A “See Ireland in a week” Strategy
Fly into Dublin
Spend two nights in Dublin
Spend most of the time south of River Liffey.
See Trinity College, Temple Bar area at night, Grafton Street area before dinner
See Book of Kells while in Trinity College
Get to Grand Canal Square off Pearse Street, and have lunch or dinner on the Grand Canal. Rent a bike and use the bike path that goes to Baggot Street and beyond on the canal.
Leave plenty of time for St Stephen’s Green (two hours?)
Eat dinner at The Winding Stair – on the River Liffey.
Spend lots of time on the west coast (one day?)
Spend 2-3 hours in Galway (Ireland top 15 city)
Get north of Galway (if possible) to explore County Galway and County Mayo, especially the village of Westport (Ireland top 15)
Get south of Galway to explore County Clare, driving on the coast road wherever possible (beware: will be slow but well worth it).
Stop for the night and dinner at Ballyvaughn or Doolin. Ballyvaughn is mid-way and has a few good restaurants.
Stop at the Cliffs of Moher, the village of Doolin (Ireland Top 15 and 5 miles from Cliffs)
End the day at Ennis? (Ireland Top 15 and 25 miles from Cliffs).
Spend a day visiting southwest (two days?)
Get to Killarney, and possibly stay there (note: 55 miles from Cork on road from Dingle
In Killarney, visit Killarney National park
From Killarney, visit Dingle and Dingle Peninsula
From Killarney, visit Ring of Kerry.
Spend lots of time in and around Cork. (1-2 days?)
Visit West Cork small towns on coast
Day trip to Glangarriff and Rosscarbery (Ireland top 15)
Day trip to Rosscarbery (Ireland top 15)
Visit Kinsale (harbor town in West Cork)
Visit East Cork small towns on Coast
Day trip to Cobh (Ireland top 15)
Day trip to Shanagarry and Ballycotton (superb attractions like a cooking school with restaurant and a pottery studio and a major cliff walk).
Day trip to Youghtal
Visit (or Stay?) at Castlemartyr Resort (five stars!)
On return to Dublin, perhaps stay in or have lunch in
Lismore (Ireland top 15, 35 miles from Cork)
Kilkenny (Ireland top 15 – 96 miles from Cork and 84 miles from Dublin airport)
Here’s a sensible itinerary:
Arrive Dublin Mon July 23
Arrive Galway Wed Jul 25 ( 130 mile drive)
Arrive Ennis Thu Jul 27 (44 mile drive)
(after cliffs and lunch in Doolin, next to Cliffs)
(south of Galway in County Clare)
Arrive Killarney Fri Jul 28 (95 mile drive)
Arrive Cork Sat Jul 29 (80 mile drive)
(after driving Ring of Kerry and also trip to Dingle)
Arrive Kilkenny Fri Aug 3
Arrive Dublin Sat Aug 4
Ireland Tips – Dublin
There are two sections of Dublin: south and north of the River Liffey.
The big street that crosses the river and is the center of town is “O’Connell Street”.
South, there is a big shopping area called Grafton Street, which connects to O’Connell. Around Grafton are little cute streets with restaurants, shops etc.
Nassau Street is a great street – a continuation of Grafton. A good meeting point is Grafton and Nassau.
At the top of of Grafton Street, is St Stephens Green, which is one of the best parks in the world. There are flowers, and trails, and ponds, and ruins. Great place.
Trinity College, with is beautiful and a great walking stop, is between Pearse and Nassau, on the Southside.
If you walk or cab down Pearse, you will get to a wonderful area centered on Grand Canal Square. There are great views there, down the harbor, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, etc.
Importantly, a wonderful bike path runs along the canal to the south. Its a bit difficult to find, since it is hidden at the canal locks. In fact, to get to it, you need to bike down a tiny street to the west of the canal near the Trinity College annex. This will take you to Baggot Street and beyond.
Coming back to the river and the centre, if you head west from O’Connelll street, on the southside, you will hit the Temple Bar area. Its a fun place at night, if you can put up with some drunks and some noise, all harmless. Temple Bar is a must see, but is way too touristy for my taste.
Ireland Tips – Outside of Dublin
Assuming a clock with North at 12, Dublin is at 3, Kilkenny 4, Cork 6, Killarney (and Kilarney National Park 7 (close to center of clock), Limerick 8 (close to Kilkenny?), Galway 9, Sligo 11.
You can cross Ireland from Dublin to Galway in a little over two hours.
Galway to Ennis is about an hour, but taking the coast road (a must) along the coast of County Clare will easily take half a day.
Ennis to Killarney is about two hours, and Killarney to Cork is about two hours.
So these are short distances, especially when you are on a big road (where speed limits are 100-120 Km/hour. Small roads are intimidating because of busses and traffic jams. But they are by far the most interesting.
(Killarney, Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, over to Cork on the East)
(County Galway to North, Clare in Middle with Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle, County Kerry to South, Barley Harbour, Carrick-on-Shannon)
(Kilkenny in the North, over to Cork to the west, and including Castelmartyr, Yougal, Cobh, Waterford)
COUNTY CLARE JCR: Focus Here.
County Clare in the Republic of Ireland is steeped in history, and it offers beautiful seascapes, landscapes, lakes, cliffs, caves, and music. Highlights include The Burren (an ancient, perfectly preserved landscape), the Cliffs of Moher (700 foot high cliffs facing the wild Atlantic), and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park (an impressive castle dating from the early Middle Ages).
COUNTY CORK JCR: Focus Here.
