Sunday, September 12, 2010


When I was an Orange child growing up in 'Ulster Says No' we had a map of Northern Ireland up on the classroom wall, with blue sea all around it.
I asked: "Where's Dublin's fair city where the girls are so pretty?"
They told me: "That's in a foreign country, nothing to do with us..."
I said, "But you can't just pretend it doesn't exist - can you?"
And so to today when we went to the shop to buy pencils and rubbers for school and the sweetest wee globe that lights up - it's fascinating to study - there are so many new countries formed from the breakup of USSR - Belarus, and Lithuania and Ukraine...
"What's the dirty mark?" asked Maud, pointing to eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea.
"It's not a dirty mark," said Rex. "It's black marker pen and it won't rub off."
"I didn't do it!" they chorused.
Of course they hadn't done it - someone else in the stationery shop had blotted out Israel with indelible ink.

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