Ireland 2005 Day 9
Today there is a craft and goods fair set up between the two streets at the Clock Gate. We are to parade in costume and the madrigals sing to draw attention to our Rendezvous Dinner to be held this evening at the Walter Raleigh Hotel. Joan has a wench costume for me to wear. We parade to town single file lead by Greg also in costume, then the YaYas and I (now a YaYa). The queen is last.
It is a sunny day, a bit chilly but the sun is nice. The madrigals sing at the fair and then we mingle with the crowd. Some of us buy a bit of food. I get a mulled wine and Chester Cake. The cake is awesome. I ask the lady for her recipe. She is dressed as Mary Queen of Scots and has had a good time getting her picture taken with Barbara. Her real name is Frances. She writes down the recipe for me. She is a little old lady who recently got married again. The extra cloth from her wedding dress has been used in her costume. She baked all of the goods in her booth, cakes and pies, early this morning.
Now we move on to Tynte’s Castle. It is a town castle, mostly a very tall tower shaped building, than a sprawling edifice. It is amazing to have a chance to see the inside of this structure. Tom, who had us to dinner at his pub a few nights back, owns the castle with his two brothers. They are restoring it. They have just purchased two cinderblock sized stones for a doorway. They cost 700 sterling.
We parade up the up street to the castle. All of the shoppers, merchants and car folk wave to us. We go inside the castle tower which for now is all that is open at this stage of its renovation. We assemble here for photos and then the madrigals sing for the video that is being made. The room is fairly small but open all the way up so you can get an idea of things to be done. Exposed doorways and wonderful huge wooden beams are visible.
After the singing we march back to the fair where the madrigals sing again. I am getting chilled. Pascal, a young French member of the committee, offers me her shawl. As she is selling Sharovski jewels at the fair for a friend she is dressed for the weather, so I take the shawl. There is another photo session and then we are excused. I do not see Pascal to return the shawl. I stop to say good bye to Frances as her booth is nearby. She admires my shawl and says she has one just like it. She says she has loaned it to the French girl selling jewels. I laugh and say this must be her shawl. Later before I leave the market, I return the shawl to Pascal. She promises to show me the entire jewel collection later at the tourist bureau which is where she works.
I want to buy a few things at the market but have no euros. Donny doesn’t either but he heads for the ATM machine to replenish our supply. A cute lad selling flowers wants me to buy. I tell him I will be back when I get some euros. When Donny gets back I buy a beaded necklace which I have also promised to procure when I get cash. Then I go to get my flowers. The stall is maintained by two boys who are about ten years old. They have picked the flowers and made scented pinecones. They also have a basket of ribbons. I hand them five euros to buy the flowers which are three euros fifty. They tell me I can get pinecones and ribbons plus the flowers for my five euros. They want to be sure I get a fair deal. They keep telling me to get one more pinecone or ribbon. I want to be sure they are getting a fair deal. I tell them I am satisfied. They insist I take some ribbons. They dig in their box for the most scented pinecones. The mom who has been visiting a nearby stall and has her own things next to the boys returns and asks if they are treating me well. She says that her husband has been doing all the video work of the festival group.
We go to the Mall Arts Center to undress and pack up costumes, either for going back to the states or being transferred to the Walter Raleigh Hotel where the Rendezvous is to be held. Finally all the costumes are settled and we have swept up the dressing rooms.
Back home I dress the window with our flowers. They are prettier than any I have seen for sale in the shops. Becki says we have just enough time for a soup lunch before meeting at Myrtle Grove. It seems that we have been invited after all to tour Myrtle Grove. But only us. The owners are very protective of their heirlooms and privacy.
Myrtle is the house Raleigh would have lived in when he was in Youghal. It is still privately owned and lived in. We are so excited to have this opportunity to see history closer to the way it actually was rather than in a museum type setting.
BBD&I go for soup and no sooner have we eaten and returned to the Harvey where we are to meet than we find Marian and Greg walking toward Myrtle Grove. The rest have gone on by car. We are cautioned by Carl, lebame and our Irish friends to not take any photos inside the house. The grounds are permissible but not inside.
The entrance to Myrtle Grove is literally right next to the St Mary’s Church entrance on the quaint cobblestone up up street. Once inside the gate we feel like we have stepped back in time. We all know that the shops and town homes of Youghal are just outside the wooden entry but here inside it feels like we are in the countryside and another era. We take a lot of photos of Chris, who has come dressed as Raleigh, in front of the manor.
We are to tour inside in two groups. The interior is truly amazing. There are so many family antiquities that anyone could spend an entire day or more in just one room. We all love the family touches, pictures, papers and such. Our lovely guide, who now maintains the house with her sister and brother, tells us great family stories. She continually apologizes about what she considers her lack of tour guide knowledge. She does fine by our account. One of my favorite stories Iona tells us is on herself. As a young girl she used to ride her pony all over the lawns and to this day her mother blames her for the poor condition of the grounds which is not true, they are beautiful.
Now it is time to get ready for the Rendezvous. As the result of a few miscommunications we feel that my costume is no longer at the Raleigh Hotel so I dress with my French silk skirt and an extra ruff and Elizabethan hat Becki has on hand, even though Joan told me earlier that she had an extra wench costume at the hotel.
We drive to the hotel so that we can get our costumes back to our apartment easier after the show. Joan says my costume is fine. As Gloria is also costumed for the event I think she has worn the extra wench costume so this works out perfectly. She, the YaYas and I decide to go into the bar for a drink while the rest are dressing. The local paper photographer takes our picture. Maybe this one will make the paper too. I have not seen the last one he took of me with Carol and Jacquie at the opening but I hear it was in the paper. He always asks for names and even writes them down. Gloria says we have gotten lots of press. She has enough for a scrapbook. We have only found one picture, that of Jacquie at the ploughing.
Evidently the story of Barbara’s queen dress being held ransom by customs made all the tabloids. This happened before we got there. Customs would not release any of the boxes containing the queen’s clothing because they thought we were trying to smuggle them into the country. Finally customs said we could get the gowns for a $4000 fee. Carl almost croaked. He finally got the Bank of Ireland to post “bond” and the costumes were released one day before the first show which was the day we arrived.
It is time for the Rendezvous but few people are here. I notice that the announcement board in the hotel lobby says nine as the starting time. It should say eight. We wonder what the tickets say. Also the Irish are a very relaxed people about time, they would do well on the Outer Banks.
The Rendezvous is to be like the one on the Outer Banks, a dinner with the queen type show. Bill Rea is to be Walter and Chris his son, fondly known as What. Calling out What, throughout the event, works well to cover mistakes and add extra merriment to the party. Now anytime someone says, “What?” We all holler back, “What? What? Where’s What.”
Donny & I have great seats since I am photoing for lebame.
When it comes time for the titling, our new Irish friends are delightfully surprised and pleased to have European titles. You can see they are going to have fun with them.
Donny has a toothache that is really bothering him now. It started this morning. I ask Breeda if she has any ideas. She suggests a clove and whiskey. She says she will get some cloves from the kitchen. She is our wonder worker. She saved Bill from totally losing his voice with some antibiotics left over from her niece’s ailment.
After the Rendezvous a two man band sets up on the stage and plays tunes for us to dance to. Most members of our group change into street clothes. I chat with Barbara’s mother, Connie, while Barbara changes. Connie loves line dancing but by the time I discover this the band has switched to slow numbers to close out their evening.
Slowly our group dwindles away. We remain conversing with members of the committee, friends, and family until well into the morning. The bartender is very gracious and does not push us along. It is well after two before we say our final goodbyes for the evening.