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!