Day 36: Grinch Charming

Ryan’s Daughter, filmed by David Lean in 1968-9, was shot in part on the Ring of Kerry and in part on the nearby Dingle Peninsula. Several scenes were filmed at the lovely and very long beach at Inch. The film was a great boon to tourism in southwest Ireland.

As Laetitia and her group walked that beach, she overheard a conversation between two teenage girls that later became the limerick of the day.

Sighed a wistful teenager from Inch,
“T’would be awesome to marry the Grinch,”
But the thought of green kids
To her plan put the skids
And she thought James would do in a pinch.

Day 35: Passengers Will Please Refrain

Next Laetitia decided to go to the Dingle Peninsula. Located at the head of Dingle Bay, Castlemaine is a gateway town to both the Ring of Kerry and the peninsula. As its name implies, Castlemaine was named for a castle that straddled the Maine River near where it empties into Dingle Bay. Castlemaine had rail service from 1885 until 1960, when the station closed. Near the old station is a restaurant called the Railway Hotel, which features Australian fare. Not so coincidentally, there is a restaurant by the same name in Castlemaine, Australia.

After leading her group on some nature hikes in the area, Laetitia went to the hotel bar for a drink before dinner. The bar had a lot of railroad memorabilia, and the bartender was a man steeped in railroad lore. Laetitia had a conversation with an Australian in the crowd who told her some rude stories about trains and Castlemaine, although she wasn’t sure whether they were about Castlemaine, Ireland, or Castlemaine, Australia. One became the limerick of the day.

Hanging o’er the rear rail of the train
As it entered the town Castlemaine
Was the ample posterior
Of the mother superior
Who had searched for the loo quite in vain.

Day 30: Mice Aren’t Nice

Still in Killorglin, Laetitia and her group did a walkabout. While the rest of her group went from shop to shop, Laetitia found herself standing next to a pet store. The building had an arcade, under which a young girl was standing behind a table with various cuddly animals and some cages containing white mice. The girl told Laetitia that she was there because she needed the money, but she hated the work. Every once in a while the mice got out, and one would run up her dress, in which case she would stand on a chair yelling “eek” until the shop owner came to rescue her.

That afternoon the group hiked in the area, and at dinner Laetitia presented the limerick of the day.

In Killorglin, a meek Irish maid
Was of small furry creatures afraid
But despite this misgiving
She “eeked” out a living
Selling mice in a pet shop arcade.

Day 29: King Puck; Bad Luck

Laetitia and her group continued on the Ring of Kerry to Killorglin. Killorglin is a picturesque town on a salmon fishing river, the Laune. Each year on August 10–12, Killorglin plays host to the Puck Fair. The king of the Puck Fair is a mountain goat. The festival stems from when Cromwell invaded Ireland and a herd of stampeding mountain goats warned the Killorglin villagers of the approach of his army. As leader of an imaginary tour, Laetitia could have taken her group to Killorglin at the time of the Puck Fair, but this day’s group was crowd-shy, so she didn’t bother. Instead they went to the Basement Museum that tells the history of the area in old photographs and newspapers. They then visited a cheese factory where a local variety of gouda is made.

That afternoon in the pub she talked to the bartender about the Puck Fair, and he told her a story—unverified, as usual—that became the limerick for the day.

Bowing low at the fair for King Puck
At the end of a dance was bad luck
As the crowd clapped and cheered
By King Puck, Colm was reared
And he now walks around like a duck.