County Cork is the largest county in Ireland and Cork City is the second-largest city in the Republic. A unique and lively second capital, the distinctive people are as much an attraction as the place itself. JCR: Note village of Cob is here east of the Cork Harbor and the village of Kinsale is here west of the harbor.
COUNTY DUBLIN JCR: Focus Here.
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and is divided by the River Liffey. The Royal Canal and the Grand Canal provide connections between the port area and the northern and southern branches of the River Shannon.
COUNTY GALWAY JCR: Focus Here.
Galway City is known as the City of Tribes after 14 merchant families who controlled and managed the city in medieval times and is situated along the River Corrib at the mouth of Galway Bay. Note that the Wild Atlantic Way starts here and goes North to Sligo.
COUNTY KERRY JCR: Focus Here.
The locals know County Kerry as The Kingdom, a reference to the contrasts you’ll see in its astounding scenery, which suggest Ireland in miniature. The climate in Kerry is more unique than other places in Ireland, thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and it’s actually possible to swim here year round.
Note Dingle, Killarney and Killarney National Park are near/
COUNTY KILKENNY JCR: Focus Here.
Kilkenny is a county looked on enviously by other counties and not only because of the county’s incredible track record in the ancient Irish game of hurling. Kilkenny is a county filled with enchantment and delight. From the spectacular scenery of the Nore and Barrow river valleys to the cultured beauty of Kilkenny City, the county provides the perfect setting for whatever holiday you desire.
COUNTY WICKLOW JCR: Maybe, probably not
County Wicklow is often referred to as the Garden of Ireland, due to its breathtaking scenery and located just south of Dublin it makes for a wonderful day trip or overnight stay away from the ‘big smoke.’ Note the town of Bray is right on the coast. Note also Wicklow Mountains National Park
COUNTY MEATH JCR: Probably not
Just northwest of Dublin, County Meath has traditionally been known as the Royal County, being the seat of the ancient Kings of Ireland at Tara. In the Boyne Valley of County Meath are some of Ireland’s most important archaeological monuments, including the Megalithic Passage Tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Fourknocks, Loughcrew, and Tara.
COUNTY OFFALY JCR: Probably not
The heart of the Midlands, County Offaly offers bogs, meadowlands, and undiscovered pastures. Clonmacnoise, located at Shannonbridge on the banks of the River Shannon, is one of the most famous monastic sites.
COUNTY DONEGAL – – – JCR: too far north …..???
Far to the north ….. With its sandy beaches, unspoiled boglands and friendly communities, County Donegal is a leading destination for many travelers. One of the county treasures is Glenveagh National Park, the only official national park anywhere in the Province of Ulster. The park is a huge nature reserve with spectacular scenery of mountains, raised boglands, lakes, and woodlands. At its heart is Glenveagh Castle, a beautiful late Victorian “folly” that was originally built as a summer residence.
Top 15 Towns
Westport, County Mayo, Photo: Courtesy of luca fabbian – fotolia.com JCR: North of Galway. Cute. Could be northernmost leg of trip, returning through county Galway?
Cities in Ireland: Cobh, County Cork, Photo: Courtesy of M.V. Photography – fotolia.com JCR: this is an important day trip to the coast from where we are staying?
Glengarriff, County Cork, JCR: this west of Cork on the coast.
Rosscarbery, County Cork, JCR: this west of Cork on the coast.
Ireland Cities: Doolin, County Clare, Right next to the Cliffs of Moher. Tiny.
Ennis, County Clare, JCR: Between Limerick and Galway off A18. This is the first major stop to the south of Cliffs of Moher. Nice town, full of history. Old Ground Hotel and Restaurant here.
Dublin, Major Stop
Galway, County Galway Major Stop
Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, JCR: Between Cork and DublinLunch stop? 96 miles from Cork and 84 miles from Dublin airport.
Killarney, County Kerry, JCR: Wonderful place. Major stop.
Lismore, County Waterford, JCR: this is an important day trip from where we are staying? 35 miles back toward Dublin in Waterford County.
Beal an Mhuirthead, County Mayo, JCR: North of Galway. On coast and too far out of the way?????
Blackrock, County Louth, JCR too far north? North of Dublin
Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim, Photo: Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim JCR too far north? On the road to Sligo
Trip Advisor Top 15 Sites
Cliffs of Moher Liscannor
Kilmainham Gaol Dublin
St. Stephen’s Green Dublin
Trinity College Dublin Dublin
The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition Dublin
Guinness Storehouse Dublin
Temple Bar Dublin
Killarney Falconry Killarney
Eagles Flying Ballymote
Slea Head Drive Dingle Peninsula
Mayfield Birds of Prey Kilmsacthomas
Kilkee Cliff Walk Kills
Blueberry Hill Farm Sneem
Ballykeefe Distillery Cuffesgrange
Slieve League Carrick
Wild Atlantic Way This is a massive coastline. Deserves lots of time and stops…..especially in County Clare, but really all the way to Cork. Begins in Sligo to the north? Runs through Galway?
Joyce Country Sheepdogs Shanafaraghaun
Scattery Island Childish
Terra Nova Fairy Garden Limerick
Arigna Mining Experience Roscommon
Killarney National Park Killarney
The Art House Dunfanaghy
Bike Park Ireland Roscrea
Carrowholly Stables & Trekking Centre Westport
Experience Gaelic Games Dublin
Michael Davitt Museum Oxford
The Irish Workhouse Centre Protean
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum Dublin
Richmond Barracks Dublin
Atlantic Drive on Achill Island Westport
Trinity College, including the Old Library and the Book of Kells
Christ Church Cathedral
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Kilmainham Gaol (Jail)
Kevin & Howlin Ltd. – Handwoven tweed shop (amazing woolens, best shop by far with super high quality – 31 Nassau Street, Dublin)
Kilkenny – don’t miss the castle and Murphy’s ice cream
Cliffs of Mother
The Burren (The Burren perfumery)
Drumcreehy House – B&B owned and operated by my third cousin – located in charming town of Ballyvaughan www.drumcreehyhouse.com (awesome experience, not just because they are relatives!)
