At about this time last year, I posted, right here on this blog, pictures of a couple of objects that I thought would make good birthday presents for yours truly. Those of you who are skeptical that I did so can access the link here.
But what a washout -- not one person took the hint. There was not even an inquiry, even though my suggestions were eminently sensible.
I'm going to try again this year. After all, the economy is picking up, and there's more loose change out there.
So -- friends, relatives, fans of Vivian de St. Vrain, and Vrainites everywhere -- what about a castle in Ireland? There are many for sale, and they're quite reasonably priced, as castles go.
For example, here's Ballindooley, a "starter" Castle in Galway.
Even though it's small, it has undeniable "curb appeal." The realtor claims that it was built toward the end of the 15th century in the Norman style and probably for the DeBurgo family. The realtor also notes that there's "a new stone parapet and that there have been recent repairs to the machicolations"
Inasmuch as I wouldn't dream of owning a castle where the machicolations were all busted up, I'm happy for the reassurance. The price: a bargain at a mere 950,000 euros.
Though I wouldn't turn up my nose at Ballindooley, I would certainly prefer Killaghy Castle at Mullinahone in Tipperary.
It's a better value. The original castle was built, the realtor claims (I haven't seen the documentation) in the first decade of the 13th century, a "long house" was added during Tudor times, and two more buildings were attached during the 18th century. So it's already been updated.
Plus there are two walled gardens with "excellent mature specimen trees." An ominous note though: "price upon request."
So, loyal readers, it's time for you to chip in your pennies and farthings and join together for one big happy birthday for me.
And please, don't forget that in order for me to care for your gift properly, I'm going to need a bit of an endowment -- which I do not see as much of a problem. Plus furnishings.
And by the way, for those of you who are not "in the know" about castles, a "machicolation" is a "projecting gallery at the top of a castle wall, supported by a row of corbeled arches and having openings in the floor through which stones and boiling liquids could be dropped on attackers."
I like a castle that says, "everybody welcome."