You never know what lies around the corner nor who will call at your door, not even what sight you may see on the road.
I am not related to these gentlemen, both though, know me as a friend. The white haired man is a tinsmith / craftsman and you can see one of his copper buckets towards the rear of the cart.
The other gentleman, his cousin, is a builder of carts and a wheelwright, together they keep the old ways secure and alive even though times are a changing.
They live the life and walk the talk.
When I first got to know them they lived and still live in traditional wagons, known as Barrel Tops, on a grass verge of a country road, colloquially known as 'the long acre' a place of free grazing & camping. They were there for years and always kept the site tidy.
On the opposite side of the road to them plots of land were sold and large, detached, salubrious bungalows were gradually built until there became a small colony of wealthy persons, some of who adopted an air of snobbishness and made complaints to the authorities about the Travellers.
I believe that I am right in saying that it is EU policy to 'encourage' the removal of the traditional families from the roadside, by either encouraging them to live in council houses or to move to large permanent camps provided by municipal authorities.
The authoritative wheels turned and official was action was taken against my friends. They moved however not into a municipal camp or even into local authority housing but merely 80 metres up the road on the same side, into a two storey detached house. On its extensive grounds they parked their barrel tops.
The house had been left to them in a will some years ago by a generous friend who had died.
I would just loved to have been a fly on the wall, to have seen & heard what the snotty neighbours had to say.
Long Live the Travelling People !
For information on the Irish Travellers visit www.paveepoint.ie