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Butter Museum & Kinsale

Still slowly uploading my travel journals from Ireland...

According to the museum, some superstitions involved churning butter with the severed hand of a murderer. HOW AWESOME AND UNHYGIENIC IS THAT?!


I filtered the Rose Abbey photo just to keep my brain from breaking. The colors are positively demented.
Also, that oilcloth jacket is worth its weight in gold and I am dreadfully pleased with it.


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I love the photos in these. and makes me wish I had the money to fulfill a vow I made about going back for another visit. (went with my parents for a week long quick drive through visit and vowed to come back again for a more leisurely one. And then life happened.)

And your comment about the weird bit of butter lore about the dead man's hand made me think of the legendary Hand of Glory which is also made of a dead murderers' hand. did you know that in some legends about the Hand of Glory, when used as a ghoulish candle, it can only be extinguished by pouring milk over it?


I LOVED the Butter Museum. No one believes me when I tell them about it.

Next time you're in this part of the world, you need to go up to Keswick in the Lake District (which is very beautiful and historic and great for walks and poetry*) and visit the world-famous Pencil Museum.

It's a museum, of and about pencils. Their history, forms, uses and so forth. It occupied part of what used to be the pencil factory**, where they made pencils (specifically, Derwent Pencils)***.
They used to have the world's largest pencil, but then somebody made a bigger one. But then the Pencil Museum retaliated to settle the matter once and for all by building an even bigger pencil. It's really surprisingly large, for a pencil.

Apparently the Pencil Museum receives around 80,000 visitors a year, bringing together ardent pencil enthusiasts from all over the world.****


*And extremely dog-friendly. Dog capital of the UK or something along those lines. Also weirdly evangelical-friendly. I'm not sure any of them actually live there, but since the 19th century there's been a big evangelical conference thing there for some reason.

**But has now apparently been bought by the evangelicals... but don't worry, the evangelicals still have to share the space with the pencils and the pencil-fans.

***Embracing the hi-tech world of tomorrow with all the creativity, lateral thinking and thrilling unpredictability you'd expect from the creators of the Pencil Museum, Derwent have chosen to set up their website with the ingenious address of "Pencils" (dot co dot uk), because that's what they sell.

***To be fair, there is actually a good reason for the Pencil Museum. The surrounding region is where pencils were invented. In fact, it's the world's only known deposit of substantial quantities of solid graphite, discovered in the 16th century. Eventually people found graphite ores elsewhere, but for quite a while Keswick had a global pencil monopoly. And yes, you can tell I've been to the Pencil Museum.

Tourists are allowed to play the bells in St. Anne's Church, so that's why you get to hear those various and very non-religious tunes during the day. ;)
We actually wanted to do that, but we arrived in Cork in the middle of a festival and there was a 3-hour queue to go to the tower, so sadly we had to pass. ( Also I might have squeed when I saw signs inside saying it was a queer- and trans-friendly place. We need more of those churches here in Europe. <3 )

That photograph of Kinsale is delightful and I am going to keep it as inspiration for painting our house.

We've already done suzanne's craft room in a green with purple bookshelves that's very like the green-and-magenta house (except the purple is very slightly less bright, but only slightly) with a ceiling in the adjacent cream color, and then the spare bedroom is in a blue a lot like the gray-blue on the right above the cream. Now we just need to figure out where to put the purples and the orange, I guess!

Back when you mentioned seeing shags, I was moved to share this poem with you. Here it is:

The Common Cormorant or Shag
by Christopher Isherwood

The Common Cormorant or shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag.
The reason you will see no doubt
It is to keep the lightning out.
But what these unobservant birds
Have never noticed is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

If you are moved to sing it, it goes very nicely to Greensleeves.


I want to see the jacket!
And I want to go back to UK. Last time I was 21 and it's been too damned long.

Someone came by our table at DragonCon wearing a Digger T-shirt and there was a mutual squee fest for a couple of minutes. They had gone to see you in Decatur and there was envy.

According to the museum, some superstitions involved churning butter with the severed hand of a murderer. HOW AWESOME AND UNHYGIENIC IS THAT?

It would be even better if it was the unblessed hand...

Question! Was there bog butter in the museum?

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