Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Awfully awful, part 2

Getting to our cottage in Co. Offaly proved to be no easy task. We'd just finished seeing Luka Bloom ( in Galway, so our travel began after 10:00 at night. Our GPS took us through dark, narrow back roads for over two hours. The town was Shinrone. Our directions to the cottage were from Dublin, the complete opposite direction. There aren't any number addresses in Ireland so a GPS is relatively useless in finding your exact destination. Luckily a tiny pub was open. I went in to ask for directions as we had been driving aimlessly through dark unmarked streets following directions that said, "where the large clump of trees are, turn right."

Ciaran (a friend) and I went inside with picture in hand, hoping someone knew where this property was. Everyone was standing as if in a huddle around the bar. It seemed to be an intimate local gathering. Only one man paid attention to our entrance. Happily he recognized the house immediately. I felt relief run down my body. Then he began to talk...

I must have had him repeat the directions five times. I couldn't understand him at all! It was as though he was speaking a totally different language. I remembered what the young barkeep had said about such a heavy accent. She wasn't kidding. Oh my! I returned to the car completely unsure whether or not I had the directions to get us there. Luckily I did.

The door was locked. It was dark. There was a tiny note written on the door. Mike fumbled to try to read it. Obviously it was written in the same language the man spoke in the pub. As he tried to stumble through it, I reached my hand into a nearby flowerpot and there were the keys! "How in the world did you find those?" Who knows. A few recognizable words he read must have sent me there.

Unlock the large door and enter, bags in hand, ready to drop from fatigue and stress. Flick on the light and we dropped our bags in awe! It was a long stone building from the outside and inside it was completely open except for the bath and bedroom on the end. Genuine art hung on the walls. Old pottery urns were in the deep set windows. Large white paper balls ( I mean like three feet wide, large) hung down from the two-story high ceiling. Inside were lights. It was magical. Big glowing balls hovering in the vast open space, illuminating it beautifully. Forgetting our fatigue we began to dance around like children. It was bigger than most dance halls. Huge really and completely artsy. Renting these cottages was amazing. It was a surprise every time. You never knew what you would actually find, where you would actually live, but I must say we never expected to find this!

So far it seemed the perfect place for an artist to land...

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