The Marching Season Begins:
Three hundred and fifty eight year ago, so I'm told, our earliest known Lynn ancestor took up a 40 acre (36 actually) land grant on the Cleen River, near Fivemiletown in County Fermanagh, Ireland. He'd come over from Ayreshire in Scotland with Oliver Cromwell to sort out the Irish and took land in lieu of arrears of pay. Cromwell no doubt also calculated that my ancestor and his descendants would be less troublesome than the Irish they displaced.
Didn't work though, the Irish never did lie back and think of England.
Nothing worked until the Ulstermen started to fight back, matching the IRA atrocity for atrocity.
And then the EU kicked in with massive subsidies- and allowed Ireland a company tax rate of zero, which preferentially attracted new businesses, leading quickly to the Irish renaissance and reversal of it's diaspora.
Why did it take them all so long to figure out a solution to the "Irish Question"?! The 1690 Battle of the Boyne is looking increasingly like an unnecessary tragedy- but as for when Chou En Lai (Mao's foreign minister) was asked in the 1960's about whether the 1789 French revolution had been successful, "maybe but it's too soon to tell".
Anyway, the Lynn side of my family stayed put in County Fermanagh for the next 248 years. This wasn't unusual; one of my other great-great grandmothers lived to 107 (in Ahoghill, County Antrim) but never traveled more than 15 miles from home in her life. Times have changed!
Then in 1897, Robert Edward (fraternal grandfather, born 1879), broke away and shipped out to NZ. As eldest son, he'd inherited the 36 acres at the age of just 6 when his father died but didn't enjoy the limited opportunities and responsibility to extended family that inheritance then entailed. R.E. was mathematically talented (before emigrating he tutored calculus), but working the land didn't leave him time to go to school (Ireland has ever been inconvenient to the theories of Social Darwinism). On arrival in NZ, he worked as a teamster (horses not the American unionism sort), married an older widow (who had married for love the first times but this last time more pragmatically- it was before NZ had a cosseting welfare system). He also harboured a dream, conceived in guilt no doubt, but no less admirable for that- of saving enough to bring his widowed mother out to NZ and buy her a house. After years of hard slog, he accomplished this- a heart warming- and true- story.
Except that unfortunately, she didn't like Ashburton (our kids – who likewise think it's a dump- are quite obviously her descendants, which rather sinks the milkman theory), went back to Ireland, and re-married- to a no-hoper neighbour. R.E lived in NZ for 70 years- but he never really escaped from Ireland either.
For us descendants at the NZ end, the rest, as they say, is history
- But then, what's all this stuff I've just been going on about? - isn't this history?
Back to the chase; Irish resistance to occupation by us Lynns (for eg) sparked resistance, which continued it's religious character (Northern Irish Protestantism versus Southern Catholicism). By the mid 20th century, us protestant invaders (not unreasonably regarding themselves as indigenous after 12 generations) fell back to asserting their identity against ongoing intransigence by marching through catholic enclaves in the Falls Road area of Belfast, doing this under the banner of their Lodges (the Orange Lodge in particular, which had it's roots in Holland). The, by then extremely-tired-of-all-this authorities, succeeded only in limiting the marching season to a few months.
I've now just enjoyed more than 2 months of relatively uninterrupted home life- but my "Marching Season" is about to kick in: Nine kite events in just the next 2 months, of which it won't be possible to do more than five.
Actually, the "marching season" analogy is inappropriate- kite flying isn't Orange versus Green, it isn't about confrontation (unless the field is too small and there aren't sufficient anchors) - but it is a call on loyalty which can't be ignored- and kitefliers are the best people in the world, and it's fun!
Kites above all!
But from another perspective my kiteflying has just gone orange- that is, we have a really exceptional new kite, and it comes from Holland.
My view (and Pete's) had been that after 8 years of intensive development, our Arc style kites were at a level from which only very small improvements would be possible. We were totally wrong about this.
The Synergy (latest Arc style), designed and developed by Pepijn Smit at Vlieger Op in den Hague is far and away the best Arc there's ever been- more power control, lower stall speed, faster turning and more stable. –And not just small improvements either, it's opened a new world
Congratulations to Vlieger Op and to Pepijn (who we have here in NZ for a few months- for indoctrination and so as we can steal his ideas).
Ashburton, Feb 1 '08