A Letter From Germany


In May 2019 my husband, brother and sister in law and I went to Ireland.  On a trip to the Hill of Slane I met a man, his wife and young daughter.  Our interactions were voices wrapping around stone walls, voices that traveled up stairwells that led to long gone floors.  His voice encouraging a stranger who was scared of heights but wanted to climb, me watching the child play with her mother on the hill.  The visions of that day are clear.  Our interactions were brief but so very pleasant.

When I left the Hill and returned to the car park I put one of my books on their car windshield for their young child.

Weeks later I received an email from Loic in Germany, with a picture of their young child reading my book.  He had tracked me down via my book and blog to email me his family’s thanks.  Since then we have maintained an email contact.  His name is Loic, his wife is Silke, and their daughter is Laetitia.

After I finished  my book “Yellow Door” I sent him a copy.  Today, I received the most amazing gift.  With Loic’s permission I am posting his letter and picture.  For someone to read my book and then make it part of their life and include me is beyond what I ever could have hoped for as an author.

“Dear Colleen,
You inspired me to add another chapter to your book, so that we can go back to the island and the adventure continues, I hope you enjoy it 😊
I attached a picture of me in my armor.
Best regards
X. (a chapter from a friend)
Ireland in the medieval times was a topic that had grasped my focus lately. When planning our visit to Ireland, I thought, what a welcome opportunity to have a short archaic and rustic adventure, therefore I brought my chain mail, sword and knights clothing with me. With my wife Silke and little girl Laetitia we wanted to tour the whole Irish countryside over several weeks. One region we wanted to explore was the west coast. In Dingle we settled down in a little B&B. For the ultimate medieval experience I wanted to explore the Great Blasket Island. Since this adventure on a cold windy island with steep cliffs wasn’t anything for my girls, they stayed in the warm and cozy B&B. While I was away, they could visit the local playground and go see the dolphin Fungi in the bay of Dingle.
Before I left we had a full Irish breakfast in the morning, this is a must-have in every B&B. After a very entertaining ferry ride I finally arrived on the Great Blasket Island. The captain, a big man called Cashel, was a very funny guy who was telling jokes the whole time. After stepping of the boat, I first had to climb a gazillion stairs to get to the small village.
The first thing I saw was a woman sitting on a bench in front of a house with a Yellow Door. She looked over, so I said “Hello, I’m Loïc” and walked over to her. She smiled and greeted back and said “Hello, my name is Bronagh”. We started talking about the island, she seemed to know much about it. She suggested “Let’s go for a hike, I can show you some fascinating places on the island” and I accepted immediately.
While exploring the island I saw on a cliff, a Scotsman in his traditional clothing, a kilt. He was playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and standing still, although strong winds were blowing from the sea. This was really… amazing!
The island was lovely, with the sound of the ocean waves in the background and the green meadows. There were also numerous gorse shrubs with yellow flowers, which dispersed an aroma of vanilla and coconut. The fresh breeze from the ocean brought in addition a salty seawater scent. This was truly a gorgeous moment involving all senses.
On the southern coast was the ruin of an old Napoleonic watchtower. It was in quite good shape and ready for exploring. I climbed on top of it and had a spectacular view over the ocean and the small island. Bronagh didn’t want to go up there, she was apparently afraid of heights. Back down I took my sword out and started a small training session in front of this little castle, which really made me feel like a knight. Afterwards I sat down to meditate and enjoy the tranquility of the island, while Bronagh was writing something in her notebook.
In the evening, the few people visiting the island gathered at a small camp fire in front of the house with the Yellow Door. Bronagh introduced me to Sean from Scotland and Bob from Texas and made us some Barry’s Irish tea and some Irish stew, which tasted really good, especially after a long day of hiking. It was quite a funny sight. I was wearing my chain mail, the Scotsman his kilt, Bronagh short pants and a hoodie and Bob was wearing a cowboy hat. We must have looked like the Village People for bystanders. We drank lots of Guinness and Whiskey and sang through the night.
When I left the island the next morning, Bronagh was sitting on her bench looking at the ocean.”
Chain Mail, Armor
Loic in his Armor.