Painting the town red (,white, and blue)

As everyone knows, Norn Iron is a bit mad.

At this moment, for example, there is a group of about 30 fully grown men walking past The Parents’ house, wearing decidedly weird, braided uniforms, banging on drums and playing flutes, behind a group of men in suits and bowler hats, who have orange sashes draped across them and are carrying a large cloth banner featuring a picture of a horse. All the neighbours are out to watch as they march towards, erm, a big field. It is 9am. Nobody seems to be perturbed by any of this, apart from me, obviously – I have been hiding under my duvet for a while and eventually had to get up to take painkillers for the headache and grumble in annoyance from behind the curtains as the windows vibrate.

As I’m aware that many of my readers have never had the pleasure of being in Norn Iron over the Glorious Twelfth, I am going to venture out when the parade starts and take some pictures. I’m trying not to think unhelpful thoughts such as “This time last year I was living in the South of France”. Still – I went out to see their festivities, and got pickpocketed. That’s not likely to happen here. At the worst, I’ll get hit by a flying paint bomb.

View from my bedroom: chapel with paint-attacked door.

Local chapel with paint-attacked door.

Anyway, I shall set aside my own issues with this day, and aim to provide a useful, informative, and entertaining report about the 319-year-old tradition of intimidation and sectarian gloating cultural celebration of national identity.

I just wanted to get the grumbling out of the way first.


5 thoughts on “Painting the town red (,white, and blue)

  1. Damaris says:

    just thought I should point out the orange men are walking to the field not marching – its only armies who march and they are not an army-anyway hope you have a good day whatever you’re doing

  2. I stand corrected. Quite relieved that they’re not an army. It would make looking out of my window and seeing them advancing incredibly scary if they were!

    • Nicola says:

      To be fair though if they were an army they wouldnt be that scary – it seems these days that the average age of the orangeman is about 70!!

  3. It all sounds veray strange indeed.
    I lived in Northern Ireland for 2 years but don’t remember ever seeing any orange men. Clearly we didn’t spend enough time outside the boundaries of the army estate.

  4. Nicola says:

    I was in Portglenone today where I had to listen to lots of talk going on around me about Rasharkin Orangehall being attacked! Quite funny that they didnt mention the chapel being attacked … AGAIN, isnt it!

    Oh well – suppose you gotta get used to this tit for tat nonsense when you live in this mad little place!

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