The Ireland Travelogue… where Thomas gets a name
So… it is day two and the gnome is already making a name for himself. He discovers the joys of the Irish breakfast include more meat than you’d ever expect to find on one plate (sausage, bacon, white pudding and black pudding) and, strangely, no potatoes.
He befriends a table of B&B guests, including an Irish musician who looks like he is up a few hours earlier than he’d like. We learned we missed his performance at a local pub while we were scouting for live music venues but we were luck. This musician
not only graced us with an early morning performance but christened the gnome with a name… we had been searching for a suitably Irish name. The little traveling gnome became Thomas (pronounced with an Irish lilt as Toe-mas).
Our first full day in Ireland was off to a great start. Not only did Peter perform for us but Val and Tom, the B&B owners, settled in for a singalong as well. I tried desperately to post a video but my technical skills just aren’t up to the challenge. The morning took us travelling around town where I learned some interesting things about traveling with a gnome.
Firstly, people have two reactions when they see a gnome under your arm or posing in your photograph: they either smile and laugh as they walk by or they studiously ignore you looking anywhere but at the person holding the gnome (usually me since The Husband was toting around camera equipment that outweighed me). Secondly, there are a number of pop culture references to a travelling gnome. The Europeans generally asked if we had seen the movie Amelie (we hadn’t but now plan to do so), apparently there is a traveling gnome involved. The North Americans instantly referenced the Amazing Race Travelocity roaming gnome. The few Irish who bothered to comment thought he was a leprechaun, some even rubbed him for good luck. Thirdly, giving a laugh (in the form of a not-so-small gnome) to locals in the tourist trade during high season is usually good for some special attention, he even got his own beer (half-pint due to his half-pint size) at the Guinness plant (photos to that to come later).
Thomas was a useful travelling companion, some of the time, though there were a few rivers I wished to drop him in. He seemed to have a strange fascination with these signs we saw in quite a few places.Either the Irish are very serious about the early detection of breast cancer, or there is some cultural quirk that we don’t know about. We travelled on to the Rock of Cashel, the site of a 12th century chapel and the site where St. Patrick reputedly converted the Kings of Munster in the 5th century.Our day ended at a very pretty B&B outside the village of Adare. I have to admit we dumped him at the Inn and took off for a pub on our own… a couple does need a little privacy on a second honeymoon you know.
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