Wednesday 17 August 2016

School Lessons

There is always some sadness in learning.
When we were nine we embarked on a tour
of the Thirty –Two Counties, Sister Joseph's tipped cane
pointing the way. At Belfast Shipyard inauspicious
clouds gathered over the half-built Titanic:
A cross-channel steamer at a high rate of speed
ranging her on her moorings, parting her long fore and aft
springs, causing the wire hawser to fall suddenly on one
of the scows on which several men were working. If only
they’d heeded CP from Harland and Woolf Ltd- they’d have known
she was jinxed. She was ship 401, and by the time the cane had drilled-
home the fate of all of her predecessors our ship was running
out of steam. We took a north-westerly route, navigating
the coastline as far as the Giant’s Causeway, but it was there
that our engine failed. No crank of cylinder across the Border

and into the Free State. We had to settle for the Six Counties.

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