A cautionary tale of Irish shenanigans from our 2019 visit.
The first morning of our two day Irish walking tour was everything I hoped for. The weather was sunny yet mild, our packs were light upon our backs and we the luxury Bed and Breakfast booked for the night. The walking app with map on our phone gave us all the information we needed as we wandered over hills and dales, through velvet green valleys, past bubbling brooks and quaint little cottages which speckled the countryside.
Then the weather turned cold, we were prepared for that.
Then the phone reception dropped out. No map, few signposts.
Then we found ourselves in an Irish bog being attacked by invisible ninja assassins -midges.
Then the rain began to fall.
The bog was endless and we were mired in mud and muck. By evening, we were totally and absolutely lost, we may have started arguing at this point. Neither of us knew where the luxury BnB and I was cold wet and hungry.
Eventually we happened upon a small pub on the edge of bog in the middle of nowhere. If I’d been in a better state of mind I might have appreciated the pink rose trellis that laced its walls. If I’d been in a better state of mind I might have admired the duck pond with ducks, out the front of the pub but I did not because, I was cold wet and hungry. With our phone dead and our bodies exhausted, we decided to get a room for the night, charge our phone and in the morning, after a full Irish breakfast get back on course.
For a hotel in the middle of nowhere it was doing a roaring trade, people singing, playing instruments, laughing. The crack was in full swing. All the heads turned, and it fell eerily quiet as we walked in. I nudged Ulf forward, to ask about a room for the night.
“Would you be having a story and song then” asked the publican.
“No I butted in, just a hot shower, something to eat and bed, thanks, because I’m cold, wet and hungry”
“Sorry Mrs, you misunderstood, house rules is, if you want to stay then you have to give us a story or a song.”
Some of the other guests snickered at this stage. Ulf sighed “well I could give you a short story..”
Steam was rising off my sodden clothes and I felt steam coming from my ears. I was cold wet and hungry.
My voice rose a few decibels, “I just want a hot shower, something to eat and a bed is that too much to ask?”
“Sorry love, house rules is house rules”
I exploded in unladylike expletives and stormed outside. Inside, everyone burst into laughter.
Blinded by rage, I promptly fell into the previously ignored duck pond “Aghhhhhhhhhhh”.
Next thing I knew, two strong hands reached in and pull me out. Somewhat sheepishly I looked up at Ulf, but it wasn’t Ulf and it wasn’t an Irish farmer or the publican either. It was a tall ethereal being, with pointy ears and mysterious almond eyes. Then I heard music, strange otherworldly, intoxicating music- and I saw creatures dancing- fauns, sylphs, dryads and fairies.
And her. She had hair the colour of golden wheat, moss green eyes and when she danced as gracefully as the breeze through ripe barley. I felt a strange sensation in my groin, I reached down. What the? Where did that? How? I’m a man?? Before I could even form the questions in my mind, she snatched me up in her wild erotic dance.
And oh. How we danced, and we danced and we danced. It could have been a minute, it could have been for an hour, or a day. Carried away in the ecstasy of the movement and music.
As dawn broke, she led me to her bed, and we explored the new manliness of my body, again, and again and again.
After that first morning it was difficult to remember, the other world, my world, my husband, my three daughters, my femaleness. Each long summer night was filled with ecstasy of dance and every morning the ecstasy of love making. As I grew comfortable in my new manhood, my memories of my other life faded. All I could remember was there was something, something I'd forgotten.
Oh, that summer I was the consort of the queen fairy and happy seemed the fairy folk of my good fortune. They treated me with reverence and respect.
One evening, as the nights were growing short, my beloved queen came to me and said, “It is done, I am with child”. How we rejoiced, my queen and I, as the other fairy folk prepared a feast on a bonfire. When the celebration was prepared, they lifted me onto their shoulders and paraded me through the cheering throng of fairy folk. Delighted, they threw flowers at me, and sweetly scented herbs, and then great blobs of butter? Then they hurled me into enormous pot of water on the bonfire, “Aghhhhhhhhh”
Next thing I knew, two strong hands reach in and pull me out. “Ulf it’s you!” I fell into his arms, a crying, sodden mess. “Lindy, you just tripped into a duck pond” he said. “Come inside and we’ll get you dry”. Ulf led me into the bar and stood me in front of the fire, the room had gone quiet again and I could feel their eyes upon me.
Could they see I was a man? I reached for my groin, “Whew. Get this woman a Guinness, because man, has she got a story for you”.
A heart to heart blog on life, spirituality, storytelling & stories.