Roundstone – quaint town
The Rock of Cashel
History of Ireland
A BRIEF HISTORY OF IRELAND
Early Irish History
Humans settled Ireland at a relatively late stage in European terms – about 10,000 years ago. Around 4000 BC, farmers arrived in Ireland. Around 300BC, Iron Age warriors known as the Celts came to Ireland from mainland Europe – with their language. Irish (or Gaeilge) stems from Celtic language.
Early Christian and Viking Ireland
Saint Patrick and other missionaries brought Christianity in the early to mid-5th century, replacing the indigenous pagan religion by the year 600 AD.
At the end of the 8th century, Vikings, from Scandinavia began to invade and then gradually settle into and mix with Irish society. The Vikings founded, Dublin, Ireland’s capital city in 988. Following the defeat of the Vikings by Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, at Clontarf in 1014, Viking influence faded.
The Norman Era
Normans arrived in the twelfth century with their walled towns, castles and churches. They also increased agriculture and commerce in Ireland.
Henry VIII, “Plantations” – 1534
King Henry VIII declared himself head of the Church in England in 1534. He also ensured that the Irish Parliament declared him King of Ireland in 1541. Enforcing his will, to change England and Ireland from Catholic to Protestant (he named himself the head of the Anglican church), the King adopted a “plantation” policy. Under this policy, Protestants would get massive land grants, displacing Catholic land-holders. Thousands of English and Scottish Protestant settlers arrived during his reign. Catholics lost their land.
From this period on, sectarian conflict became a common theme in Irish history. It is a history of England depriving catholics of their land, and then their rights.
Bloody 17th Century and “Penal Laws”
The 17th century was a bloody one in Ireland. England imposed the “Penal laws” on Ireland. These laws took away rights from Catholics. They took away the right, for example, to rent or own land above a certain value. They outlawed Catholic clergy,. They forbid Catholic higher education, entry into the professions. During the 18th century, Penal laws eased but by then resentment and hate dominated the country.
Defeated During Rebellion – 1798
In 1782, Henry Grattan (a Protestant) successfully agitated for a more favourable trading relationship with England and for greater legislative independence for the Parliament of Ireland. Inspired by the French Revolution, in 1791 an organisation called the United Irishmen was formed with the ideal of bringing Irish people of all religions together to reform and reduce Britain’s power in Ireland. Its leader was a young Dublin Protestant called Theobald Wolfe Tone. The United Irishmen were the inspiration for the armed rebellion of 1798. Despite attempts at help from the French the rebellion failed and in 1801 the Act of Union was passed uniting Ireland politically with Britain.
Catholic Emancipation and Daniel O’Connell – 1829
In 1829 one of Ireland’s greatest leaders Daniel O’Connell, known as ‘the great liberator’ was central in getting the Act of Catholic Emancipation passed in the parliament in London. He succeeded in getting the total ban on voting by Catholics lifted and they could now also become Members of the Parliament in London.
After this success O’Connell aimed to cancel the Act of Union and re-establish an Irish parliament. However, this was a much bigger task and O’Connell’s approach of non-violence was not supported by all. Such political issues were overshadowed however by the worst disaster and tragedy in Irish history – the great famine.
The Great Famine – 1845
A potato blight destroyed the crops of 1845, 1846, and 1847, disaster followed. During this decade, Ireland’s population plummeted from 8 to 4 million. Two million died. Others left – seeking refuge in America. were the staple food of a growing population at the time. The response of the British government also contributed to the disaster. While millions of people were starving, Ireland was forced to export abundant harvests of wheat and dairy products.
The famine brought death. But, with lasting consequences, it also brought resentment and more hate.
Irish Home Rule Party and Charles Stewart Parnell – 1877
“Home Rule” became the cry of all who wanted self-government in Ireland. Until 1877, there was no effective challenge to Britain’s rule over Ireland. Then, at the age of 31, Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-91) became leader of the Irish Home Rule Party, which became the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1882.
Parnell failed to achieve Home Rule. For his efforts, though, he was widely recognised as ‘the uncrowned king of Ireland’. His efforts gave the idea of Home Rule legitimacy.
Irish Unionists in Northern Ireland
In Ulster in the north of Ireland the majority of people were Protestants. They favoured the union with Britain – fearing that they would suffer retribution and a loss of rights as a minority in a Catholic controlled country. The Unionist Party was lead by Sir Edward Carson. Carson threatened an armed struggle for a separate Northern Ireland if independence was granted to Ireland.
Home Rule Adopted – 1912 – but not enacted because of WWI
A Home Rule Bill was passed in 1912 but crucially it was not brought into law. The Home Rule Act was suspended at the outbreak of World War One in 1914. Many Irish nationalists believed that Home Rule would be granted after the war if they supported the British war effort. John Redmond the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party encouraged people to join the British forces and many did join. However, a minority of nationalists did not trust the British government leading to one of the most pivotal events in Irish history, the Easter Rising.
