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.
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.
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.
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.
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