Thursday, December 29, 2011

What I did this semester (when I had my camera with me)

For one thing, I got a new claddagh ring! Not from Ireland, but it's still pretty. Though, that happened yesterday, and for now I'm only talking about this semester. (During which, two more rings fell off my finger and got lost. Seriously, if I ever get married I'll have to glue that bitch to my finger).

ANYWAY. Things that happened:

We went to Emily's Bridge at midnight, and didn't die! Yay!

It's a pretty creepy place.

Had lots of girls' nights.

Visited Meg and Ryan's homeland in the Northeast Kingdom.

Celebrated 3 nights of Halloween (5 if you count the low-key candy and horror movie nights).

Night One!

Night Two!

Night Three!

Had more girls' nights.

Celebrated Christmas, tastefully.

And took everything very, very seriously, at all times.


Okay, you guys. I haven't posted in a million, billion infinity whatever years, for a lot of reasons that I'm pretty sure aren't actually interesting, even to me.

But I promise to post something tomorrow!

(Or maybe the next day.)


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Post Where I Break Things and Get Confused

This semester I discovered I have this really amazing talent.

I can break things without touching them.

Awesome, right?

The first thing I broke was a bracelet from Icing. It was made out of old fashioned looking keys and was completely gorgeous. I'd only had it a day and I was in love with it enough to wear it on the first day of classes.

I was sitting on a patch of grass, catching up with some friends when I noticed my bracelet wasn't on my wrist. I quickly searched for it on the ground, hoping it hadn't gone the way of my dearly departed claddagh ring. It hadn't, but it was snapped in two, not a foot away from my hand.

I was a bit confused, because how did it break like that without me noticing? It was a pretty thick bracelet.

I decided not be bothered by it, and put its pieces in my purse to superglue later. Except when I took out the two shards to fix them, there were three of them. It had broke even more. At which point I was like, "fuck it," and tossed the bracelet pieces onto my dresser where they remain to this day.

Unless they've broken into four without me noticing.

Because I also managed to break this awesome clock keychain. Or it broke itself. Whatever really happened I might never know, but about a week ago, I was reaching around for my keys when I noticed that, oh hey, I had the clock bit but not the key bit. I freaked out for a second, but luckily I found them because I wouldn't want to owe my school the eighty million qruadrillion dollars I know they'd charge me. (Just kidding, it'd probably be something like 400 dollars. You know, something reasonable.)

Anyway, that's when I noticed that the keychainy thing that held the key part of the keychain (you can tell I'm a writer) and the mini clock was completely missing. As opposed to sort of missing. And I was confused again.

But I managed to fix it, by screwing the keyring with keys to the watch bit. Except then that broke like a day later, and I can't even figure out how that happened, but apparently I give up easily because after that I was just like, "whatever, I never figured out how to set you, anyway," to the mini clock, and now I don't even bother with it.

(I don't really give up easily. PS.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

the pages of their minds went missing

the pages of their minds went missing today
and wouldn't answer when they tried to call them back.

they went in circles trying to find them
looking in dark closets and under-the-bed spaces.
they thought they found them at first
in cardboard photo boxes
but the pictures were all too yellow
and the laughing faces inside were just as closed
as the glossy shuttered houses they’d never remember
no matter how hard they squinted.

until their fingerprints were full of dust,
they traced the shadows
huddled at dusktime with blurry hands plunged deep into jean pockets
and children playing hockey in an empty street and yelling
mouths wide open in some forgotten outrage.

in other pictures they thought they found
drinking around beach bonfires and holding lost newborns.
but the sand was always too dark
the hallways always too long
the faces all too narrow
and they couldn't remember any of it.

so they pulled away,
threw the photographs down
and opened their front doors to run.

when they looked outside
the houses were all shuttered shut
the pavement was too black
and they saw
everything real was gone.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still alive, I promise

I swear I haven't abandoned you guys.

I'm just lazy.



Hi, let's reunite. I'm Ashley and I want to go back to Ireland wicked bad and not much else is new, except for the stuff that is.

