Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you’re taking today to rest and spend some quality time with loved ones, especially your most valuable loved one: yourself! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post, you can click this link to read all about “Once Upon a December in the National Gallery.” I want to spend today taking some time to step away from Dublin. As it was my home base in Ireland, we’ll get back to it soon enough! Today, however, I want to talk about my visit to another magical place on the Emerald Isle.
Ireland is known for its natural beauty, its rich history, its wonderful people, its pints, and its castles! The photo above is of - perhaps you guessed it! - Blarney Castle! Legend has it that if you climb to the top of the Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ll gain the gift of gab. Perhaps it explains why those of us with Irish blood can be a bit on the chatty side! Now, whether or not you believe in legends, there is something to the friendly chattiness of the Irish. On more than one occasion during my year in Ireland I found myself lost in conversation with an Irish person over a cuppa tea, which is a practice that had been passed down through my family, as well. Even one of my best friends Bianca and I still make a point of curling up on the couch next to each other with cups of tea, catching up on life (and usually whatever terrible Netflix original movie is released). One of my favorite things about my boyfriend (and there are many) is that he has a tea collection, which is something that feels like home to me.
So did I kiss the Blarney Stone? You bet I did. Like I said before, belief in legends aside, Irish people can be quite the chatterbugs (myself included). The more than likely explanation is that based on Irish history, the gift of gab was handed down through generations. Given that so much of Ireland’s history is tied to the land with many generations working in the fields, farm life could be quite isolating; something farmers had to look forward to was being able to head to the local town pub at the end of a long day in the fields to meet up with the other town locals for some pints, some conversation, and some craic (fun). Truthfully, though, whether pints or tea (or coffee, wine, or whiskey - or whatever you prefer), nothing beats good conversation with good friends over good beverages.
And with landscapes like the ones you find in Ireland, surrounded by such natural beauty (that I could probably hardly do justice.. I mean, did you see that summer palace/castle just above?), how could anyone ever truly run out of things to talk about with his or her friends and loved ones? If ever at a loss for conversation, you could always mention the beauty of the land, and you’d have so much richness to uncover and unpack.
So what do you think? Do you prefer the generational hand-me-down approach to chattiness, or do you prefer obtaining the Gift of Gab from smoochin’ that Blarney Stone? Me? I think I prefer to mix a little bit of the magic of each one. And if you ever find yourself in good company, having a good conversation with a beverage in hand, perhaps in that moment you could think of the Irish and how they’ve truly always been onto something when it comes to life’s simplest pleasures. Slainté!
P.S. - big shoutout to one of my best friends from Villanova. C. Budd, going to Blarney Castle with you and running through the Irish countryside mooing at cows is one of my favorite memories. Sorry you hated the heights at the Castle, but thanks for watching me smooch that stone for some gift of gab!
P.P.S - If you want to catch up on this specific series of adventures from the beginning, here are the links:
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery