1920 when the Black and Tans of the Royal Irish Constabulary, supported by members of the British Auxiliary Division, opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football, killing fourteen civilians. Football and rugby were henceforth banished from Croke Park, as well as English flags and symbols. The ban was finally lifted in 2007 and the authorities bravely allowed the match against England to be played. So on February 25 a hugely emotionally charged match was played. There were legitimate fears of violence and riots on the bleachers. But the Irish supporters surprised many by respectfully observing the British national anthem, God Save The Queen. That day, the Irish team surprised even more by beating bookmarks-favorite England 43-13 in what was a record number of points taken in a single match in the history of English rugby.

Gaying

Ireland will hold referendum on same-sex marriage in 2015. The country is the most catholic enclave in the world and is very conservative on social issues. At least, this is my memory from the time I spent there in 2009. Hence, I was extremely surprised to see the polls released earlier this week. They show that 76% of Irish voters are in favour of same-sex marriage (would vote yes in a referendum), 18% are against.

Speaking about gay marriages. Here‘s an interesting article on the gaying of videogames, or on videogames embracing gay romance.

The Hound of Ulster

Cú Chulainn is an Irish mythological hero who appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore. You got to know that Celtic mythology is one of my favourite book genres, standing only one step below comics, biographies, and Czech self-introspective novels,  but at least a couple of step above historical fictions, mystery, and Greek mythology.

Now, Cú Chulainn is one of the most complicated characters of Irish mythology. The son of the god Lugh and Deichtine, his childhood name was Sétanta, which today is the name of the main sport TV channel in Ireland. It is still about fun.

For many, Sétanta/Cú Chulainn resembles Achilles. As for Achilles, it was prophesied that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame but that his life would be a short one. I would encourage you to go and check out his full story which, as all the other Celtic tales, is incredibly long and spans over different centuries.

I remember Cú Chulainn now because I think of him every time I drink Bushmills; and we have finished the bottle of Bushmills we had at home. Since way back.

 

 

Since way back

When in Ireland I drank beer and water on the most part; and Jameson Irish Whiskey on occasion. Then Pierre let me try a classy whiskey from Northern Ireland, Bushmills, which is way less commercial than Jameson. The Old Bushmills Distillery in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, was founded in 1608 and is considered the oldest licensed distillery in the world.

Shortly after trying Bushmills I travelled to Northern Ireland. I was fascinated by the somehow depressing atmosphere of the coast I clearly remember I was absolutely amazed by the colours I found near the Giant’s Causeway. I spent a few days there with – let’s see if my memory works well – Elena, Serena, Issi, Rebekka, Celine, Pierre, Tobias, Rolf, Amaury, Cathrin, Giulia, Felipe, Sara, Rosan, Fabien, Alan, Cati, David, Emily, Nikky.



Last week Mindo brought home some bottles. There was one bottle of Bushmills too. It was the first time I was drinking it since 2009. It reminded me of Belfast, Antrim, the Giant’s Causeway and, above all, all the friends who I have not seen for quite a while.

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Five songs and one album

Ieri suggerivo a Stefania di farsi consigliare cinque canzoni e un album da ogni amico, per creare una libreria musicale originale e variegata. Comincio io con cinque canzoni da ascoltare e ri-ascoltare per ricordarsi che ci sono momenti che valgono molto di più del denaro.

  1. Old pine: un fuoco con gli amici in spiaggia durante una lunga notte di luglio.
  2. Long as I can see the light: due scarponi e una lunga camminata per raggiungere un rifugio caldo dove giocare a carte e bere grappa con gli amici.
  3. Radio nowhere: uno zaino Salomon pieno di vestiti sporchi dopo un mese su e giù per un Paese sconosciuto.
  4. Le Vent Nous Portera: un campo di girasoli e il sole della tarda primavera.
  5. How to build a house: un albero nel giardino di casa.
  6. Tea for the Tillerman (album):  non so cosa rappresenti di preciso, ma quest’album mi ha sempre aiutato a essere una persona genuina, o almeno a provarci.

Yesterday I suggested Stefania to seek advice from friends to create an original and varied music library. I’ll start with five songs to listen and re-listen to remember that there are moments that are worth much more than money.

  1. Old pine: a fire with friends on a beach during a long summer night.
  2. Long as I can see the light: two boots and a long walk to get to a warm haven where playing cards and drinking grappa with friends.
  3. Radio nowhere: a backpack full of dirty clothes after a month up and down through a foreign country.
  4. Le Vent Nous Portera: a field of sunflowers under the late spring sun.
  5. How to build a house: a tree in the backyard.
  6. Tea for the Tillerman (album): I do not know exactly what it represents, but this album has always helped me to be a genuine person, or at least to try.

That’s brilliant! I mean, tragic, of course. But brilliant.

A few years ago I was planning to walk the Camino de Santiago. Then the idea slowly slipped out of my mind and I moved on to other objectives.

This morning I was having breakfast with Juan and Celine, my temporary flatmates thanks to Roberto, and we ended up talking about the Camino. I remembered this trailer I saw just a few days ago and I am now thinking about the Camino again. Why not doing it this summer?

By the way: the Irish guy in the movie makes me think of Joe.

It never rains on Thursday

On Thursday March the 17th in Victoria, BC, Canada, I was feeling grumpy and nostalgic, missing my Irish friends and that one semester I spent in Dublin. In spite of the insistence of mr Peace River, I was not in the mood of celebrating San Paddy’s day. It just did not feel like Ireland. The weather outside was just fine. Obviously, the weather in Ireland was never fine. It was not even close to that Irish gloomy atmosphere and I missed so much.

However, the day after I I got up laboriously. I was hangover and I realized I lost Thomas’ vest. Later it turned out to be Thomas’ friend’s vest. Outside it was a grey day. It was raining and a couple of old men down at the harbour were having a pint. I put on the some Great Big Sea music and spent the rest of my day in the proper Irish mood.

How far can you travel with no money?

As I just posted a video from UVic, it is worth mentioning another place where I studied, Trinity College Dublin. Matter of fact, Joe just shared this Time article which is about how Far Can You Travel in 36 Hours with No Money. In an event known as the Trinity College Jailbreak, nearly 70 students from the Dublin University were given a day and a half to get as far away from the Irish capital as they could without spending any money. “We originally thought people would travel to the U.K. and around Ireland, we never imagined they would make it out of Europe,” Sorcha McCauley, one of the organizers, told TIME over the phone.

According to McCauley, two competitors made it as far as St. Peter’s square in Vatican City, where they dressed up as priests and handed in their résumés for a certain job opening. But others arrived even more far away: apparently, a few of them did arrive in the hometown of that other person who got the job – just tonight. To find out, read the rest of the article here.

Denise Moreno

I met Denise at Trinity College Dublin. We were both studying there, we had a few chats, nothing more. Anyways, she’s trying her best to become an actress, and I think she’s doing quite fine at that regard. Check out her IMDb page and her first short movie Pourquoi Pas (it is about twenty minutes, and it is really worth watching).