The flaming days of June have given way to the balmy days of July. Belfast is warm and humid and festooned with flags. Our crossroads has a novel addition to the huge Union and Ulster flags; a modest sized royal standard is flying. Usually this would indicate that the monarch is in residence, but unless she is slumming it in South Belfast, strict protocol is not being observed by her majesty’s most loyal subjects.
One of the tall bonfires constructed in hexagonal form out of wooden pallets has already been lit. This was not in celebration of good King Billie’s victory at the Boyne river over King James’ forces, but the malicious action of a party pooper from the other tradition.
Meanwhile an orphaned lamb that was being looked after by a farmer and his wife at home, until it was weaned, was reported to the authorities by a nosey neighbour, who mistook it for a full-grown sheep. The lamb was featured on the local news and was on a lead. It hopped in and out of a hatch back car most obligingly and appeared to be the perfect house guest. The authorities will not be taking any action.
Seventeen tall ships will be moored along three docks in Belfast harbour for the next three days with hundreds of thousands of visitors clambering over these majestic vessels, or enjoying the carnival atmosphere at the quayside.