Saturday, May 14, 2011

Old Stones, Old Bones


This time two years ago I was visiting The Little Blister in Ireland. One of the places our mother liked to go on a Sunday afternoon, when we were young, was Lough Gur, so, one sunny Sunday afternoon we set off. I hadn't been there in years, and had never been since its archaeological significance had been played up, to turn it into a tourist attraction. It was early in the season though, so we almost had the place to ourselves. It is a beautiful place, lovely for walking, so, since I was there and you weren't why, don't you traipse along behind us if you have a few minutes.....




I was afraid the development might have ruined it, but it was very low key, and nicely done. The visitor's center was designed to look like the ancient dwellings that were discovered in the area.



Information boards weere posted along the trails, like this one showing a replica of an ancient shield excavated nearby.........

 


One of the things I love about where I grew up is the proliferation of castles and old ruins. They pop up on the horizon when you least expect them. My mother had no patience with my fascination with what she dismissed as "piles of old rocks," so I never got it out of my system!  This one is right up against a farmhouse, on the road in to Lough Gur, surrounded by muddy fields dotted with cow pies. Obviously they're not trying to attract tourists! I ventured as close as I could, until the Blister, with a wee bit of mother's impatience, warned me that, if I wasn't careful, I'd get the two of us in trouble for trespassing!




A little further out the road from Lough Gur is the area where our mother grew up.We decided to drop in, unannounced, on the farming cousins. If you warn them ahead of time they make an embarrassing fuss, and need a week to prepare, so since we didn't have much time, we thought we'd just pop in!




We'd never have done that with my mother's generation, but the cousins are in charge now and they're as casual as we are. After a lovely visit, and quite a bit of fuss, in spite of our clever plan, we chanced upon this little cemetery on our way home.




 We hopped over the wall and landed in the middle of this patch of bluebells.....




 Cemeteries are fascinating, the older the better. When my youngest daughter was little, she'd point excitedly at any cemetery we passed on our travels and say "Look Mom! Heaven!"  I wouldn't say that a cemetery is exactly my idea of heaven, and we might not have been quite so brave had it been "a dark and stormy night!" But it was a beautiful Spring day so we weren't too worried about running into any ghosts or banshees. The Blister did get the shivers in a few places though........




She absolutely would not walk down the right side of the ruined church above. I  walked there regardless, and was unaware of anything otherworldly, but then I'm not as finely tuned for things supernatural as she is! 




This arch was the door into the church.....My eyes love arches. They look so elegant, and isn't it said that the way the stones are fitted together in an arch makes it one of architecture's strongest designs?




 Singers and story tellers have always been held in the highest regard by the country people in Ireland. After all, they needed some bit of entertainment after longs days in the fields.




Eventually, after all the joy and sorrow, heartache and toil, each of us will be no more than a shiver on someone's spine. But if the shiver could be delivered in a setting like this, looking out over a peaceful lake, I'd be one happy ghost.




So that is where I was two years ago this month. Were you able to keep up?

And this is where the Little Blister will be in less than a week!
















18 comments:

Stomper Girl said...

Ooh, coming to stay with you? That's exciting.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Molly I loved seeing your pictures. I'll probably never make it there but I feel as if I have. blessings, marlene

lgsquirrel said...

For some reason I could not see your last photo so I am guessing Little Blister is coming to sunny Florida? Enjoyed the walk and tour especially the graveyard.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Thankyou ! I loved the walk .
When I was small , we'd go to Glendalough on family outings but I like the look of your lough better .
As for strange shivers .....I'm sure a Florida cemetery could provide a fair few , too . You'll have to take her and see .

Molly said...

SG---Yes indeed! For a whole month! Though the speed at which time has been galloping by here means that won't be half long enough....

Marlene---never say "never!"

LGS---By "this is where she'll be" I just meant here, where I'm writing this. Don't know why Blogger left such a large empty space....

S&S---Glendalough is one of my favourite places in Ireland. Lucky you to have grown up nearby!

Ali Honey said...

Thanks Molly. I feel you are writing post especially for me at the moment. I found it on the map and know I will be close nearby - Maybe even there who knows!

Pauline said...

Lovely tromp! Tea at the end, one hopes. Hello to your sister and tell her I am drumming my fingers on the desktop in anticipation of a new blog post from her! Have a marvelous visit and do tell!

Isabelle said...

Oh, a visiting blister. How wonderful.

I love your quilt but I think my brain may never be quite equal to such complicatedness... Perhaps I'll try making a cushion cover.

secret agent woman said...

How beautiful. I love circles and arches in architecture.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Yipee!!! Little Blister is coming for a visit! Thank you for taking us on your walk -- it looks beautiful! I hope you're not homesick now. ;-(

Friko said...

Where will the little Blister be? I didn't get an image.

Doesn't going back and thinking of the old country turn one into a romantic soul? You have much to go back to and I hope you will have another opportunity to indulge in a bit of irish blarney soon.

It' such a heart-warming thing to do.

The Lass said...

Oh. how beautiful! The Lad and I very much want to go to Ireland after I finish my Masters studies. He's not too keen on going back to Scotland (to live there), but he's considering Ireland. We shall see where life will take us. :)
Thinking of you! I hope you have (had?) a lovely holiday with your Little Blister.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

How incredibly lovely Ireland is! I do hope to see it one day. It would be worth the voyage just for the bluebells. I love old ruins, too, and castles made of stone, especially if they have arches. As a child, I thought cemeteries were beautiful, which mortified my parents. Thank you for the wondrous tour, Molly!

Meggie said...

I did enjoy the tour. I am sure you will have some wonderful adventures with you precious Blister.

Bonnie said...

I felt I was transported to Ireland by just seeing that peaceful beautiful little cemetary and the ruin of a church. Don't you wish you knew the stories of the people who reside there. I bet their ordinary lives would seem fascinating to us today.

PBS said...

Wow, castles and old ruins, how cool is that? I loved seeing your photos.

patty said...

Hi Molly,
hope everything is well.

jkhenson said...

I thought of you as I was traveling to and from Italy. I was reading a book in which the main characters and his wife traveled to Ireland for most of the story. Jan Karon's "In the Company of Others" where Father Tim (from my favorite Mitford Series, and Father Tim series books) and his wife go out and about. So glad to read your blog again! :)