Well, here we are in Northern Ireland. They have a kind off stand-off-ish type peace here now, thanks to the 1998 Good Friday agreement, but it's bizarre to see the Protestant and Catholic areas of this city (to be politically correct we've been referring to it as 'Londonderry/Derry' - hence the 'stroke'!), and the murals commemorating the Bloody Sunday massacre which happened here on 30th January 1972.
It's been a fun couple of days - we've just come from county Donegal, which although in the North, is actually in the South. The Republic, that is. It's bizarre - very Irish, I guess you'd say.
At the very least I've resolved to talk more with my mum about the IRA and Unionists etc. She left the south while still young, so I think she missed a lot of the really bad stuff. But coming here in person has really made me understand a bit more about the issue. Well, not really, as it's incomprehensible a lot of the time. A whole load of bloodshed for no good reason sometimes!
If this post doesn't make sense, it's because we've been at the pub for the last two nights running talking bollocks. We've got a fairly small tour group, only 16, so we're all bonding well. In fact, there's a young Polish couple on board, so last night I proceeded to bombard them with the 'My name is Bochenski and my grandad was Polish' routine. They seemed to enjoy it - hmmm, I dunno.
Tomorrow it's off God-knows-where - we end up in Belfast at some point. Best be off, as the internet is free and my turn is pretty much up!
Love to all, Nats.