Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Few Things I Like about Ireland

First of all, and this is of course what most people say, one of the best things about Ireland are Sheela na Gig.

There is one in this picture, but I took this photo so it is deliberately hard to see because finding one in an old church wall is why sheela na gig are so amazing. This one is near Ballyvourney in Kerry. There is a Sheela carved into the stone set in the arch of the window on the right.

If you want to see photos of this Sheela and learn more about this site, here is the link to the Voices from the Dawn page about it. The Sheela is carved into a stone that is not part of the original church, but existed in something else before being set above the window, and the arch of the window was carved into it.

Near this old church is also the home and tomb of St. Gobnit, and two wells.

It is common for wells that are often visited by Catholic people for the well to be arranged so a person can knell down and drink the water. Here, the people come so often the have left their own cup on the rack, like at your neighborhood cafe. Practical spirituality.

Speaking of water. Another thing I like: Ireland (like the UK) delivers 220V power to households. For Americans, you know how your electric dryer has its own giant 220V electrical plug in the laundry room? Yes, it's like that, at every outlet. Americans complain that this sort of thing burns out their hairdryers and the voltage step-downs you need to buy, but I love how it boils a kettle of water SO FAST. And the water seems hotter, although that can't be real, but the tea is so much better under conditions of proper extraction.

More appreciations of tea: Poured from a pot, into a cup with saucer. And spoon. With cookie.

Pumping gas first, then going inside and paying for it, as if it is the 1970s again.

Impossibly narrow roads across bridges with wicked stone walls, but everyone knows that you wait for the other car to cross and then go on your way.

Restrooms are called toilets and you can use them everywhere: pubs, stores, restaurants. No one says no you're not a customer. They are clean and the door goes all the way to the floor.

The attention here to offering strangers simple human comforts is of of my favorite things about Ireland.

1 comment:

  1. Ballyvourney is actually in Co. Cork, very near to Kerry, but on the other side of the mountain.