Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The other interesting thing about Belfast is that as the 11th July (or whenever it is) has only just been there's an absolute orgy of Loyalist paraphenalia in the streets - in strongly Unionist areas the streets are zigzagged with red white and blue bunting and everywhere you look you see flags - Union Flags, The Cross of St George, The Cross of St Andrew, The Ulster Flag, and then the others as well, Orange Order flags, UDA flags, UVF flags, UFF flags - if you can think of a homicidal Loyalist splinter group you'll be able to find their flags flying without any difficulty.

I also went to a bbq outside Belfast - up by Kerrigfergus. This is a pretty middle class area but still staunchly Loyalist. Consequently the barbies was a very organised and middle aged affair, though with quite a bit of drink flowing.

After it got dark the karaoke and guitar came out and people started singing. Obviously there was quite a bit of Don McClean and The Beach Boys to start with and then we moved onto Country & Western and from there it was logical to go to The Proclaimers, which quite naturally led us to traditional folk singing and then laments and you suddenly realise that we're only half a can of lager away from songs about Good King Billy and The Apprentice Boys of Belfast. Weird. But interesting.

It was also, I should add, absolutely bloody freezing. I've never been so cold at a barbeque before. At least it kept the beers cold ;-)

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