Saturday, April 10, 2010

My First Blog Picture

When I started at The Record Blog Page, I was the only one of two bloggers without a head shot promoting my page. I did replace it with the one you see there now. The other blog without a head shot was Talespin, which wasn't bad company. So, what was my non-headshot picture (see above) all about?

My picture of a man installing a thatch roof in Ireland was taken in 2005. More about it in a bit.

My wife, our two traveling companions, and I had stayed a night in a bed and breakfast, or BnB for short, outside of a town on the west coast of Ireland. I'm not going to be any more specific than that, because the place is small enough, people there could figure out who I'm talking about. Of course, five years have passed so things have probably changed for these people, but there is nothing to be gained by taking chances.

The woman who owned the BnB had told us the prior evening we'd have to leave the next night because all her rooms were reserved that night. Now that morning had come, she placed a series of calls to proprietors of other BnBs in that town with whom she clearly was well acquainted. She popped into the sun-room to tell us she'd found us a vacancy at a wonderful BnB right in Town, steps away from the stores and a pub known for its traditional music sessions. She said the proprietor was wonderful and had a lovely daughter who was training to take over the BnB someday. She had no doubt we'd have the best service.

We followed her directions awhile later and found a delightful place with pastures on three sides but located on the back side of the main street. The cattle over the stone walls made it look like upstate New York melded with a Kinkade cottage. Our male friend and I explored the perimeter of the home, knocked on every door, but saw no signs of anyone.

We got in the rental car to leave when a small car pulled in snappy and a young woman with dark hair flung open the car door. She apologized profusely, introduced herself as Nora, and set about to familiarize us with the abode. Still, out of breath she said her mother was the actual proprietor and she, Nora, was just helping out. Our male friend said, “Oh, you must be the daughter who will take the reins someday for this lovely BnB.”

Nora stopped in her tracks. She said, “Welllllll, who was saying that?” Our male friend tried to back peddle by saying, “Oh, it was just an offhand comment from someone at the last place we stayed. She probably was more speculating than knowing.”

The face of the young girl visibly clouded. Her face wasn't angry, but she looked determined as she said, “People around here tend to assume everyone follows their parents' career. I'm a world economics major at Trinity. I don't know where I'll be living after I graduate, but I know I won't be here. There aren't any positions for world economists here, are there?”

So there you have a slice of modern Ireland. Gracious hosts living in a beautiful land, often respectful of history and heritage, but growing in ambition and integration with Europe and the world.

So back to the picture I chose back when I started.

The man is installing a thatch roof. Such roofs have been protecting homes in Ireland, and elsewhere, for centuries, nah, for millennia. They are especially fetching to Americans, such as me, because they remind us of the picturesque Ireland our relatives left behind.

But if you look closely, this fellow is talking on a cell phone!

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