Oh! And I turned 21! Awesome, right? Finally a birthday I can be stoked about, except now that it's over, all the others will be a little sad. I mean, who wants to turn 22? I actually may have said something like that on my birthday, and I may have accidentally offended someone, but I can't completely remember.

Oh, and another, sadder thing? I lost the claddagh ring I got in Galway. SAD. Especially considering how I lost it. I was at work, at the cash register, and my ring was a bit loose. At some point, it must have fallen off my hand into some customer's bag. When I noticed, I was absolutely, a million percent heart broken. I almost cried. I started picturing the customer. I imagined that they must be the worst kind of customer. One of the old, Floridian retirees with summer homes, who stop at absolutely nothing to get their bahhhgains. And my ring must have been the ultimate bargain to them, the kind they would brag about to all their other Floridian retiree friends with summer homes, about how they got this ring for free, and their friends would all be speechless because they were about to brag about how they got this ugly pink visor for 20 percent off because there was a string hanging from it, but they know they've got nothing on a free ring from Ireland. So they suggest a game of Yahtzee instead to hide their shame.

I was devastated.

Other things happened, too, but that was definitely the saddest part of my summer.

I had another story, but I've already forgotten what it was supposed to be.

Anyway, I'm back now, and I'm definitely going to be blogging more.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Here's a bit of old writing I did in Ireland, in Cork when I couldn't get my camera working. Hope you like it, but if you don't (or if you do!) totally comment with any advice or criticism you have!


I took the train station down the hill from my hostel, and right away things started changing. Right away there were signs of the sea, and a different sort of sea than I was used to. Instead of white sand stranded in the middle of the road or long, pale beach grass swaying by the curb, it looked like the land itself might have once been part of the ocean floor. There were brown sandbars stretched out on either side of the train, all of it reminiscent of a wave. They were made up of eternal ripples, glistening under a sheen of millimeter deep saltwater, etched with thin, deep tide pool streams, curving and rippling this way and that like a brown snake. Or a wave. Even the sea-foam green railings of the bridge we passed over rolled up and down. And then I got to Cobh and it was obvious that the little town, too, was a wave.

The roads, the couple there were, winded gently, and the buildings followed. The houses and pubs and shops traveled in connected, multicolored rows: sky blue, goldenrod, white, salmon, peach, cream, black, brick red, turquoise. They formed the streets, and went up and down, back and forth in little fluttering hills, sometimes even nearly going through each other, like they themselves were made of water.

I went up and down the hill-waves, breathing in the salt and wind and sun and rocks until I got to these dunes that were made out of earth and short grass instead of sand. On one side of the dunes was a make shift door made from tin or some sort of rusty metal, and I thought, here you can live inside the beach.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Revenge of Helen Keller

A while ago-- weeks, already, don't ask me how-- my Vermont besties, Meg and Ryan, came to the Cape for a week. And by came, I mean they suddenly appeared in my doorway. You know, homeless and stuff. Except not really because it was all planned by everyone except me. I have NO CLUE how they managed to keep it a secret, but it was funny, Meg was all, "didn't you think it was strange that your parents bought a new air mattress and a bunch of other stuff?" and I was all, "no, my parents are weird!"

Anyhoo, I guess we must be weird, too, because what we ended up doing most of the time (in between going to the drive ins and P-town and clubbing and stuff) was laughing about Helen Keller.

(I'm pretty sure he was pretending to be Helen Keller.)

They liked the fact that Cape Cod has a bunch of braille trails. The kind with ropes to hold on to while you walk, attached to splintery wooden posts that you smack your hands against because you're blind and can't see them.

Like this:
(Conveniently, this trail's winding and there's also lots of roots to trip on!)

But yeah, we laughed at her lots. I mean, with her. I guess she started to get annoyed with it. (Though she had to admit that I hula hooped just like her.)

See? Just. Like. Helen. Keller.

