Here is a question for you: If you were to die today, would you mind being on display in a few hundred years time? As a tourist attraction? And would it make a difference how well preserved your mortal remains were? Would you be indifferent, horrified or would you classify the exhibition as lacking in ethics?
By being asked this question, you actually have a better chance of preventing this happening than many "tourist attractions" in Ireland had. Because dead people can be seen - and whether they know that they are dead or not, they are not known to voice an opinion. But what about the ethics of dead people on display?
It was one of those days ... you know them ... stuffy, hot, the car is an oven. Who needs air conditioning in Ireland after all? This summer day I was sincerely missing it. In addition, it was one of those days ... a headache that is too minor to be tackled through the wonders of modern chemistry, too major to be ignored, too distracting to make you enjoy the day ...
Which would have been just another day on the road. Until the curative powers of a Holy Well (in which I did not believe) came into play. Not a scientific discovery, I suppose, but a strange coincidence at least.
You know how it is ... you read those stories, or had them read to you, where innocents find their way through the wood. Only to arrive at a cottage, lonely and isolated. Homely. And more than often home to a witch ... run or be baked! Well, the Brothers Grimm did their best to spook generations of children (and a few impressionable adults) with the heart-wrenching story of Hansel and Gretel, abandoned by cruel parents in times of need, seduced by the gingerbread cottage, caught by the dastardly witch.
Mind you, a witch is not necessarily a bad person (like, when she is named Glinda and from the South) - so I was not really trembling in fear when I discovered, by pure chance and on my way to a disused, ruined friary, the witch's cottage ... lonely, isolated, homely, in the woods and complete with cats.
Ten of the best - Ireland's festivals promise a lot for 2013. Back are Slane (Twice!) and Oxegen (Changed utterly!), the Electric Picnic has apparently just about survived and with Longitude a new contender will enter the ring. From old Hair-Metal-rockers Bon Jovi to folksy Mumford and Sons, from Icelandic artist Björk to controversial rapper Eminem (... if he makes it this time ...) there should be something for everyone. Even the dance crowd will be pleased, with David Guetta headlining Oxegen.