Just a short two and a half hour drive from the lovely town of Waterford, Ireland, we met our newest furbaby, Shelby. She is a sweet 16 year old cat who is in amazing shape, and her predecessor lived to be 22, so her masters obviously have found the secret to helping their pets live long, full lives. I'm wondering if they somehow got more than 9 lives each!
Here is our stunning view for the next little while:
The small town in which we are pet sitting is named Lissarda in County Cork. A short morning walk found us near a small stream where a local had just finished putting his hunting dogs in to a trailer. He drove away, but a few minutes later he pulled back up and started a conversation. He grew up in the area (a good Irish O'Sullivan) and he was happy to share the history of the neighbors and local lore and mushroom picking advice. We had been on a hunt for a local tower house and he told us where it was and said he lived right by it.
The tower house, a large house adjacent to it, and thousands of acres had been owned by a famous family who were partners in the largest brewery in Ireland for many decades, Beamish & Crawford., Beamish beer is still produced, but like many brands of beer it has been bought up by Heineken We had a great chat and really appreciated his kindness. He was also being a good neighbor by checking us out, which I suppose is what typically happens in very small communities. You can't be around for very long without everyone knowing who you are.
We followed Mr. O'Sullivan's directions to the nearby tower house, which while no longer used as a home, was nonetheless still inhabited. There were actually 7 cows inside! For an excellent article written on tower houses, see https://www.historyireland.com/gaelic-revival/frowning-ruins-the-tower-houses-of-medieval-ireland/.
There are so many great day trips from Lissarda, and our hosts provided us with a list they have put together of more places than we can possibly make it to that are within an hour drive. We don't want to leave Shelby alone for too long, so these quick trips are perfect to get to know a bit of Southern Ireland.
Today we decided to make the 45 minute trip to a very famous castle. From these two photos, can you guess which castle it is? Among many others Mick Jagger, Winston Churchill and Laurel & Hardy have bent over backwards at the very same spot..
Here's another hint:
Blarney Castle is a gorgeous place to visit. The many wooded acres and gardens surrounding the castle and are meticulously maintained. There is even a poison garden to teach which plants to avoid eating.
The history of the stone which can be kissed (upside down), is controversial and you can choose from at least four variants depending on your beliefs. What is theoretically indisputable is that kissing the stone bestows the kisser with eloquence. So therefore, I shall now dazzle you with the brilliance of a thousand stars with my newfound oratory skills. I shall no longer need to give speeches in Toastmasters other than to impart wisdom to those who cannot travel to the stone themselves. If it were only so!
If Winston Churchill had not visited the Blarney Stone, would we have had these famous three quotes? :
If you're going through Hell, keep going.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.
Hugs from Lissarda!