Easter Rising – Irish rebels defeated – 1916
On April 24 (Easter Monday) 1916, two groups of armed rebels, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army seized key locations in Dublin. The Irish Volunteers were led by Padraig Pearse and the Irish Citizen Army was led by James Connolly. Outside the GPO (General Post Office) in Dublin city centre, Padraig Pearse read the Proclamation of the Republic which declared an Irish Republic independent of Britain. Battles ensued with casualties on both sides and among the civilian population. The Easter Rising finished on April 30th with the surrender of the rebels. The majority of the public was actually opposed to the Rising. However, public opinion turned when the British administration responded by executing many of the leaders and participants in the Rising. All seven signatories to the proclamation were executed including Pearse and Connolly.
Declaration of Independence – 1919
Two of the key figures who were involved in the rising who avoided execution were Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins. In the December 1918 elections the Sinn Féin party led by Éamon de Valera won a majority of the Ireland based seats of the House of Commons. On the 21 January 1919 the Sinn Féin members of the House of Commons gathered in Dublin to form an Irish Republic parliament called Dáil Éireann, unilaterally declaring power over the entire island.
War of Independence – 1919-1921
What followed is known as the ‘war of independence’ when the Irish Republican Army – the army of the newly declared Irish Republic – waged a guerilla war against British forces from 1919 to 1921. One of the key leaders of this war was Michael Collins. In December 1921 a treaty was signed by the Irish and British authorities. While a clear level of independence was finally granted to Ireland the contents of the treaty were to split Irish public and political opinion. One of the sources of division was that Ireland was to be divided into Northern Ireland (6 counties) and the Irish Free State (26 counties) which was established in 1922.
Government of Ireland Act – 1920
The Government of Ireland Act of 1920 created the Irish Free State. At the same time, the Parliament of Northern Ireland was created. The Parliament consisted of a majority of Protestants and while there was relative stability for decades.
Civil War – 1922-1923
A Civil War followed from 1922 to 1923 between pro and anti treaty forces, with Collins (pro-treaty) and de Valera (anti-treaty) on opposing sides. The consequences of the Civil war can be seen to this day where the two largest political parties in Ireland have their roots in the opposing sides of the civil war – Fine Gael (pro-treaty) and Fianna Fáil (anti-treaty). A period of relative political stability followed the Civil war.
Northern Ireland Catholics Rebel – 1968
Stability in Northern Ireland ended in the late 1960s due to systematic discrimination against Catholics. 1968 saw the beginning of Catholic civil rights marches in Northern Ireland. These protests led to violent reactions from some Protestant loyalists and from the police force. What followed was a period known as ‘the Troubles’ when nationalist/republican and loyalist/unionist groups clashed.
In 1969 British troops were sent to maintain order and to protect the Catholic minority. However, the army soon came to be seen as a tool of the Protestant majority by the minority Catholic community.
Bloody Sunday – 1972 and “The Troubles”
This was reinforced by events such as Bloody Sunday in 1972 when British forces opened fire on a Catholic civil rights march in Derry killing 13 people. An escalation of paramilitary violence followed with many atrocities committed by both sides. The period of ‘the Troubles’ are generally agreed to have finished with the Belfast (or Good Friday) Agreement of April 10th 1998.
Between 1969 and 1998 it is estimated that well over 3,000 people were killed by paramilitary groups on opposing sides of the conflict.
Since 1998 considerable stability and peace has come to Northern Ireland. In 2007 former bitterly opposing parties the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin began to co-operate in government together in Northern Ireland.
Republic of Ireland – 20th Century to present day
The 1937 Constitution re-established the state as the Republic of Ireland.
In 1973 Ireland joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union).
In the 1980s the Irish economy was in recession and large numbers of people emigrated for employment reasons. Many young people emigrated to the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Australia.
Economic reforms in the 1980s along with membership of the European Community (now European Union) created one of the world’s highest economic growth rates. Ireland in the 1990s, so long considered a country of emigration, became a country of immigration. This period in Irish history was called the Celtic Tiger.
Freedom chasers, equilibrium chasers.
We don’t talk about it enough.
Walls throw it off
And make us wonder what’s on the other side.
Make us want to jump over them, go around them, scale them.
“Something there is that does not love a wall”.
Walls make us insecure, as we wonder who is trying to get in.
Without a wall, you know.
With a wall, you wonder.
Censors throw it off.
And make us wonder what the censored would say.
Make us want to say it, shout it, scream it.
Censors make us insecure, as we wonder whether we have the truth.
Without a censor, you know.
With a censor, you wonder.
Subsidies throw it off.
And make us wonder what things are really worth
Make us all crazy.
Those with them want more. Those without them want them.
Subsidies make us insecure, as we wonder whether the demand is real.
Without a subsidy, you know.
With a subsidy, you wonder.
New policies throw it off.
They jolt the old equilibrium,
Send the system into oscillations,
Throw it out of equilibrium,
Force a new equilibrium to be reached … or else.
New technologies throw it off.
They disrupt the old way.
Send the system into oscillations,
Throw it out of equilibrium.
Force a new equilibrium to be reached … or else.
New polluters throw it off.
They jolt the equilibrium in the commons.
Send the commons into oscillations,
Throw it out of equilibrium,
Force a new clean-up or cleansing equilibrium … or else.
New diseases throw if off.
They jolt body.
Send the body into oscillations,
Throw it out of equilibrium.
Force a new immunity equilibrium … or else.
Freedom at first is chaos,
And then the stop signs go up.
And most everyone agrees they are useful.
And then the rules are made.
And most everyone agrees they are useful.
And then decency rises to the top.
And most everyone agrees that its useful.
And then freedom is channeled, and settles down to equilibrium-chasing.
Freedom chasers, equilibrium chasers.
