Monday 28 March 2011: Blackthorn
Crikey - feels like weeks away! Just returned from Kilkenny - further than we thought, but a very lively and attractive place. Very different landscape to here - big rivers, rolling hills and lots and lots of interesting historical and archaeological things which just had to be visited! Chic hotel, good restaurants , lots of art but, it has to be said, the largest women in Christendom!! And lots of them - the town seemed notable for its swathes of very large bottomed women. Interesting! it is also the home of Smithwick's brewery so the air was soporific and hop-ladened. I don't think those two facts are related!
Anyway, we explored Kilkenny including climbing up to the very top of this roundtower! An impressive feat as inside it was just a series of ladders, the steps of which got smaller and smaller as you got to the top. At the very top we leapt out and were immediately surrounded by swarms of midges. There was also an old bloke telling jokes. We had met him earlier on in the morning where we were cornered in the oldest house in Kilkenny and told the following joke (please read with strong northern Irish accent):
There was a fella out in his car and it broke down. He was miles form anywhere so he got out and had a look and could see nothing wrong. Just then he heard a voice 'it's the cable, it's the cable', He looked around but could see no-one. He was about to get into his car when he heard the voice again, louder this time 'it's the cable, it's the cable'. Well, he decided to heed the voice and take a look, and sure enough it was the cable! (I don't know what a cable is or does in a car but this isn't necessary for the story - bear with me). He fixed it and drove to the next village where he stopped at the pub and told the story to your man.
'Was there a horse in the field' asks your man.
Was it a brown one?
Thank God for that, the white one knows nothing about cars!!!!!
Oh Lord!! Luckily for us the joke about Ian Paisley and some nuns was over by the time we'd reached the top of the tower. We also bumped into him again in the cathedral where he was still going strong.
We also had a day out exploring - this involved more roundtowers, investigating the carvings in remote little ruined churches, tramping over fields to see ancient crosses and getting lost quite a few times in the search for obscure holy wells. My idea of bliss!!
A sluggish walking bus this morning, we were all feeling the effects of the lost hour. The blackthorn is out though and looking very pretty. It's amazing how much has grown in just a few days away.