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Blarney Castle Journal

The song my grandmother used to sing was a terribly mangled version of Did Your Mother Come From Ireland? Grandma liked Bing Crosby. The fact that I have now both kissed the Blarney and visited Kilarney would impress her to no end.

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That castle... Oh lords, seeing it on the laptop instead of the mobile... THAT CASTLE! IRELAND, HOW DARE YOU. O_O

"Like little plague doctors" -- perfect!! <3

Where do you get your days? They're marvelous.

It's the Jacobin Calendar from the French Revolution. Useless for keeping track of anything, but lovely imagery.

I thought it was the French Revolution made-up calendar. I sort of love how enthusiastic they were about destroying the status quo. Behead the aristocracy and anyone else they felt like, destroy the prison, create another government, reinvent time....

My family built that castle! I am distantly related to Cormac McCarthy and stupidly proud of it.

Though kissing the Blarney Stone is ridiculously complicated. Cormac, how could you.

If it weren't so ridiculously complicated, what would be the point?

We went to Blarney Castle on a family trip to Ireland when I was fourteen and my sister Marie was nine. When Marie realized that in order to kiss the Blarney Stone you had to bend over backward and hang semi-upside down to kiss a stone set in a gap several feet below where the floor should have met the wall on the third or fourth floor of the castle (there were castle employees whose job it was to clutch you around the waist so you didn't plummet headfirst down the gap, and a photographer to take photos you could buy to commemorate this vaguely Twister-esque accomplishment), she refused to do it. (She hardly needed to--she'd been a major chatterbox ever since she learned to talk.) After my parents and I had all kissed the stone and we'd gone all the way back down to ground level, Marie belatedly decided that she wanted to do it after all. So my mother and I had to hang around in the gardens downstairs waiting while my father took her all the way up to Blarney Stone level again and waited on line to kiss the stone. At least they were really nice gardens (of the mossy green grove variety--I don't recall any formal flower plantings, although there may have been some).

Is there still a 97 year old, 97 pound man to hold your ankles when you lie back to kiss the stone?

There was in 2001, anyway. I looked at him, looked at me, and looked at the gap...thought, "Probably wouldn't fit, so if I fall, I might not pull him with me."...and got on with the rock-kissing. Dude looked like he wouldn't've minded the change of pace if I'd fallen but since I hadn't, could I please just move along?

I fear that he has been replaced by a somewhat sturdier gentleman who says "Kiss the Blarney stone!" in bored tones.

Then I said "The blue one?" and we had conversation about the relative color of geology that I would have enjoyed much more if my ass had not been dangling over empty space.

I'm imagining the garden you would have if you moved to Ireland!

Yay! I've kissed it too! Did you by chance wander to the nearby stream on the grounds? There was a little bridge there and oh so many shiny coins in the stream it looked like something from a different world. It's been a long time, but I have hopes that it is still there, glimmering in the patchy sunlight that managed to break through the trees above.

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