Ireland: Ring of Kerry cont, Dingle Peninsula

Our next stop on our adventure was at Brian De Staic’s.  Brian de Staic makes original jewelry and pendants using the the Ogham alphabet.

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Inside, we were introduced to Ogham and it’s history.

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Roughly 400 known ogham inscriptions are on stone monuments scattered around the Irish Sea, the bulk of them dating to the fifth and sixth centuries. Their language is predominantly Primitive Irish, but a few examples record fragments of the Pictish language. Ogham itself is an Early Medieval form of alphabet or cipher, sometimes known as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet”.

Ogham inscription stone at Dunloe

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While we were there, my darling husband placed an order for 4 silver pendants that said ” I Love You” in the Ogham alphabet and the number 14, stamped into the back.  One for each of the ladies in his life, myself, our two daughters and his sister.

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Why the number 14, you ask?  Over the years, either by hearing our family say it to each other or through reading it commented to each other on social media, many have asked what it means when we say “I love you 14!”

My husbands parents are long gone but this family saying started with them.  His father would say to his mother, “I love you 14”, meaning that on a scale of 1 to 10…he loved her 14.  This affectionate sentiment had spread to their children, to their spouses to our children and now grandchildren.

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As I had stated in my last post, it had started to rain substantially.  We drove along the coast and I captured some lovely pics.

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But…soon we headed on a narrow winding path, framed by a mountain rock wall on one side and a sheer drop off a cliff into the ocean on the other which happened to be on my side of the coach!  There was only a VERY short rock ledge to stop you from sliding off!  I can only guess that this is why they call this area, The Devils Elbow.

Slea head drive, Dingle peninsula, County Kerry.

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You can see how narrow the road and we were in a large coach!  The following is a pic from my side window.  I must say that our guide drives this narrow, winding cliff hanger, like a BOSS! There was no creeping along it in the pouring rain, no!  I do believe he ascribes to my mothers theory that if you can’t see…go faster!

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There was a small section where you can stop.  Oddly, there stands a crucifix! Seemed like a good idea as it’s seems like the ideal place to hand out Last Rites in bulk!  I know that I was sure praying! Lol

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It was here that our guide, Paul, leapt up onto the stone wall on the edge of the cliff.  Of course I snapped a photo.  I told him that I was taking it for his dear sweet mother for when she wanted to know what had happened to him. Lol

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And what lays below?

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Along our travels we passed by the lovely (now late)  singer of The Cranberries, Delores O’riordan’s home.  Throughout Ireland, we saw to many famous peoples homes and marvelled at the striking differences between them and those back in the states.  There are no walls, gates, security.  It is a place where they may live life with simply normalcy and I loved that so much.   I could have simply walked up and knocked on the door.  I didn’t and wouldn’t but I love for them the ease they find here.

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Several of the older folk didn’t know who she was until I burst out singing “Zombie”.  Lol What I lack in vocal talent, I make up for in volume. Haha

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Let’s talk turf or rather peat.  Peat , also known as turf, is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, or bogs.

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Peat is havested by turf cutters, stacked to dry and used as fuel, often in fireplaces and wood stoves and burns more efficiently than coal.  It has a distinct fragrance that we smelled throughout Ireland and I’m certain if ever smelled again, the aroma would carry me straight back to Ireland.

We were fortunate enough to get to experience a peat bog.  We got out to expore what we naturally assumed was a simple plot of land much like a sod farm here in the US but were wildly suprised.  The ground itself isn’t solid at all but rather resembles walking on an old school water bed!  It only took a moment for  the field to errupt into  a bouncy house full of overgrown children!

My husband, Clay, doing a bog stomp.  Note the bouncy ground!  He would jump and several feet away, it’d bounce me!

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