Here’s a short biography of my older brother James Robert Reid, born December 10, 1948:
Fall of 1967*, commuter freshman at Northeastern (with Bobby Tallent, Tommy Carabine, Peter Flynn) , Business Administration major. Bad student.
Joined rowing team. At 6’2″ I was the smallest guy in the boat.
Fall of 1968, made the Varsity, our eight won The Head of the Charles Regatta.*
Worked an interesting variety of NU Co-Op jobs, Boston Globe*, Haskins and Sells*.
1969, changed major to English, better student.
1970, my fiancee, Jeanne Nelson’ s father, a towboat captain for Perini Corp. finagled me a deckhand job (perhaps my best job ever) on Dredge #111 which was dredging the inlet/cooling water channel for the Plymouth Nuclear Power Plant.*
1970, married Jeanne Nelson (too young, imo). First apt at 287 Beacon Street. I could bike to NU, both school and the crew boathouse (stored my treasured Mercier 10 speed in the bathtub). Jeanne could walk to work for the Sonnabends at the Sonesta.
Fall, 1970, Still in the Varsity boat, Olympians Dietz and Coffey powered us to another win in the Head of the Charles Regatta.
June 1972, graduated from NU at Boston Garden, enduring the hot, hanging stink of the previous week’s circus animals.
August, 1972, reported to US Naval Reserve, AOCS and flight training, in Pensacola Florida, 95° and 95% humidity. Met my first surly Marine D.I., Sgt. E. Beadle.*
Dec 1972, graduated from AOCS, commissioned as an Ensign, USNR. Reported for Primary flight training at NAS Saufley, flying T-34, single engine, low wing trainer. Instructor Lt. Ron Pritz, USMC (helicopter pilot).
May 29, 1973, daughter Amy born on base hospital, costing $5.25 (Jeanne’s meals).
Left flying and applied for honorable discharge. While waiting for BUPERS paperwork, I was stationed as a P.A. (Public Affairs) Officer with The Blue Angels, traveled the country to airshows, ironically promoting Navy flying, even though I had left it.*
Summer, 1973, Navy moved us back to Winthrop during the Arab oil embargo, recession, no jobs, scary with young family. From that point, personal and economic frustration ate at our marriage, probably doomed it, we divorced in 1975. Lived out of boxes with my parents for awhile. Moved to Boston, walking distance from where I was working (at NU). Started MBA studies, A student.
I’ll tell you the “rest of the story” when I see you. All good now, just celebrated 36 years of second marriage, writing (two children’s books for sale on Amazon). Along the way, I worked in Admin for 3 tech companies, learned hardscaping and landscaping, frame and finish carpentry, cabinet making, land surveying, stone masonry, woodstove installation, served 6 years on regional school committee, had a stint in direct sales, drove executive cars for BostonCoach, now still work on my 1953 Ford Jubilee farm tractor, still felling trees, burning wood, just held 24th Extreme Camping with old, and good friends (long story).
* I have written extensively about these experiences. Stay tuned for self-publication of my collection of “memoir essays”, working title, Missing Man.
On Writing Well
Do I Make Myself Clear?
(Harold Evens was the long-time editor of the London Times. Before that, he served 14 years as Editor of the Sunday Times.)
The goal of writing is “to get the right words in the right order”.
Harold calls a bad paragraph “a monster, a boa constrictor of a paragraph”.
“Muddle is likely when you write long opening phrase or clause before unveiling the ideas in the main clause”. The long thought before …. he called “predatory” because it steals the main thought. Predatory clauses up front are …. BAD.
Winston Churchill said of Ramsey MacDonald “the gift of compressing the largest number of words into the smallest amount of thought.”
A “Delayed Drop” – holding the reader in suspense, so they are impelled to read on (to find out what happened”).
Use words that are mostly short, concrete and not abstract,
A sentence forms a complex thought.
We won’t communicate anything if the sentences are so boring readers switch off.
Complex sentences are not doomed to be readable.
NOTE: Readability formulas can be found at www.readabilityformulas.com and www.readability-score.com
Lucius Sloan (1847-1933) studied sentence construction. He found that sentence word counts had been reduced over time, from 50 in pre-Elizabethan times, to 29 in Victorian times, to 23 in early 20th century. He documented a “decrease in predication”. Two predications in a sentence became the norm (down from 5).
William DuBay is the authority on readability. He judges the Dale-Chall index “the most reliable of the readability formulas”.
IN 1931, William Gray and Bernice Leary identified 228 elements that affected readability. They boiled it down to five. They are either about sentence structure or vocabulary.
Rudolf Flesch: The Art of Readable Writing
Flesh Reading Ease Index: Average length of sentences and syllables per hundred words. He urged 18 words per sentence.
Robert Gunning: The Fog Index. Copy with a fog index of 13 or more runs the danger of being ignored or misunderstood.
“Basic” vocabulary is 3,000 easy words.
Lucy Kellaway “Golden Flannel” sentences.
Blundy: averages 15 words per sentence. No sentences longer than 32 words. Average number of syllables is 2.
Adjectives not susceptible to modifiers are: certain, complete, devoid, empty, entire, essential, everlasting, excellent, external, fatal, final, fundamental, harmless, ideal, immaculate, immortal, impossible, incessant, indestructible, infinite, invaluable, main, omnipotent, perfect, principal, pure, round, simultaneous, square, ultimate, unanimous, unendurable, unique, unspeakable, untouchable, whole, worthless.
The hidden arithmetic of verbosity.
The sentence clinic.
“Try being a musician in prose. The more you experiment, the more you will appreciate the subtleties of rhythm in good writing – and bad. …. Vary sentence structure. Vary sentence style.”
