A few years ago I posted, right here on this blague, pictures of some handsome objects that would make good birthday presents for yours truly. But one March 11 after another March 11 has come and gone, and -- nothing. Not a single reader, acquaintance, friend, or relative has embraced the opportunity. There has not been so much as a serious inquiry, even though my suggestions were eminently sensible.
I'm going to try once again this year. After all, unemployment is down, the stock market is up, and there's more loose change out there. (And perhaps more escapism.) Moreover, there won't be many more birthdays for me -- I'm getting up there in years. It's now or never.
So -- fans of Vivian de St. Vrain, and Vrainites everywhere, seize the day.
OK, steady now. What about a castle in Ireland? I would really enjoy a castle. There are many on the market this year, 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 celebration 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, "all welcome."