Apple juice, castles and skeleton hands

Dot writes: we’ve just had a brief family holiday in Tipperary. Notoriously it’s a long way to get there (and the children clearly knew this and complained bitterly for the whole journey), but actually we chose it partly because it’s close – only about three hours from our house – and partly because one of my colleagues had recommended a campsite on an apple farm. I had got it into my head the campsite had cooking facilities the campers could use. This was not the case, but it did have fridges, a piano, nesting swallows, a playground, a friendly dog, free apple juice on arrival, and a lot of signs everywhere telling us to wash our hands. There was a notice in the ladies’ toilets detailing the hand-washing procedure and listing occasions on which to use it, including ‘after touching doorknobs’. To get out of the room where you could wash your hands you had to touch a doorknob. Despite this hint of somewhat self-defeating OCD, it was a lovely place.

Here are some of the things we did in Tipperary.

We went to Cahir (6km from the campsite) and visited the extremely excellent castle, which is full of stairs that go up and down and underneath into surprising tunnels and corners.
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Then we went to the nearby Swiss Cottage and had a guided tour. Oddly, Ken seemed to like it more than I did. It was fearfully pretty.

On Wednesday (Ken’s birthday) we went to the Rock of Cashel.
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At the Rock of Cashel Ken tried to dissuade the boys from trampling all over the graves by telling them that the occupants would reach up with skeletal hands and grab their ankles. This was before we saw this.
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Then we went to Clonmel and had a picnic lunch followed by a swim at the swimming pool.

We had been going to stay until Friday, but the forecast was for rain so we thought it might be more pleasant to come back on Thursday and – hooray! – there was no ferry or anything to stop us doing that. We drove back via Kilkenny and visited another castle.
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In many ways the nicest part of the holiday was just hanging around the campsite. The children were distraught to find we hadn’t brought the iPad, but then they went off and made friends with a group of slightly older girls and did a great deal of running about. Frank told the girls they were so beautiful he wanted to marry all of them.

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