Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kells and Neighboring Villages

Since we drove so much yesterday and have a little over two hours ahead of us tomorrow, we thought today would be a great day to explore the cottage and neighboring villages.
There is a Catholic church in the village about a 5 minute walk from the cottage so we headed over for mass.  It is a small church and the priest is the speediest I've seen...we were in and out within 35 minutes!
In Kells, there are two longer working mills.  This one is now rented out for special events.  It is on the way into the village and where the ladies of Kells had their cooking demonstration on Friday night.

This is the other mill...all the talk of the village as it was purchased by a white Irishman and his partner a black Englishman.  They started restoring the top floor but the scaffolding was taken down so no one is sure if they ran out of money or what is going on.
Attached to the cottage is Jadzia and Dave's used to be the barn for the cottage until they converted it to their home.  They have a great garden with chickens to boot!  Here's some pics of the cottage and the gardens.



Jadzia told us about Jeripoint Glass in Stoneyford...the next village over.  We had also heard about Nicholas Mosse Pottery which is in the foot of the hill to the cottage in the next village over in the opposite direction.  So off to Jeripoint we headed...they had so many beautiful pieces and of course we had to pick up a few things!  Then we were off to Nicky Mosse to have lunch and take a look around his Irish Country Shop.  Turns out we were having an event (aka sale) so the place was packed!  While the pottery is lovely, it really isn't either of our style so we picked up a small heart shaped plate with shamrocks just to have a little reminder of our visit.
Sadly we'll leave Kells tomorrow so we packed up our stuff and then headed up to the two pubs in the village for a drink...or two or three.  First stop was Mad Jack's where we met Sean.  Mad Jack's was a little quiet...though we did have a 20 minute discussion on cows and hay.  Next stop was Shirley's and it was definitely the more happening spot! 
We were sitting by the fire and Pat (aka Flower Power) came over and asked if we were the girls staying with Dave and Jadzia.  Pat was a character...he told us he used to be a leprechaun in a previous life.  We thought he was pulling our leg but turns out, he was...he used to dress up as a leprechaun out in Kerry (western Ireland) and have his picture taken with the tourists!  Then Malachi (aka The King) came over and started chatting with us.  Next thing we know Pat has bought us a round and then Malachi.  We found out why they have their nicknames...Pat because he has a flower shop and Malachi because he is the king of raising money (he raised the money for the Handball Association building in the village).  There was a lot of talk about hurling and the next thing you know they are pulling up the finals match from September.  Kilkenny county has the best team in the country so they take their hurling seriously in the county.
What a great time we had at Shirley's!  We did find out the pub scene in Ireland has changed a lot in the last 10 years.  With smoking outlawed in pubs and the crack down on drinking and driving, a lot folks stay home and drink now.  To offset the loss in revenue, pubs have had to start offering food and many have added carveries. 
We had a nice brisk walk back to the cottage and to warm up had a little Bailey's!  All and all another terrific day!

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