July 10th, 2011

notes from a small island


This was a good week for this prompt for me - at least in theory. America, France and Canada might all have had their national days - but so did we - and we've been celebrating ours on July 5th since before 'anyone in trousers' (to quote Terry Pratchett) had ever seen Canada or America - and France was still a set of small individual dukedoms.

Tynwald Day has been celebrated on the same date (Old Midsummer) in the same place (St John's) since some date before 1470 - but Tynwald meeting somewhere in the vicinity dates back to around 979. The open-air meeting is very photogenic too - if you can face the thousands of others who all go to hear the laws being promulgated and attend the fair. Except I didn't go to St Johns - I had a lazy day at home.

But I thought I'd go by 'The Hill' this week and take a picture anyway - probably this afternoon, I thought - as Tynwald Hill is the centre, both physically and emotionally, of our small nation. But it is grey and very wet out - so I fear you will have to make do with 'one I took earlier'...

365 week 24 Thursday

On Tynwald Day there are chairs on each layer of the hill, so all our legislature is seated on it - whilst all the new laws are read out in Manx and English to all who attend to listen. And there is dancing, food, competitions and so on on the Fair Field beside the hill.

But for the rest of the year anyone who wants can go and climb the steps and make themselves at home..