Boyne Bloomers

A letter in The Times suggests that the name of the president-elect of France could be derived from MacRonald, “one of the wild geese Irishmen who migrated to France after the battle of the Boyne”. What nonsense.

The wild geese did not take wing until after the battle of Aughrim, two years later. The FT, usually scrupulously accurate, also made a Boyne bloomer last weekend. In the quiz in their colour supplement the link was rivers, including the Boyne. However, they gave the link as UK rivers – doh!

Have you ever been to Burkina Faso? Nope, me neither but I have a friend who went there for work. He was hired by an American oil company to persuade a witch doctor to lift a curse. He told me that the difficulty was identifying the witch doctor but once he had his man he persuaded him to stop cursing, as it were. I know how he did this but as my friend may need to use the same technique again I am unable to tell.

Meanwhile back at the ranch … or rather in Kensington Gardens, the pavilion is being constructed at the Serpentine Gallery. This year the architect is Diébédo Francis Kéré who is a magician at conjuring up buildings and no witch doctor. He is from a village south-east of  Ouagadougou, which as you know is the capital of Burkina Faso. As a child aged seven his father sent him to live with an uncle in the city so that he could go to school. Now a successful architect in Berlin he has built a school in his village.

Kéré Primary School in Gando

Here is what the pavilion will look like. It opens on 23rd June.