Fair Play to Ya, Ireland

Ireland coast
In Ireland, if someone tells you you’re “acting the maggot” it means you’re being an idiot. If you’re “on the tear” you’re out for a night of partying. If you have a “bad dose” you’re sick, perhaps from all your drinking. One of the many fun parts about Ireland was learning the country’s slang phrases from the people we met there. “Bang on” means correct, “bucketing down” means raining, “crocked” means broken. My favorite of all the new colloquialisms we learned was “fair play.” It means well done or good job. We heard this whenever someone learned we were on this trip around the world with our kids. “Aw, wow! Fair play to ya then!”

We would have to return the same phrase to Ireland and all the people who made our trip there so perfect. Fair play to ya, Alan and Lee and Batt and Mark and Anne and Abby and all the other friends who shared drinks and laughs with us. Thank you so much for your welcoming hospitality, great stories and fun memories. You will be the reason we come back to West Cork some day.

Fair play to ya Manu, Leo, Naza and Kale for befriending our girls, building forts, and telling me you liked my cooking.
The Townshends
Abby and the girls
Castletownshend friends
Dublin character
Alan in the Old Post Office

Fair play to ya, Skibbereen Library and our friendly librarian who hosted the Carisch crew quite a few afternoons, letting us check out books with actual pages and giving us a little break from reading on devices.
Skib Library

Fair play to ya, Sydney the Cat, for being our surrogate pet and showing up every morning to share some breakfast, petting and purring.

Fair play to ya Ireland weather for your insanely green leaves, soft mossy tree trunks and daily rainbows.
Rainbow from The Lawn
Rainbow over Castletownshend
Ireland Coastline

Fair play to ya West Cork County for your narrow, hedge-lined roads and  blind corners. You forced us to slow down, take in the scenery and explore unknown side roads leading us to beaches, historic ruins and gorgeous views.
Sunday drive
Beach view
Ali at the Beach

Fair play to all the rewarding hikes which always ended with a beautiful view and sometimes a flat spot for a quick yoga session.

Fair play to this great country with friendly people, incredible natural beauty and a rich and enduring history. Our family experienced small town life for the first time and truly loved it. The girls will miss the freedom they had in our isolated little village of less than a hundred people. Brian and I will miss being able to walk a few steps down to Mary Anne’s Restaurant or Lill McCarthy’s pub knowing we’ll find someone friendly and interesting to talk to over a bowl of seafood chowder or a pint of “Black Stuff” (Guinness). We’re aren’t “codding ya” when we say we’ll be back again some day. We came upon West Cork County and Castletownshend by chance because we could book an affordable cottage with internet access. The next time we go it will be to see that lovely area again and reconnect with the great people we met there. We hope it’s not “donkey’s years” before we see you again.

For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way.
Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.
~ Irish Blessing

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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  1. Hi Carisches,
    I have really loved reading all of your posts about your adventures around the world. I would like to visit some of the places you have been, but after reading this post, it confirms what I have known for a long time. I would LOVE to visit Ireland. I hope to some day. I loved seeing the girls at the library! 😉

  2. Love it! So glad Ireland was so good to you….I expected nothing less! I always love reading about my homeland from the perspective of a first-time visitor. Fair play!

  3. We hope you have a great journey… the girls, your fantastically, wonderfully sweet, cute and intelligent girls, are missed about the place here for sure. My babies miss them…. hope you send them a card someday. Best wishes from Castletownshend…. Mani, Leo, Naja & L

  4. Hi…
    … the children got your card girls…… They miss you much! So much! Hope you have a great time…… go out there & change the world!
    Your so delightful….. warm welcomes and love will always surround you!!!

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