The Damn Handball Court

I love the “ruins”.  We have established that.  I don’t love that things are ruined.  But I love the glimpse and actual touch of a world so long gone.  People built and lived lives in these beautiful stone houses, abbeys, castles and churches.   Prayer.  Meals.  Sleeping.  I am so amazed when I look up, up and up to the tops of these buildings built hundreds of years ago without the tools and mechanics that we have today.  They obviously had the skills and brain power.  I suspect they had some ingenuity that we have lost along the way due to our “advanced technology”.   So while we are ‘seeing’ ruins I am imagining another time.  The imagining of what these places looked like and how they lived is part of the fun.

After the famine museum we drove from ruin to ruin to ruin.

While trying to figure out how to get to the ruins of a 1700 era church in Mount Talbot we found an obvious handball court.  David walked over to it and  asked me if I knew when it was built.  Since it was on the site of a 1700 century church  I said 1769.  He told me to get real.  It made sense to me.  If it was on an old site and his question implied it was old, I felt it should have been old.    It would only have amazed me had it been built when the church stuff was built.  Well, it wasn’t.  It was built in 1929.  I immediately disregarded it.  There were other things to look at.  There was a huge sign with local historical sites.   Like a dolmen.  Something REALLY old.  Megalithic old.  Mystical old.  OLD.

David made new friends while looking for the Dolmen:

They tried to  help, the woman of the home was helpful.  But the man of the house told David he had never seen it or heard of it, but insisted on giving directions anyway.   There were a few other inquiries after this one.  And computer assistance was still  required to even show the locals where it was before they could direct us.

We drove everywhere looking for the reported dolmen.  Dolmens are incredible and mysterious things.   There are all kinds of theories on the way they are built and the exact use.     This dolmen we found today was a bit of a disappointment size wise, but only because I have seen bigger.  I am sure there are some of you who think I just made an innuendo, I did not.    I love the dolmen.  I love that they are OLDer than dirt.  Literally, think about it.  Those dolmens that have been here for multiple millenium and are, in fact,  older than tons of dirt on this earth now.   The dolmen today was not a full blown dolmen it was a dolmenite (this term brought to you courtesy of David).

After we found the mini marvel we headed back to Mount Talbot yet again to continue our pursuit of ruin discovery.  Anywhere else.  We had circled in and around it for what seemed another  millenium.   We approached the town for the last time and David asked if I had taken a picture of the handball court.  Of course I didn’t.   David wants to take a picture of the handball court.  Because it was, after all, built in the modern era of Ireland.  1929 in Ireland was like this morning in America.

I told him it was built in 1929.  What was so God awful amazing about that?  He wanted a picture.  So we had to stop and get a picture of that damn handball court.   The camera was handed to Chloe for the grand picture:

The rest of the day was a typical rainy ruined day.  And by ruined, I mean we saw ruins.  And now that is past tense.  Ruined.  As in “we have ruined today”.

English teachers and majors…. Sorry.

After many sites and scones and tea we made our way home.  UT and AC arrived home shortly after us.  Our Irish evenings are only made complete by sharing our days, eating digestive biscuits (which taste much better than they sound) and talking about possible adventures to come.  It’s how we start and end each day.  Around a table, drinking, eating, talking.

Yeah, yeah yeah.  It’s the Irish in us.