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Ryan’s Daughter-A Movie About Ireland.

Ryans daughter

Featured Image by Tommy Kwaky

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Here is an oldie, filmed in 1970 in breathtaking locations by masters of cinematography.

The location was largely Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. But the beach scenes were filmed on Long Beach, south of Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

The movie won two Oscars and six other awards and was a box office hit, grossing $31m. ($230m in today’s money value.)

David Lean (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over The River Kwai.) directed the movie. Starring Robert Mitchum (Charles Shaunessy) and Sarah Miles (Rosie Ryan.)

The timeline was 1917-1918 Ireland.

The storyline principally takes place in both Rosie and Charles’s lives’; it also includes Rosie’s lover, Major Randolph Doryan, a shell-shocked British army officer. Rosie’s father, Tom Ryan, the village publican, and a fiery Catholic Priest, Father Hugh Collins. These individuals are part of a community of people in a tiny village. It was at the birth of the IRA and the War of Independence in Ireland.

The plot embraces Charles, a schoolteacher who was in a state of prolonged grieving at the loss of a wife he dearly loved. Charles seeks solace in the simple life of living in a cottage attached to the schoolroom. He is a man who loves and cares for his scholars and their growth. Charles has lost any ability to deal with romantic love.

Rosie is an attractive young woman, whom it appeared, was accustomed to having her way. She was the daughter of Tom, a successful publican, and his somewhat dubious activities with the British officers, based in the village. Like Charles, her father was also a grieving widower. Unlike Charles, though, he sought solace in taking a commanding role among the community, which included a support role to the IRA effort and was an agent for the British soldiers in the village. In today’s terms, he might be referred to as a ‘double agent’ operating for and against Ireland.

Rosie, who, on account of her beauty, youth, and privileged upbringing, was not popular with the local ladies of the village. They saw Rosie more in the light of an advantaged competitor than a community member.

Rosie pursued Charles with the typical juxtaposed style of a little girl seeking protection and a mature woman wanting to realize her passion. Her marriage to a secular celibate, Charles, bitterly disappointed Rosie. She was expecting a fiery romantic engagement with her man. Charles, a genuine man, who awoke to the fact that he was never the man for Rosie, took the blame for entering into a marriage devoid of romantic passion on his part.

Enter Major Randolph, a young man, the epitome of quiet strength and hidden fiery passion. Yet, Randolph suffers a lame leg and, equally, a damaged mind, suffering from what might be referred to today as ‘post-traumatic stress’ or ‘shell shock’ as it was known then. The two find solace and excitement in their closet of passionate sexual encounters. Through masterful film-play, these scenes vividly display themselves.

Charles receives the first inkling of his wife’s infidelity through an innocent discovery of footprints in the sand along the beach. A day outing on the beach with his young scholars brings suspicion into his mind. The seed germinates as discovery reveals her play, and in the final resolution, Charles accepts that Rosie has found romance for which she has been seeking!

To give powerful meaning to the expression, a change of subject,’ the stage shifts to the Eastern shoreline of Kerry and a raging storm. The IRA are waiting for a shipment of arms and explosives coming from Germany and all the Dingle villagers. The ship crashes into the rocks and sinks. The villagers, women, men, and children risk their lives to recover guns, explosives, and other armaments, load them onto a truck waiting to drive into the hinterland, and hide the cache.

What happens to the shipment of armaments?

What happens to Rosie when the community blames her for being an informer?

What happens to Major Randolph?

What happens to Charles?

Well, well, well.

 When you watch the movie, you will ‘surely’ find out.

In conclusion, there is always the human temptation to judge the characters on their behavior.

Let’s take a look at this aspect.

Firstly, my personal view is: Never judge any other human, ever. The judgment of humans is the work of human judges and God alone.

Rosie was not a ‘bad’ woman. Could she just have been a young woman whose choices were unwise?

Charles yielded to Rosie’s approaches because of his compassion for her. Was he unwise in doing so?

No one can assess Major Randolph’s war experience unless they were in his shoes. However, allowing his passion for ruling his better judgment, caused a shocking reaction among the community. What bears consideration is, would the relationship between Rosie and Charles have brought about a better understanding between them, because of this affair? “You will hear the words of Father Collins to Charles as they board the bus, ‘His doubt that Rosie and Charles should end their marriage.’

Tom Ryan was an informer to the British soldiers and then watched his daughter brutalized for his silence. Did his wisdom suggest that after her horrific experience, she and Charles would have a better relationship, and life for all would return to normal after?

By today’s standards, the movie might be considered as ‘slow,’ but be patient – it’s so worth hanging in there. The characters are fascinating; the scenery is magnificent.

Ireland has suffered much from being tormented by those who subjected them to slavery, brutality, and poverty. Her people rose to their liberty, and today they enjoy the reputation of a special kind of people who have traveled to all points of the globe to establish their brand of Ireland, Irishness, and especially Guinness!

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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If you are spiritually inclined see my other site;

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit the ‘Comments’ Button.)

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As something different this week, I am posting the work of two of the WhyWrite? course participants –

This is Vivi’s contribution – enjoy:

When I look at birds – I just KNOW that they were designed!  They couldn’t have ‘just happened’ – their ability to build nests, their songs, their colours, their lightness of weight and ability to fly are all wonderful proof of their Designer!

I did not know much about birds, except for a little budgie I had as a child, so I was pleasantly surprised when my oldest son, John, kept mice in a box, made a mask and jesses for the feet of an eagle he planned to catch!  He also made a bow with a strong net, to spring over the bird if and when it landed on the box of mice- and then he waited, every day, to catch his bird.

