a bit of irish – new at bored alice finery

1 Mar

I don’t normally talk about myself on this blog, as I like to keep things simple and upbeat (haha) and I don’t fancy myself so important that any of you want to know my personal day to day experiences. But! This story is too cute not to tell you, so I’m breaking my own rules today! And since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I feel it’s relevant. (Side note: when did St. Patrick’s Day become Mardi Gras II?? Cheap plastic beads and all!?!?)

When I was 14 I went to a bookstore and purchased a little cassette tape which accompanied a book called “Learn to Speak Irish.” I scoured this book and even bought an extra copy “just in case” (of floods, fires, acts of nature). I listened to the voices on the tape and repeated every word, the accent forming easily on my tongue, the cadence familiar somehow. I liked the way the words sounded and I liked learning a language that even the book admitted nobody really spoke anymore. I liked how the word for the number “four” sounded like “cat hair” (A ceathair /ah cah-hir/) 

I became somewhat obsessed with Irish culture and even purchased a shamrock plant every March when they’d spring up at the grocery store with their lush greenish-purple leaves and friendly little white flowers. I took these plants to college with me a couple years later. The funny part of this story is one day a friend who lived in my dorm brought her boyfriend in to meet me. It just so happened that he was visiting from Ireland. I became very excited and showed him my shamrock plants and spoke a few words of a near-dead language he probably didn’t understand and probably made a fool of myself. He was extremely gracious, though and a bit excited himself. He actually suddenly and surprisingly came at me, grabbed me up in his arms, kissed my cheek and said “thank god there is someone with culture at this school!” At that point the girl he had come to visit abruptly escorted him away from my room (as you can imagine). 

Anyway, that’s my little story about my obsession with Ireland. I have never visited there and have never met anyone else in person who is Irish. I would like to travel there someday and I think I will. Until then, I have created these pretty little pieces of jewelry for stylish vixens and lovers of Irish culture alike. 😀

As always, thank you for reading and all comments are appreciated! And slán abhaile to all you travelers. 


8 Responses to “a bit of irish – new at bored alice finery”

  1. John S March 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Ireland is a beautiful country, with great people. Struggling economically at the moment, but it will survive. I’m English but with Irish heritage. I love the music of ireland, as much as anything, and this tune, by the Chieftains, for me, is the essence. It’s called, in english, “Women of Ireland”.

    • Ashley Noelle March 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that with me! I have Irish heritage, as well. ❤

  2. Courtenay Bluebird March 2, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Ashley! I did grow up around many, many Irish folks.

    I think it’s gorgeous that you actually label this language correctly even though you’ve had little contact with the culture. (Most people call it Gaelic— many cultures speak a version of Gaelic, but each one is very different. The Irish call their language Irish.)

    For seventeen years, I seriously studied Irish Step-Dancing (a form that is now called… ugh! Riverdancing.) I had loads of opportunities to study Irish, and chose to study French instead. (France! I am coming for you! Hear me butcher your language! Watch in awe as I randomly assign gender to your precious nouns!)

    You might be interested to know that Irish has been on the upswing since the 1970s, and it is offered in schools as well as spoken at home now, after skipping a generation or two. It’s not on the endangered language watch list, in other words. (Just skimmed a book on endangered languages. Fascinating subject.)

    I hope you do talk about yourself some more. I found this tiny reveal fascinating— just as fascinating as your fiction, and as you can see above, your brief discussion of the personal was so interesting that I proceeded to blather all over your comments section. (So— nicely done!)

    • Ashley Noelle March 2, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      Well, thank you! I may talk about myself some more…as long as I can think of something halfway nice to say. It would be too easy to get all downtrodden up in hurrrr. Most of my little set of stories about myself are depressing as hell. Or I find them hilarious and other people find them morbid and strange. Such is life, I guess.

      French is a good language to learn. I know some. I know some of a lot of languages, I guess. I love words, all sizes. Yet somehow lack the attention span to learn them fluently (except spanish). Always something else to take the attention! I do listen to language courses at the gym sometimes, though. If I’m not listening to This American Life. 😀 I love that program.

      Please feel free to come blather all over my comments section any day of any week. ❤
      It is always good to feel noticed.

      • Courtenay Bluebird March 2, 2012 at 11:51 am #

        My husband is one of those people who picks up bits and pieces of languages. He’s also bilingual.

        My mother tried to insure that I was a bilingual speaker (Spanish/English), and while her attempts were earnest, my decision to study French in high school undid all her work.

        Here’s a question for you: How are your math and music-reading skills? Languages, math and music tend to go together, neurologically.

      • Ashley Noelle March 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

        I am having PTSD flashbacks from biopsych right now (kidding!) No, I’m horrible at math. Just awful! I’m good at statistics, though. And research, though it drives me bats because it will NEVER BE PERFECT. Haha! As far as music, I never tried to read music because…well, I guess I didn’t need to. I’ve got a good ear. 🙂 So I guess I’ve got that ear thing going for me! That may explain being good with languages.

      • Courtenay Bluebird March 2, 2012 at 11:52 am #

        Oh! One more thing! You are worthy of real attention, Ashley! I think you are a truly interesting person! I’m so glad I am getting to know you. Honest-to-goodness.

      • Ashley Noelle March 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        I am blushing. Thank you. Really kind words and I’m totally taking them to heart right now. 😀

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