The Outcast

A brief sojourn in Blogstead na Mara among the unsold houses, the unfinished developments and the unstarted developments which are the sad detritus of Ireland’s economic boom.  The developers will go bust – and maybe the banks too.  And the pity is that the houses were ever built because the landscape is spoilt for ever.  We’re on our way to celebrate the Civil Partnership of the children of old friends – so that will be interesting.

We got stuck on the quayside at Cairnryan in the gales for nearly five hours.  Poppy gave up reciting her pedigree under her breath and found me a book from the back of the car – Sadie Jones’ ‘The Outcast’ – billed as a ‘Richard ‘n Judy Summer Read’.  Turns out to be a very very uncomfortable read – of a bereaved child for whom everything goes wrong – of the dreary ’50’s – of self harming.  And he sees the church as the place where he is most patronised by others and where the hypocrisy of the community is at its greatest.  So he burns it down.

Speaking of which, we did as many second-homers do yesterday – went to church.  With a comment in the Visitors’ Book from somebody in Perthshire welcoming Prayer Book Matins.  And we said Psalm 1 ‘which tells us where true happiness can be found in alternative half verses.’  But we’re made very welcome there every time we go.  We know people and it’s good to be there and have a natter at the gate afterwards.  Worship, community, belonging … all sort of muddled up together.