Anyway, the last night they were on Cape, we were figuring out what to do. I didn't get out of work till ten at night and they were leaving at like one in the morning (slight exaggeration), so they didn't want to do anything too intense. SO, we went with the obvious option of going back to Johnny Kelly Park with a ouija board to contact Helen Keller's ghost. Obvious choice.

Since the Cape doesn't believe in street lights of any kind, it was wicked dark and sketchy and we ended up never even taking the ouija board out if the box. We just huddled on a piece of playground equipment like cool kids and giggled. (See?? We are so cool!) We stayed like that for a couple minutes before I mentioned that Helen Keller's ghost doesn't talk, it touches. Which, you know, was a great idea, because then we kept expecting Helen Keller to reach out and touch us and got wicked sketched out and ran away via the slide. Zak Bagans would be so proud. Except not, because we never yelled at her, bro.

(The funny thing is that I was hanging out with another friend a few nights later, and we decided to walk around a graveyard because we were bored, and it was only a little sketchy.)

Anyway, as we were going down the slide, the strap of my purse broke. Right away, I knew is was the ghost of Helen Keller. Touching my purse.

That was pretty anticlimactic. But, you know, Helen Keller hates climaxes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Nigel Thornberry owns my blog

I haven't posted for over a month. I'm awful.

I've been crazy busy this month working, applying for internships, hanging with my friends, and writing (just not here!) and I have about a million stories I need to share with you. And I will, once I've gotten some sleep. So probably not for a few days, since that's when I can expect to sleep. But, anyway, since I haven't posted in what passes for years on the interwebs (I might be making that fact up) I figured that probably no one had visited. Except actually, when I looked at my stats, about a million people had, and they all got here by googling Nigel Thornberry. Go figure. Go Nigel. He probably owns my soul, now.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Probably the worst blogger ever? Yeah.

It's been weird being home again. And it's been really normal, which is also weird. It's like Ireland never happened, except it completely did, and it's wicked strange.

It's been nice being back, though. It's been awesome seeing everyone (well, everyone on Cape.. it's been half a year since I've seen anyone from Burlington, besides the kids in Dublin. Oh, the sadness!) again, and I've been having lots of fun going out to Providence and just chilling.

I have my job back, which is less than fun, but I need the money wicked badly. I graduate next year (damn, I'm old!) so I really really have to start saving, especially since I want to go to Ireland again when I graduate. Oh, and another good thing about working? It gave me this quote: "He was never the same after he tried to throw Wayne in the meat grinder." No, I have no more information than that. It was just a mother talking to her teenage son, but I was too busy with another customer so catch anything else from their conversation. It made my life, though, pretty much, and as soon as I could I scribbled it down on a bit of leftover receipt so I wouldn't forget. I pretty much spent the rest of my shift imagining different scenarios.

Also, how perfect is the fact that his name's Wayne?

Anyway, I blame the fact that this post is just a mini recap of my life on Teen Mom. I've kind of been watching it today. And Ghost Adventures. I'm classy. So is Wayne, I imagine.

(I don't usually watch this much TV, I promise.. But when I do, it's pretty much that level of classy.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clothes Ramblings

Even though I've lived on Cape most of my life, it's only since I got back from Ireland that I've been noticing really specific things about it. Like, the way Cape Codders dress. It seems like everyone has this uniform which almost no one breaks. They have it in Dublin, too, but their uniform is completely, completely different. Basically, on Cape, until it gets warm (which it doesn't really until June) pretty much everyone under forty or so (the old people all dress like normal old people, but, especially the ones who come to the Christmas Tree Shop, really colorfully) dresses in the same outfit: jeans and a hoodie. And the hoodie is always either navy blue, grey, dark green, army green, brown, or, if you're a girl, pink. Then for shoes, it's fake uggs or converse. Maybe flats. Normal sneakers if you're a boy. Once it gets nicer out, people start to break it up a bit, but for most Cape Codders, that's it.