Use alliteration: “none of us can be bystanders to bigotry”.
A “loose sentence”: where there is at least one full sentence before the stop.
“Periodic sentence” builds to a climax. It is a sentence of excitement and surprise.
“the Queen, my lord, is dead.”
The “balanced sentence”: is a work of deliberate symmetry.
Every man had a right to utter what he thinks is the truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.
Put people first
the circumlocutory preposition (in the field of, in connection with etc)
the prepositional verb: consult (with), check (up on)
pedantry (insisting incorrectly that no sentence can end with preposition)
Such an irony! The third and arguably the most advanced stage of human development is the stage that gets the least attention. The next big wave is when baby boomers insist that ELDERHOOD matters …. a lot!
CREDIT: Elderhood Website
Childhood: First developmental stage
Adulthood: Second developmental stage
Elderhood: Third Developmental Stage
Key points to remember:
Elderhood is the third stage of human existence, which is a continuum of progressive growth.
Elderhood is not about loss. It is about gaining freedom, and – along with that freedom – opportunities for learning, joy, service and other experiences that significantly increase well-being.
Elderhood is more like a crowning achievement, where you have lived long enough, experienced enough, and accumulated enough that you no longer have to work (unless you want to), and can devote your time and energy in ways that are closer to what you want, than to what the world demands.
Many books about life after age 60 emphasizes ‘how to hold onto’ adulthood. Aging is viewed as a decline, a series of losses – until you reach the ultimate loss – the loss of life itself. This view of live after age 50 is an Aging Stereotype – and it is mistaken.
Current psychology in much of the developed world seems to favor adulthood as the peak of human development. (This is not surprising since most practicing psychologists and gerontologists are adults.)
Understanding the Aging Stereotype
There was a time when children were seen as ‘little adults’. But after Jean Piaget suggested that childhood is a special phase of human life, that it is not just ‘adulthood writ small’ and that children are a worthy object of scientific study, the field of child psychology burgeoned.
Pick up any college catalog and you will see many courses about childhood and its various ‘stages’. Basic to all these courses is the idea childhood and adulthood are very different and that moving to adulthood is the goal of human beings.
Childhood is a long preparation for adulthood and providing a child with a ‘good childhood experiences’ will allow that child to mature into a productive and happy adult. And if an adult is not productive and happy, the ’cause’ is usually assumed to be negative childhood experiences.
Adulthood in much of the developed world is THE goal. Adulthood is a most important life stage. Adults make the economy work, they give birth to and rear children. They create laws, lead the nation and are generally viewed as the ‘movers and doers’ of society. There is nothing in adult psychology that mirrors the notion found in child psychology that this particular stage of human development is a preparation for a new and even more important stage . . . Elderhood.
Instead of viewing Elderhood as the ‘crowning achievement’ of life, we are offered an Aging Stereotype – the stage after adulthood as a a time when life is in decline.
This is The Aging Stereotype.
(Note that the stage of human development that follows adulthood is called ‘aging’ – as though going from age 17 to age 29 is NOT aging. The Aging Stereotype describes our last stage of development as a long, slow decline – a period of losses and grieving the bygone adult powers and prestige.
Such are the fundamental beliefs of the Aging Stereotype. Those who hold this view spend much energy trying to figure out how people can ‘hold onto’ adult characteristics and skills. At the same time they refuse Elders any of the power and prestige of adulthood – even if elders retain many of their adult skills.
The Aging Stereotype is at best a false view of human development and at worst it is degrading to those in the last third of their lives.
A different view
There is an alternative to this Aging Stereotype. This view holds that there are at least 3 big stages of human development: childhood, adulthood and elderhood
AND that goal of human existence is progressive growth though these three stages. Why? So that at the end of ones life you are ready to move on because you have lived a full and complete human life. You have been a child, an adult and an elder.
Yes, Elderhood is the third stage of human development. And using this name removes any Aging Stereotype. (It also removes current bias of the primacy of adulthood.)
But I have yet to see a course on Elderhood listed in any college catalog. Oh, there are courses in gerontology and aging. And most of these concentrate on ‘inevitable decline’ and ‘how we can help these people’.
Now of course there are losses as you move to elderhood. Just as there were losses when you moved from childhood to adulthood. But somehow in the current state of things only the losses of adult tasks and powers are seen as losses that count. No one speaks of the losses children face as they move into adulthood – only those adults face when moving into Elderhood.
Perhaps this skewing of psychology towards the primacy of adulthood is caused by the fact that most academic studies are done by adults and adults have not yet lived as elders. They have no experiential knowledge of their own elderhood and so they judge everything out of their own bias concerning the centrality and importance of adulthood.
To understand the unconscious bias towards their own adulthood, consider what would happen to views of Adulthood if most of what we knew about it was written by children. Children have no personal experiences of being an adult, they ,too, would concentrate on what a person loses in becoming an adult.
Ask children what it is like to be an adult and after they say a few good things related to power or prestige , the children are likely to talk about things that are lost in becoming an adult.Depending on their age, children say that in Adulthood:
• You can not play all day.
• You have to go to work all the time.
• You need to think and worry about money
• No one tucks you in each night… or takes care of you when you are sick
• You can not play in Little League (or Pop WArner or…)
• You have lots of RESPONSIBILITY
• The list goes on….
Notice, that children know that adults have power but when it gets to the nitty gritty, children can not help but notice the things they would lose by being an adult. For children, adulthood is about losses. Why? Because children have not experienced and do not understand the special joys of adulthood. So , too, adults who have not experienced the positive aspects of Elderhood,do not value Elderhood. They emphasize the losses.
