With all the excitement of Ireland this week and the chaos of spotty WiFi connections as Jimmy and I made our way around the Republic of Ireland (no Northern Ireland on this trip), I forgot to mention the milestone that came and went two days ago. That milestone calls for a little celebration.
Run and get something to drink (water, wine, milk, a pint, pop, tea, coffee/Irish coffee, etc.) so we can share a toast. Go on with you now (yes, I’ve picked up an Irish brogue. I rather fancy the idea.). I’ll be here waiting for you. I won't be calling it a celebration without you!
Couldn’t have done it without you! Really! Much appreciated! REALLY!
I’m sure you can also appreciate the challenge in doing FUN FOTO FRIDAY when I haven’t blogged enough to generate outtakes for the week. Which I think allows me carte blanche to do just about anything I’d like on this Friday! Especially given I’m back to civilization. That’s right; I have WiFi; which means I share some pictures for you too! It’s the least I can do given you’ve been such loyal fans.
I KISSED THE BLARNEY STONE YESTERDAY!
That’s no blarney! No baloney, either. Surely the eloquence that will spew forth from my mouth henceforth will astound and delight one and all. There’s much more to come in the about Lord Blarney’s 15th century castle and just how this tradition evolved. For now, I think a picture is worth a thousand words.
An Irish land agent by the name of Charles C. Boycott is responsible for today’s use of the English word boycott. Charles gets the credit for the ruckus in 1880, the year the crops on Lord Erne’s land failed miserably. Those farmers unable to pay reduced rent of 10% (the farmers were asking for a 25% reduction) for the privilege of living and work Lord Erne's land were evicted as per Charles' order.
When new tenants quickly replaced the evicted farmers, the Irish Land League chose social ostracism as a non-violent means of protesting. The new tenants were shunned by all the locals; the other tenants refused to work in fields, in the stables and in the house, despite the hardships this action incurred. It cost more money for Charles to hire police to protect the farmers he brought in to work his fields than he got out of the fields in crops.
Local businessmen stopped trading with Mr. Boycott, and the postman refused to deliver mail.
Before long the newspaper had picked up the story and gone one step further, reporting other instances of social ostracism they began labeling boycotting.
LEFT IS RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVING
Back in the Middle Ages, when armies spent a lot of time pillaging and plundering, the best way for the lord of the castle to have the upper hand when it came to defending said castle (given he was usually right handed) was to build narrow spiral stairs that allowed only one intruder at a time to advance. That advancing intruder also was at a disadvantage when wielding his sword (usually in his right hand) because of the confines of the narrow passage and his movement up the stairs. The lord (well, okay his knights defending the castle) had more room in which to wield the sword in their right hand. The intruder stayed to the left as much as possible to create room for wielding his sword.
Voila! Europeans move along the highway in the same fashion, driving on the left to provide maximum advantage when wielding their swords. Well, okay no spiral staircases for navigating the highways, but we do have to contend with killer prices for fuel.
This information comes via an Irishman named Willie (our bus driver for the week during our tour). Obviously, we Americans didn’t have any spiral staircases to give us the upper hand when it came to fighting the American Indians. Of course, technically, we were the intruders too, so it’s no surprise we took to driving on the right side of the road in the U.S.
So there you have it!
I’ll leave you with an Irish blessing to round out today's post.
May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.