Suddenly, one day, not long after the mice were outside a yellow-billed kite came down to feed on the mice and John let down the bow!  Then he put the mask onto the kite’s head so that it wouldn’t be able to see to escape and also the jesses onto its feet.  He was so excited and overwhelmed that he had caught his own bird, a young yellow-yellow-billed-kite-5billed kite.  He held the bird up on his hand and the bird hung on, not being able to see how to get away.

Every day when he arrived home from school he would give his bird fresh meat and it was well fed and healthy.  He continued to spend his allowance on the bird’s meat until he felt it needed to fly away and find a mate, so with love and sadness, he let it go and at first it did fly away and then, every day when I drove John home from school, we would see his ‘yellow-billy’ waiting for him on the roof of the house!

When he was married and living in Cape Town he was able to help reinstate injured birds back to their natural habitat, by taking care of them until they were ready.  He was given a falcon as a token of thankfulness for his kindness and he and his falcon were inseparable, very good friends!

However, when his wife’s family invited them to Empangeni for a week’s visit, he had to get a bird-sitter and he asked a neighbour to feed his falcon every day.  She gladly helped by feeding it, but the falcon was unhappy that John was not there and managed to get out of the cage and flew away to find him!!!!

John was devastated when he was told that his falcon was gone and made a special trip back to Cape Town to find it!  Although he drove around the area he could not find it and it had not come back, apparently still looking for him!  He phoned me because his return flight to his wife and family was the next day. He told me that he was praying and asked me to pray as well and we did.

The Lord is compassionate and merciful and not only heard our prayers but wonderfully guided John to drive past a fence on which a falcon was perched – and he slowed down and stopped the car in case it was his falcon – and it was!  The falcon was just as pleased to see him and actually jumped into the car!

We are still overwhelmed and grateful for that wonderful answer to our prayers and we know that all of creation did not ‘just happen’ it was designed by the Creator of heaven and earth, our loving Lord whom we can call Father.  Aren’t we blessed?!

All rights reserved vivi©2018-01-20

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site;

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’



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Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus


Boer War


All the while she gazed out her upstairs window – the bright moonlit Transvaal winter’s night revealed a fantasy landscape before her. It was a stage upon which she could set the actors as she wished. Continue reading Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus

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The Long Haul

Almost casually, my Son mentioned to me that he was flying down to Cape Town from Johannesburg to ferry a pick-up truck and drive it to his home in Johannesburg.

Typically, alarm bells went off in my mind. I expressed my concern about him attempting a journey like this on his own. A journey, in this case, which would beMap_of_the_N1_(South_Africa)_with_labels.svg traveled mostly at night. The N1 Arterial carries 300,000 vehicles per day and is the second longest road in South Africa, some 1900 kms (1200 miles).

Without giving it thought, I offered to assist with the driving; After a couple of weeks my Son accepted the offer and bought me an airline ticket to Cape Town.

The airline brought me to Cape Town at 11.30 am on a Friday and by 1pm, my Son and I were on the road to Johannesburg!

After the death of my eldest Son to a long-suffering, rare cancer, it was good to spend time with my remaining Boy, however taxing, the drive.

In short, we drove 1400kms (870Mi) in the space of 13 hours, only 4 of those in daylight. Our only stops were for fuel and for take out coffees and toasted sandwiches. I drank 8 cups of coffee along the journey (ordinarily I drink only one cup in the same Engen Wimpytime frame at home, so my eyes were wide open continually)! I don’t drive at night in the normal course of events, when I’m home, primarily because I am partially blinded by oncoming headlights. But I knew many family members and friends were praying for us as we drove though the dark.

A few years back, I would have considered the trip a nightmare, but this time, I loved every minute. We chatted and laughed a great deal. All the while the South bound traffic was passing us at approximately 120 vehicles per hour consistently, 90 % of which were heavy goods vehicles, to say nothing of the slow-moving vehicles moving Northbound (ahead of us). Finally, we arrived home at 3.30am Sunday morning.

We live in a time where much of the population complains, even violently, about the economic, political and poor governance of our country. Among the many complaints is that of the condition of our roads and behavior of lawless drivers – the list is endless.

In closing let me say that every day I extend my gratitude for everything in my life and that includes the roads and other drivers.

On this trip, I would like to say thank you to our Roads Agency for the excellent road surface on the 1400 kms. of the N1. The clear reflective markings on the road, which made driving a lot safer in what was a very dangerous driving condition. The provision of splits in the road that allowed for the overtaking of slower vehicles.

Thank you to the truckers, who do not have an easy or safe livelihood, for their amazing courtesy (headlamp control, moving over where possible).Truckers

Unless it was in the case of great importance, as this journey was, I should not like to do that journey again and I am so grateful to our airline pilots and crew who make flying in our country, safe and comfortable. The airline companies, through their initiative, making flying affordable, enabling me to continue using their services in the future.

“For those who choose to be grateful for that which they have, great is the reward of what will come to them in the future”.

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2018-01-20

 If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are spiritually inclined see my other site;

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’







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Adapt or Die


Adapt or Die

If we don’t adapt to our environment, whether this is geographical, political or socially speaking – we won’t necessarily die physically; but what is almost certain, is that we will die to such important issues as opportunity, excitement, discovery, fun and I’m sure you could think of many more.

Continue reading Adapt or Die