It's totally different in Dublin. There the girls all dress the same, too (and they dress especially the same if they're walking in groups), but in a completely different way. They never wear jeans, ever. They wear either a skirt with leggings, tights, or no pants at all, or they wear a track suit. And the girl wearing the leggings or tights would never wear a track suit; they're completely different people. (The boy version of that is jeans vs. a tracksuit). When it's cold, everyone wears a pea coat, either black or grey. (On Cape, when it's cold, sometimes people wear coats but mostly they keep wearing their hoodies). Oh, and every girl wears heels. Sometimes they wear boots, but even they often have heels. Unless the girl's wearing a tracksuit; then she wears uggs.

That's mostly just Dublin, though. The other parts of Ireland, girls will wear jeans. Cork especially, I think. They mostly dressed casually there, but it was a mix, which was nice. Of course, I was only there for a week.

Anyway, though, I'm not sure which place is more different from the Dublin dress code- if the wicked hoodie-casual Cape Cod way of dressing or B-Town style. Because in Burlington, people wear lots of different sorts of outfits. For most of the year, because of the snow but also because they're cute, girls wear boots. When it rains, they wear bright, bright rainboots (which I've never seen a Dubliner wear) with cute patterns with whales or owls. As for everything else, people will wear whatever- a flannel shirt, a hoodie, a sundress, a T-shirt with a witty saying, a patterned sweater, a big shirt with leggings. The only thing is that whatever it is is almost always colorful. Even in winter, because then half of everyone wears a bright snowboarding coat, and the other half wears a pea coat, and even a lot of the pea coats are bright, too. The only time it's different is the first warm day of the year, when the girls all go out in lacy white sun dresses. Oh, and if the shoes aren't boots, they're pretty much always flats. Ireland's the only place I've been to where heels are the shoes of choice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

airports suck

It was worth it last night when I didn't go to bed, but now I'm suffering. I have three hours before my plane boards, and then seven hours in the air, and then two hours driving from Boston to the Cape. I think I might die. Especially since the only food I have on me is the chocolate I bought my family (and I already ate way too much of that for breakfast because, um, I've been completely broke for a while) and I just feel like crying, but I think that might be a bad thing, considering where I am. But, really, I just want to start bawling because I don't feel well and I don't wanna go yet and airports suck.

I'm sure everything will be good once I'm actually home, but I hate change sometimes (like now). And I'm really tired. Not that I've been anything but a ball of emotions this week. Really, it's been crazy.

Ahhhhhhhh I wanna cry!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


time flies away here.
it darts from your hands
pulled by high-heeled cobblestone roads
murderous taxis
trampled newspaper mush cigarette butts
years of bikes rusting algae in the Liffey
and mute nights where it only rained.

it takes away spinning
midnight pub worlds with their stomping and dancing and hidden corners
in seconds, takes
picnics of wine and tree climbing castle climbing life swirling,
accents that turn talking
into a song,
and the wind that makes you fly into busy anything streets
into leafy iron gated parks sprawling
with all of Ireland on its lunch break except you have all day.

then turns it all into a dream.

Friday, May 6, 2011

it's so weird right now

I don't think I've ever been so conflicted in my life.

I REALLY want to stay in Dublin.

I REALLY want to go home.

I want to do so many things in Ireland, still, but at the same time, I just wanna go home. I want to see all of my friends I've left behind, and I want to see my family. I want to go to the beach and swim and hang out and eat cheese that isn't Irish because it tastes weird and salads and not to have to worry about money. And to write more run-on sentences because clearly I like them.

But I DON'T WANT TO GO. Because I don't know when I come back. Ideally, after I graduate, I'll do this thing where if you were in school a year ago or less, you get to get a work visa for a year. I would totally do that (except I would live in Galway because it's totes the shit and I'm still in love with that city), but I have no idea if I'll be able, because I'll be about a hundred million dollars in debt when I graduate, and that's a lot of money. What if I can't ever come back?

I don't want to think about that.

But I do want to go home, too, and to see home, again. I've missed the Cape, and everyone in it. And in Burlington. It's really hard to have so many homes. I can't even express it. I've just been a bundle of emotions for days.

Anyway, random things I'm gonna miss:

The people selling strawberries and grapes out of baby carriages on Henry Street in their best Irish-Cockney accents.

