Tuesday 6 April 2021

crossing the border

We lived for several years in NE England before finally washing back up on the shores of Ireland.  If I had to live in a city, I might have been tempted to stay in Newcastle upon Tyne, a city bigger than Cork but smaller that Dublin with ready access to a rural hinterland of moors and beaches. That last Summer in England we went for a weekend in the English Lakes and slept in, like, a bed, rather than camping . . . because we weren't students anymore. Putting on the razz, we arranged for mine host at the B&B to share his views as we walked up Scafell Pike together. It's the highest peak in England, so like Everest, attracts a disproportionately heavy footfall. The path was well worn. We paused at a big cairn beside the path to look the view. The Beloved and I added a stone each to the way-marking cairn; and our guide picked another stone from the cairn and tossed it away! His position being that there was far too much evidence of human activity in uplands of England. And I say Fairy Nuff.

On the East side of our hill is a megalithic monument recently renamed St Fursey's Altar. It is only obvious from certain angles and it's not marked on the OS map, so many walkers pass it by. Last year our community marked out a relatively easy path to this dolmen from the main track used by ramblers heading for the local high spot of Mt Leinster.  A handful of relatively unobtrusive white stakes about 50cm tall were driven into the moor to indicate the path. And I say Fairy Nuff.
Last Wednesday, after some concentrated research in mapland which wrestled out the GPS coordinates. I yomped up the track and drove a small round stake into the ground just West of the track as it begins its final climb to Mt Leinster [above L]. As far as I can judge this is where our Townland ends and our neighbours' commonage begins, so I had painted their respective names on opposite sides of the peg. The other picture [above R] is the view of the shoulder of our hill above 1km to the SouthWest - the arrow marks where the border to the townlands crosses the ridge in a dead straight line and heads downhill to hearth and home. I moved the White Rock from nearby on the featureless heath: we'll see if the local walkers are cairn-accreters, like the English. 
And what about Ry Cooder's mournful beautiful Across the Borderline?

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