Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Day 25: the reason Ireland is so green.

We were supposed to see The Rock of Cashel this morning.

Unfortunately, Ireland was dealing with the aftermath of a little storm called Cyclone Agnes, so the winds and rain were dreadful.

While we were sitting on the bus, which was being buffeted by the wind and rain, Ben told us the story being depicted here.
St Patrick was visiting the monks at the small wooden chapel there, and the devil was on the next mountain. He was furious that St Patrick was preaching Christianity, so he bit off a piece of the mountain and threw it at St Patrick.

This is the Rock of Cashel where the church is built.

Unfortunately, one part of this legend is limestone, while the other is sandstone, so there goes that story!

When James heard that we’d been washed out, he sent some photos so I could see what the Rock of Cashel is like.

Now I wish we had’ve been able to see it. It looks amazing.
The town itself looked pretty, glazed with rain.

We had lunch in a nice little pub.

This was the picture waiting at the foot of the stairs.

There was also a newspaper clipping of a newspaper advertisement offering a reward for Daniel Breene.
£1,000 reward . He was a member of the 1916 rebellion and the Civil War.

He was interviewed when he was much older and he said,, “Of course I regret the violence, but I’d do it all again. The British went down in the gutter and we went down there with them.”

Then it was off to the Irish National Stud.

As you would expect, it has horses in it. The guide showing us around was mainly talking about how much each stallion earns every time he covers a mare.

These are the yearlings. The ducks ended up taking more than their fair share of the food.

Unlike the stallions, who have double fences around them to keep everyone safe, these retired race horses are geldings and so are friendly. It was clear how much the guide cared for this on, in particular.

I went a little nuts in the gift shop and bought a silver Ugly Christmas Sweater ornament for the tree.

And look at these! They’re in the middle of the roundabout where the horse stud is. There are 5 of them in total and they’re made of Bog Ash

When we got to the hotel, all we wanted was to get to our rooms. We were all taken to the side in one group and the hotel door guy said that we should call out our names and he’d find our room keys. ‘Strangely inefficient’, I thought, but after one couple called out and got their keys, I called out “Frogdancer Jones” at exactly the same time as Cornelia called out her name.

You remember her,? The English woman in her 70’s who started out professing sympathy for the Irish but was unprepared for the level of hatred towards the English and to cope, is now saying that the Irish should just get on with it and move on. The one trying to get people to give little or no tip to Ben.

The doorman began looking for my key as Cornelia started repeating to me, “Wait your turn.”
After the third time, I turned to her and said, “Calm down Cornelia, you can get yours next.”

Now, I know I shouldn’t have chosen the words ‘calm down.’ They always have the opposite effect. But I hadn’t done anything wrong and perhaps SHE could learn to wait her turn?

If looks could kill, I would have been in need of an ambulance. She’s an entitled little woman who’s very used to getting her own way and I didn’t back down to her when she demanded it.

Anyway, I got my key and escaped to the lift. I knew in my bones that I was going to hear more of this.She was going to try to teach me a lesson, I was sure of it.

Not altogether to my surprise, just before dinner I arrived in the hotel foyer to find her waiting for me.

She hissed something at me and I said, “Let’s not do this, Cornelia,” and she looked at me, narrowed her eyes and said, “, Oh we ARE going to do this.”

I smiled at her, and said, “Ok then.”

And that’s when she fucked around and found out.

I hate confrontation and I’ll do my level best to avoid it. But when you bring it to my door? You’ll get the Frogdancer Jones who will not roll over and let you turn me into a doormat.

You all know that I wasn’t unprepared about the type of person she is. Plus I’m a secondary teacher… I know how to deal with bullies.

So when she came up close, leaned in and said in a voice so furious it almost trembled, “Don’t you EVER try to push in front of me again!”, all I did was smile and shake my head.

“I was just doing what the man said to do,” I said. “You know that.”

She blew up like a puffer fish and said, “You’re a VERY IGNORANT WOMAN!” and she turned on her heel to walk away, as if she clinched the whole conversation.

So ok, I could have let it go, but I thought I might see how she handled it if I reflected what she’d just said back to her.So I leaned forward and said earnestly, “Oh my god, I was just thinking the same thing about YOU!”

Well, that opened the floodgates. She gasped as if I’d just stabbed her and she said a few things that I can’t remember, while I just put on a patient look, raised my eyebrows slightly and nodded every now and then. (Ok, I knew how annoying that would be.)

Finally, she stopped, took a deep breath and said, “And you can FUCK OFF!”

I grinned because with that outburst, I’d won and we both knew it. As I grinned I said, “That’s the first honest thing you’ve said to me all night, Cornelia.”

She started to walk off, turned around and ferociously gave me the finger and stormed off.

I know I could have defused the situation but for once in my life I simply didn’t want to. Once she made it obvious that she was in for a fight, she was always going to lose, because I didn’t care and I had zero interest in pandering to her.
Besides, if she spent her time stewing over me instead of Ben for a change, then it would be time well spent.


  1. Maureen Carreau

    Sorry you missed the Rock of Cashel and had some rain to deal with. That is the Irish experience though!
    Cornelia sounds like a very miserable person.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, it wouldn’t be Ireland if there wasn’t rain.

  2. bethh

    Oh my word, I bet the rest of the tour group would have given your performance a standing ovation. She sounds horrible, and you are Fortunate Frogdancer indeed that you know how to handle a person like that. That confrontation would likely have ruined several days for many other people!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Unpleasant things nearly always make for a good story later on…

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