All the performers on Grafton Street.

The flowers!!

Dancing in pubs...

Being able to get into pubs. I still have three whole months before I'm 21!! (NOT FAIR)

Cobblestone streets (except when I'm in heels. I won't miss them then).

The words, "cheers," "gaff," "grand," and "love," and probably a bunch of others. But I'm totally bringing them back.

Not always being carded.

The walk behind christchurch to get to pubs.

Stealing pint glasses. Oh, how I'll miss that.

Multicolored doors.

The walk to campus.

Random hen parties in the lobby.

The accents.


But, one thing I won't miss is being the shortest person wherever I go. And I am excited to go home. Sort of. I'm probably gonna cry on the plane.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Three Poems


Anyway, I wrote these for my creative project for one of my classes. They're all inspired by the Irish Famine, so that means they're really cheerful, obviously.

PS, comments are spectacular and make me really happy. So comment.


in the night

she didn’t know it
when his heart stopped
beating. their sleep disappeared that night
and when she woke
he was cold, more stone than infant
than baby, her child. they say,
so early, it’s a blessing. poor thing
didn’t suffer long. look
at them, us, look at you, nothing
but bones, but skin. but
she didn’t know it when
his heart stopped beating and that meant
his heart stopped beating.
his heart stopped beating.

famine house

the house is broken with the rhythm
of the thousand bodies it couldn’t shelter.
it stands there a shattered
ticking with every heartbeat
pushed aside
and put out too early.

they were once people
and back then they fought,
protested with fists and guns and tears
until their everyday laughter, everyday hopes switched
and burst
into the stillness of a billion muted bones.

now the house lies starving in Ireland
In Darfur, huddled bloody
and wasting for water in Haiti
sick and dying.
it’s on every street
in every country
beating loudly and helpless
filled with too many ghosts
and a ticking that can never end.


she stands in front of the bathroom mirror
clutching windex
kool-aid blue.
no matter how much she scrubs
she can’t change what she sees.

once, in a century forgotten decades ago
half a culture starved
until they were nothing but rib cages.

but she could never eat a potato.
they’re too big and they remind
her too much
of what she sees in the mirror.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yeah No.

Look! I'm posting! And it hasn't been a whole week!

Yay responsibility!

Except not. Being responsible kind of completely sucks. And me writing isn't being responsible. Because I have about a million essays to write and, well, yeah.

But, I'm kind of completely devastated. Because I only have two weeks here. Less. This time in two weeks, I'll be on a plane, only hours away from the Cape. And even though I'm really excited (Vermont cheese! Good salad dressings! Friends! No more crazy ridiculous drama!) I'm really sad about it, too.

And it's not just because I'll still have more than two months before I'll be able to drink (in public) again.

I'm going to miss it here, so, so unbelievably much. I'm going to miss the accents, the people, the buildings, the nightlife, the freedom, the EVERYTHINGEVEROHMYGOD.

I know I'm going to come back. There's this thing, apparently, where if you were a student for up to a year ago, you can get a working visa to live in Ireland for a year. I might to that. It'd be pretty cool. But that wouldn't be for ages and that's so sad.

I can't even believe it, really Sometimes I still forget that I'm in Ireland, really. I can't even begin to imagine how weird it will once I'm back home. Ahhhhhh. I know I've said this about eighty times, but it's going to be wicked, wicked, unbelievably sad. Beyond words.

I guess all I can say, really, is that I'm going to do my best to make these next two weeks the best ones of my life.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dear Blog

I'm really busy right now, for pretty much the first time since I came to Dublin. It's terrible. But, if I don't post for.. say a week.. that's why. <3

Monday, April 11, 2011

Why I need go back to Galway. (And the rest of the West!)

Okay, so I know that I haven't even finished writing about Cork yet, but I just got back from Western Ireland and I really wanna talk about it. Need to talk about it.

Because it was amazing.