Children can not value what they do not know. If children were to write the textbooks about adulthood, these texts might be full of advice as to how to hold onto some of the joys and experience of childhood. Just as adults who DO write the texts about Elderhood give advice about how to ‘hold onto’ aspects of adulthood but offer NO INSIGHT into any of the special joys or tasks of Elderhood. So it is that we have the Aging Stereotype of ‘inevitable decline’.
Adults have NOT experienced the joys of Elderhood. Once they get past a few cliches, they tend to focus on the losses that they, as adults, will experience. Adults do not perceive the positive values of elderhood because they have no clue as to what they are and just as children do not imagine thatthere are a host special joys to being an adult, so, too, adults do not imagine that there are special joys of Elderhood. It never occurs to them to ask about them and even if they were to ask, most adults have no psychological context to appreciate the answers.
We who are elders need to read the works of other elders and we need to rethink the whole view of Aging. That is what this web site is about. I hope you will read more….and come back and read again.
Elderhood – what comes after adulthood
Elderhood is one of the 3 main developmental stages of human life:
• Childhood is the first stage. Traditionally this first stage has be subdivided into three major groupings :infancy, early and middle childhood and adolescence. There are many, many studies of childhood. You can go to most libraries and find that the there are shelves and shelves of books about childhood, what it means, what to expect from a child in each of the ‘growth periods’, how adults can help children grow into happy, responsible adults etc. Childhood is the most researched of the three major life stages. In fact there have been so many studies that many childhood specialists now subdivide this period of life into more stages than just the four listed above.
• Adulthood is the second major stage of human life. There are fewer studies about adulthood as a stage of human development but there have been some. If you look into the field, you will find that many researchers now divide this period into: young adulthood and full adulthood.
• Elderhood is the third major stage of human development but almost no one writes about it. Oh, you will find many studies about ‘aging’ and its problems. And you will find an increasing number of research papers and books about ‘old age’ and its problems. But ‘aging’ and ‘old age’ are chronological stages. They are not really developmental stages of life. The third great developmental stage of human life can not be identified solely by age any more than adulthood is identified solely by age. (There are ever so many 19 year olds who have moved into adulthood just as there are 40 year old’s who never really left the adolescent stage.) Being and elder is a specific social role – one that requires new forms of maturity. It requires approaches to life that go beyond those of one’s adult years. And it requires taking on new tasks in and for one’s family/community.
So, what do we know about this third stage of human development?
First, we know that not everyone attains it. Just because you have reached a certain age, does not say that you have become an Elder. Some people cling to adulthood so long, that they never quite make it into this next stage of human development.
One of the tragedies of the developed world is that most people are so focused on adulthood: adult tasks, adult powers and responsibility that they give scant thought or attention to the next stage of human development. in fact there are some adults who do not realize that there IS a next stage in human maturity.
Some researchers believe that one of the reasons why many adults fear their loss of adult powers and adult privilege is because they have NO Notion that there is a ‘next developmental stage’ beyond adulthood.
They do not realize that the next stage of human life is one of growth, that new types of power accompany it or that this next stage has special joys that are unknown to most adults. (Just as many of the special joys of adulthood are unknown to children. )
To read more about this stage of human development click on:
• The Aging Stereotype
• Elderhood Characteristics: Freedom
• More Characteristics Elderhood Development
• If I live to Be 100
• The Blue Zones – life where people live the longest
Issues related to elderhood
The luxury of time: Having the time to get your house in order
Well-being? How do I want to approach my well-being? what choices do I need to make? Set up MARVELS for yourself:
– M- Medications (including over the counter and supplements)
– A – Activity
– R – Resilience of Mindfulness
– V – Vital Sign monitoring
– E – Eating and Drinking Choices, including nutrition
– L – Labs monitoring, including blood, saliva, stool, genomic, etc
– S – Sleep
Re-establishing your identity – creating new business cards, email addresses, websites, blogs, twitter accounts – all of which help position you as you choose. Time for a new wardrobe? Haircut? Style? Primary residence? Second home? Downsize? Simplify?
Scrapbooking – sorting and clarifying connections and meaning in photo collections, awards and recognized achievements, old letters and memories, etc.
Re-establishing contact – with long-lost friends and relatives.
Choosing what’s right for you now:
Insurance – including health, long-term disability, Medicare, etc
Wills – does my will need to be written? Updated?
Philanthropy – how to approach it (donor-advised fund?)
Service – what options are available to volunteer.
Learning – do I want to continue learning? At what rate? Through formal or informal means?
Service workers; housekeeping, landscaping, pool maintenance, etc.
health workers – primary care, dentist, specialists, nurses, etc
I have an announcement to make.
I have been published! Well, kind of ……
Take a look!
I became the Chairman of the Board of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (CFGA) in January, 2017. Its a three-year appointment.
Last year, as Vice Chair, I decided to study the history of these institutions. Because I couldn’t find a good history, I decided I would write a History of Community Foundations in the United States. In addition to researching the subject extensively, I have been discussing the work with other heads of community foundations nationally. Through these discussions, I decided to try to identify the key difference between community foundations and other institutions. I put that difference right in the title: The Double Trust Imperative…..because community foundations uniquely build trust in two directions: the community and donors.
The essay documents how community foundations came to be. It documents how it came to be that $82 billion in philanthropic assets came to be housed in these institutions – so that the institutions can invest those assets back into the communities they serve. The impact on any given community? Well, in ATL alone, we have 900+ donors with $900 million+ in assets….and the CFGA gave away $130 million+ last year to non-profits of all shapes and sizes in ATL last year. The ATL community foundation (CFGA) is the second largest foundation in Georgia, and the 17th largest community foundation in the United States.
