Tag Archives: special day

Lundy Day

Lundy the Traitor

Note: The fact that I’m posting about this event does not mean I support the Order of the Orange. I found it interesting and am glad that this kind of celebration can peacefully take place and that both sides are sitting down and discussing things instead of lobbing bombs and bullets at each other.

I’m a few days late with this post — I’d forgotten about Lundy Day until about 4:00 am when I couldn’t sleep and my thought stream lead from my desire for a G1 phone to using a GPS (and getting lost) while walking in Derry, Northern Ireland, to OMG LUNDY’S BEEN BURNED ALREADY! Unfortunately I’d been having trouble sleeping and that didn’t help at all.

Are you familiar with the story of Robert Lundy? I’d never heard of him nor the Apprentice Boys until we visited the Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall in Derry, Northern Ireland this past July. In a nutshell (and if you know the story better than I, please comment and I’ll correct my story), when supporters of King James II of England tried to invade the walled city of Derry in 1689 he found the city gates locked. The story goes that 13 apprentice boys were the ones who closed and locked the gates.  The governer of the city, Colonel Robert Lundy met with a few of his loyal supporters to discuss surrender. The rest of the city had different ideas and believed in “No Surrender!”. Lundy, realizing he was in a bit of a pickle, sneaked out of the city and was never captured.

The city, probably frustrated from not being able to capture and punish Lundy himself, decided to burn him in effigy each year to commemorate the Shutting of the Gates during the Siege of Derry.

Here’s a better explanation from the website of the Apprentice Boys

Each year the Apprentice Boys of Derry celebrate the stand taken by the thirteen apprentices who shut the gates: the “Brave Thirteen”.

Following the arrival of King William III in England, there had been widespread panic among Protestants in Ireland that there would be a massacre of Protestants. While the citizens of Londonderry were agitated by these reports, news came that a regiment of Roman Catholics were on their way to Londonderry.

When the army arrived on the 7th December (old calendar), the leaders of the city were still debating what to do. Thirteen young apprentices took the initiative and shut the gates in the faces of the army. Their actions were the spark which led to the Siege of Derry, the longest siege in British military history.

Today we commemorate their actions in our annual Shutting of the Gates Celebrations on the first Saturday in December.

The Celebrations start with the symbolic firing of a cannon on the city’s historic walls at midnight. 13 members of a Parent Club will then make their way to each of the four original City gates, as the 13 apprentices did in 1688.

The main celebrations begin later on Saturday with the visiting Branch Clubs and bands parading from the Waterside to the Memorial Hall. The main parade then makes its way from Society Street around the City Centre to a service of thanksgiving in St Columb’s Cathedral. Following the service, the parade makes its way back to Bishop Street for the traditional burning of Lundy the Traitor.

Robert Lundy EffigyWhen we visited The Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall we were able to see view the unfinished effigy of Lundy the Traitor. He hung, unceremoniously, in a storage closet. I asked the man who gave us a tour if the burning was ever televised in the States or on the Internet. He said they were not that technologically savvy yet, but maybe someday.

Luckily for us, folks in the croud were technologically savvy:

Before:

The burning of Lundy the Traitor (the exact one we saw):

And if you’re in for a long parade with Apprentice Boys, marching bands and Saint Nicholas, here you go:

Thanks to billyred1 for these videos.

Inauguration Day a Holiday Near the Beltway

All of the other school districts in the area had Inauguration day off but Montgomery County Public Schools didn’t — until a few hours ago.

Here’s the text of the announcement:

MCPS To Be Closed on January 20 Inauguration Day
December 9, 2008

The Montgomery County Board of Education voted today (Dec. 9) to designate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, as a holiday in Montgomery County Public Schools. All schools and offices will be closed.

In its resolution approving the change to the current school calendar, the Board also noted that Inauguration Day will be designated as a school system holiday in all future years when Inauguration Day occurs.

The resolution, put forward by Board member Christopher Barclay, was passed unanimously. “I am very pleased that the Board decided to close the schools on Inauguration Day, not only on January 20, 2009, but from this point forward,” said Mr. Barclay. “Our students and their families can celebrate the inauguration of our country’s president.”

Mother’s Day

Dean and the kids said they’d do whatever I wanted to do for Mother’s day, so I suggested we go to Lilit for brunch, see some artwork at the Fine Arts Festival in Bethesda and then see a movie. All three of the ideas came via email announcements.

I’m on Lilit’s mailing list. They send out announcements for their wine and beer tastings and occassional special events as well.

I heard about the movie, Waitress, through the Fox Searchlight email list I’m on and they announced a special showing of the film at a local theater and promised free goodie bags as well. Who can resist free goodie bags? Not me.

Finally, the art festival is a yearly event in Bethesda. I think we went one year, long ago when it was held further up Woodmont.

Dean exclaimed more than once that we never do these kinds of things and he was loving it.

We got into Bethesda around 10 am and walked to the area where the art festival was taking place. There were over a hundred booths of very pretty art, at prices we couldn’t really afford – and nothing really caught our fancy, although I was interested in a floor covering for our dining room. I spent a bit of time chatting with the wife of the artist who makes floor cloths. As much as I’ve wanted one, $1200 seems like an awful lot of money to spend. Maybe we will end up getting a rug after all.

Brunch was delicious – I had a spinach and red-pepper omelet with feta cheese and toast. They also poured me a complimentary mimosa and handed me a long-stemmed red rose. I love that place!

After brunch we had a couple hours to spare so stopped at Second Story Books. I’ve written about that part of our day on Clutch Cargo Lips.

The movie was good fun. I don’t necessarily want to think too deeply about it or analyze it because I know it would fall down under scrutiny, but as a form of entertainment, it was a perfect accompianment to the day thus far. As we left the theater we were each given a white paper bag full of coupons, lipstick, hair balm, liquid soap, and a magazine. We also each received a frozen Sarah Lee pie to go with the pie theme of the film.

When we got home the kids set to work cooking the menu I’d planned for the day. It was easy to plan because I’d seen it on Rachel Ray’s show. The only downfall was when the kids mistakenly mashed all of the black beans instead of just the small amount I left out for them to mash. I ran to the store and saved the day by buying more beans (after a few choice swear words).

Dinner was delicious, albeit a little spicy hot. No one really had room for the pie.

After dinner the kids gave me their gifts – one by one Andrew brought the presents out under his shirt. They gave me:

  • a bag of Cheeto’s (the crispy kind I like)
  • a container of cookies – the round, tubular kind with chocolate in the middle
  • a pen set (fountain and ink pen)
  • a bird feeder – platform for the cardinals

It was a lovely day and a testament to what a wonderful family I have.