It was beautiful in so many different ways, and I had one of the best nights there that I've had in Ireland so far. (Um, my roommate Ashley and I ran around downtown and talked to random people. Except we weren't ourselves. She was Megan Kelly from New York, and I was Sarah Nilap from Alaska. Shush. It was fun. We made up this huge back story, too. You probably had to be there.) I think Galway's my favorite city ever, pretty much. (Basically, if I had to describe all of the Irish cities I've been to really, really quickly, it'd be like this: Dublin: busy-indefinable, Belfast: quiet-friendly, Cork: crunchy-mellow, Galway: jovial.) But Galway's the last place we went to, so more on it later!

Our first stop was a fairy ring in County Clare.

You aren't technically supposed to go in the middle of fairy rings-- it's supposed to be wicked bad luck-- but we all did, anyway. Apparently, actual Irish people won't even go inside them, though that might just have been something they told us to make the ring more exciting.

Take that, fairies.

We didn't stay long, but it was fun. The only thing missing was a bit of fairy sighting.

We went to the Burren, next. It's a region in Count Clare that's, well, barren. It's nearly all scraggly, grey rock. You can walk on it for ages.

I sort of fell in love with it. It's just so different from anything you would expect to see in Ireland. I mean, everyone (hopefully) knows that Ireland isn't just one huge green field, but I wasn't expecting this desolate expanse of stony hills and flatlands. But it was gorgeous. I don't even know how to describe how atmospheric and beautiful and just different it was, but it really was all of those things. We were only there about a half hour, but for most of the time, I just sat and watched the world. It was incredible how quiet everything was. I mean, technically, it wasn't. There were lots of people around, and they talked and laughed and did all sorts of other normal people stuff, but in this place, all of that seemed muted, and the slight wind took precedent over their noises.

I thought it was fantastic how there could be these long stretches of stone, and then, suddenly, there'd be all green grass again, like nothing had ever happened.

Oh, and there was an ancient tomb, too!

It was pretty chill.

So were the Cliffs of Moher. As an Irish person would say, they were grand.

Western Ireland is supposed to get twice as much rain as the east, but half of the time we were there, it was hard to block out the sunlight. It was like that at the Cliffs, and they really looked magical.

See those orange specks of people? Coast Guard. Not completely sure what they were doing, but none of us fell off (because of the fairy ring, you know), so it wasn't that!

The next day, Saturday, we went to Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands, and I really fell in love.

Inisheer is way in the distance. You can't completely see it, but it's there!

We took the ferry, which was fantastic. I love being on boats, really love it. I love the waves and the smell and just everything about it. But once we saw Inisheer, even I was stoked to get off it and start exploring.

I only have a few pictures from Inisheer, which totally guts me. They hardly even begin to capture the astounding beauty of the island, and they're all from the first ten minutes after docking. Inisheer's small, but not that small. But my camera was acting up and there was nothing I could do about it.

Things I have pictures of:

A house with a thatched roof.

A lonely red cart and the ocean.

A Road.

The start of the masses of stone walls, and frolicking.

Things I don't have a picture of:

The friendly cow that came to us when we called it. The rest of the stone walls that cover the island unrelentingly, rolling up and down over hills, and everywhere else. The castle I climbed on, and then got stuck on. (It was terrifying.) The grave yard with the 10th century old church underneath. The shipwreck. The pub we had lunch at. The yellow fields of dandelions. The two island dogs that followed us everywhere, alternately begging for attention and happily chasing one another, again and again. The craic.

At least, once we got to Galway, my camera was working again. Well, for a while.

I adored Galway. It was the most cheerful place I've ever been to, I'm pretty sure. We got there at around 5 in the afternoon, and straight away, half of everyone on the street was drunk. Cheerful drunk. We're-all-one-big-family drunk. It was fun.

It was happy. It got to the point that we (my two roommates and me, this time) would just walk down the streets, across the rivers, laughing at nothing but the fact that we were laughing. Being in Galway that first evening actually sort of felt like being drunk, but without having to put down money for alcohol.

It was sort of wonderful. (Especially since I'm pretty broke.)