Well, the essay was selected as one of the pre-reads for the upcoming Conference for Large Community Foundations in San Diego. Over 200 people will be there from all over the country. These are the Chairs and the CEO’s of all the big community foundations – the movers and shakers of the movement (Alicia Phillipp, the CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and I will attend representing ATL).
They have a tradition of reading the pre-reads (so a lot of movers and shakers will read this).
Its a pre-read for the second day session – which is themed “where have community foundations been and where are they headed.”
So there you go. A bit of news about me as a writer, kind of …… not a best seller, but step by step……
“Distributed generation” (DG) is what the electric utility industry calls solar panels, wind turbines, etc.
The article points out what is well-known: even with aggressive use of solar, any DG customer still needs the grid ….. at least this is true until a reasonable cost methodology for storing electricity at the point of generation comes on-line (at which time perhaps a true “off-grid” location is possible.
So …. for a DG customer …. the grid becomes a back-up, a source of power when the sun does not shine, the wind does not blow, etc.
So the fairness question is: should a DG customer pay for their fair share of the grid? Asked this way, the answer is obvious: yes. Just like people pay for insurance, in that same way should people be asked to pay for the cost of the grid.
Unfortunately, these costs are astronomical. This paper claims that they are 55% of total costs!
“In this example, the typical residential customer consumes, on average, about 1000 kWh per month and pays an average monthly bill of about $110 (based on EIA data). About half of that bill (i.e., $60 per month) covers charges related to the non-energy services provided by the grid….”
Steven J. Tepper is the dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, the nation’s largest, comprehensive design and arts school at a research university. . He was the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon today of the Metropolitan Atlanta Art Fund.
He had some provocative data to share. He was quoting from SNAAP.
His context was the explosion of arts non-for-profits – from 300 in the 1950’s to over 130,000 today.
Dr. Tepper is convinced that education in the arts is poorly understood, and has data to prove it. Too many people, he says, are skeptical about the careers that are possible from an arts education. In fact, many of the competencies developed in an arts education are precisely what employers in the 21st century are looking for – especially creativity. His conclusions:
– “The MFA is the new MBA”
– “The ‘Copyright Industries’ are booming…..they are 3X the size of the construction industry”.
– “the 21st century needs ‘design thinking”.
After the luncheon, I looked him up at ASU. Here is what he has to say – in his own words:
Welcome to the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the nation, located within a dynamic 21st-century research university.
With 4,700 students, more than 675 faculty and faculty associates, 135 degrees and a tradition of top-ranked programs, we are committed to redefining the 21st-century design and arts school. Our college is built on a combination of disciplines unlike any other program in the nation, comprising schools of art; arts, media + engineering; design; film, dance and theatre; and music; as well as the ASU Art Museum.
The Institute is dedicated to the following design principles:
Creativity is a core 21st-century competency. Our graduates develop the ability to be generative and enterprising, work collaboratively within and across artistic fields, and generate non-routine solutions to complex problems. With this broad exposure to creative thinking and problem solving, our graduates are well prepared to lead in every arena of our economy, society and culture.
Design and the arts are critical resources for transforming our society. Artists must be embedded in their communities and dedicate their creative energy and talent to building, reimagining and sustaining our world. Design and the arts must be socially relevant and never viewed as extras or as grace notes. The Herberger Institute is committed to placing artists and arts-trained graduates at the center of public life.
The Herberger Institute is committed to enterprise and entrepreneurship. For most college graduates today, the future of work is unpredictable, non-linear and constantly evolving. A recent study found that 47 percent of current occupations will likely not exist in the next few decades. At the Herberger Institute, our faculty, students and graduates are inventing the jobs and the businesses of the future; reimagining how art and culture gets made and distributed; and coming up with new platforms and technology for the exchange of culture and the enrichment of the human experience. The legendary author and expert on city life Jane Jacobs talks about the abundance of “squelchers” — parents, educators, managers and leaders who tend to say no to new ideas. At the Herberger Institute, there are no squelchers. We embrace the cardinal rule of improvisation — always say: “Yes, and…”
Every person, regardless of social background, deserves an equal chance to help tell our nation’s and our world’s stories. Our creative expression defines who we are, what we aspire to and how we hope to live together. At the Herberger Institute, we are committed to projecting all voices – to providing an affordable education to every student who has the talent and the desire to boldly add their creative voice to the world’s evolving story.
Effectiveness requires excellence. We know that our ability to solve problems, build enterprises and create compelling and socially relevant design and art requires high levels of mastery. By being the best in our chosen fields, we can stretch ourselves and our talents to make a difference in the world.
Recently, as part of a weekly installation on campus, a Herberger Institute student hand-lettered the slogan “Here’s to the dreamers and the doers” in chalk on an outdoor blackboard, and we were able to use this for the incoming freshman class t-shirt. Whether you are an architect, designer, artist, performer, filmmaker, media engineer or creative scholar, the Herberger Institute is a place to dream. But unlike the misrepresentation of the artist and scholar as lost in a cloud, our faculty and students “make stuff happen” and leave their well-chiseled mark on the world. Come tour our concert and performance halls, art and design studios, exhibition spaces, dance studios, scene shops, classrooms, clinics and digital culture labs, and you will see the power of dreamers and doers.
If you are reading this message, you are implicated as a potential collaborator. Bring us your talents, your ideas and your passion — we will dream and do great things together.
Steven J. Tepper
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Arizona State University