And beautiful. Seriously, Galway is a gorgeous city-- maybe the most colorful one I've ever been to. The stores and cafes were all popping with color.

Check out the doors!

There was art everywhere.

The graffiti was awesome.

I found boats!

And there was a farmer's market. (I got a Cloddagh Ring!)

Even Galway's paintings are bright!

But in the end, this sign described Galway best:

My one disappointment? I didn't get to hear Galway Girl played in Galway!

Next time!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Garda Won't Let Blarney Castle Keep Their Weed

Or, Cork part 2!

My second day at Cork started fantastically; my camera fell off my bunk bed. Yay! I was stoked, obviously.

Actually, though, I wasn't too worried, because my camera was at least still working. I mean, the little door thing covering the place you put the batteries in (I'm wicked technical, yo) wouldn't completely close, but as long as I held it shut, it would still take pictures. Then, it stopped and I was completely and utterly devastated. But I'll get to that later.

(I swear, though, I could write an entire blog about nothing but technology hating me. In the past month, I've had my laptop break, my camera break, my favorite coat ever got stolen-- which totally counts; coats were technology once! I bet if a cave man saw my coat, he'd be wicked impressed!-- and today, my iPod broke. But then it.. unbroke, so that wasn't too bad. Technically. Anyway, I basically have a black thumb, but with technology instead of gardening. Everything I touch falls apart. Except for phones, for some reason. Watch, though-- I probably just jinxed myself.)

Anyway, the day before, I was told that I absolutely had to go to Blarney Castle, no excuses. So I did. I mean, my schedule was completely open. Completely. Honestly, when I chose to go to Cork, I chose it on the basis that everyone said it was really pretty. No other reason. Nothing else. So, I was just basically going to go where everyone said was cool. So, I did.

And, oh my God, I don't regret it at all.

Blarney Castle was amazing. And the grounds were beautiful beyond words. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Okay, I lied. Still talking. BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY THE CASTLE IS.

And, oh, look, there are trees! Finally, finally trees! (It's impossible to say how much I've missed frolicking around in the woods!) And it's sunny! Crazy, ridiculously sunny! And the grass is GREEN! Ahhhh I love nature!!

And then, I got closer to the castle. And it was awesome. Just as awesome as Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland. Different, though; it goes up instead of spreading across the land.

It was all so gorgeous, and I was so excited to take a million pictures. I was so excited to post them all on facebook, too. But, oh, the drama, it was not to be. I got to take two more pictures, and then my camera died. I could have cried.

The last picture I got to take before my camera died. FOREVER. Or three days. But, it felt like FOREVER. It was legit awful, guys.

I managed to still have fun, though. (So much fun.) I played around on the castle. And then I nearly died climbing up it. It's kind of pathetic, probably, but I absolutely hate climbing up spiral staircases. They terrify me. And to get to the top of the castle, you have to climb up approximately one million of them. And they're all completely made of stone. Ancient stone, partially weathered away by centuries and centuries of feet. And that made them slippery. Oh, and they were steep. And I'm short. (Especially in Ireland. Oh my God. Land of leprechauns? Yeah, um, no. Giants, more like.) Oh, and, also, to climb them, you have to cling on desperately to a rope.

It was sort of petrifying.

I had the most fun once I got out of the castle and got to see more of the grounds. These grounds were about eight million, give or take a couple, times as beautiful as the ones in the beginning. And I have no pictures of them.

Sad face.

Anyway, the first thing I did when I got out of the castle (besides buy batteries, in the desperate hope that that was all my camera needed. It didn't work, and I was sad) was go to the poison garden. It was awesome. It was something I would have adored back when I was a little kid and liked to make magic potions with leaves and dirt and stuff. Though-- who am I kidding-- part of me (most of me) would still totally love doing that. And the poison garden was still wicked fantastic.

The best part, though, was the fact that they used to have a marijuana plant growing there. But, the Garda-- the Irish police-- confiscated it. No lie. There was even a notification-- it made me laugh, so I made sure to write it down-- saying, "We apologize for the absence of this plant. It has been seized by the Garda."