Risposta di Rosalind:
Thank you for your kind review.
Apologies about the small four poster bed. It is an antique so I can't make it any bigger! Did you really feel the house was 'eery' - seriously? Did the flickering candlelit lanterns freak you? Was it the creaking floor boards? I've never had anyone book into our old house and not like the atmosphere but let me tell you, something rather eerie happened last night when I headed to bed around midnight. I noticed a ghostly light coming from my husband's study. He's been away for four or five nights, but I discovered his head torch full on, pointing upwards on his desk. Then, having to go back down to the dining room, I found the kitchen door wide open - not how I'd left it. This morning, the dining room lights were on (so sure I had switched them off) and the kitchen door wide open again. Either I'm sleep walking or.....
As I mentioned when I showed you around, the four-poster bed was my mother's. Many years ago, when my mother moved to a pretty little cottage, on her first night she was drifting off and then felt someone gentlly patting her - as if her eiderdown had slipped off to the floor and it was put back by a motherly apparition. She knew she was being gently and lovingly comforted but when this happened for a few nights, she really didn't want it to continue. So she said out loud, "Thank you for caring but it is time for you to look to the light and leave me here. I'll be fine." After that, no more patting or presence.
I don't think my mother is haunting the room. Sure hope not, though her protective presence occasionally, would be a lovely thought. I love a good ghost story. Grew up in 'haunted houses' and with a father who loved to give candlelight tours to the public, and tell such stories in a darkened room by firelight. In each of our homes, we co-existed with the departed - always benign though.
When we moved into this house in Birr, we had been told that youngest son of the former owners was too frightened to go to the top floor, to what is now my husband's study...yes, that room with the mysterious switched-on torch light! Not sure I liked the feeling there myself back then, so we asked one of the local Holy-men to bless our home. Perhaps it is also why we have Buddhist Prayer flags across the facade of the house - just so we're 'covered' on the spiritual front!
As for the later check in, I do apologise again. I'd had one heck of a busy couple of weeks and more. As you know, this is anything but the 'usual B&B' - that's never been my full time focus in all the 15 or more years here. I have only occasional help with housework - mostly do all the room preparations myself, and for the breakfasts too. Perhaps it has been too busy lately and some mischievous spirit feels disturbed. But seriously enough, as I am also greatly involved with the arts this was another of the mad-busy spells recently. Trying to juggle things for our Biorra le Gaeilge Culture Night events last Friday, and even on plans and necessary information to the arts office, for the Hullabaloo Children's Arts Festival, in November. There are so many little details I attend to, to make the rooms lovely for visitors that it takes me a lot of time. At my age I wish I could retire but no chance of that. And sometimes, those darned, playful ghosts just won't go back in their cupboards in time!
As you may have gathered, I enjoy writing - well, when I get time also write articles on the arts. So I shall finish with a 'too small' bed-time tale for an evening that you and your busy husband are at ease and may enjoy this true story. It does not involve ghosts but a movie star.
Back in the 80's I worked in New York for several leading architectural and design firms. Each of the three practices had a number of offices around The States. My last one had a design office in L.A. and one day a call came in that one of their design team was doing some interiors work for Sylvester Stallone. (Yes, Mr. Boxer floppy-lips himself.) As a Materials Specialist with a background in the history of fine arts and antiques, usually working on colour schemes for the exteriors and interiors of skyscrapers, I was also sometimes asked to seek out appropriate antiques and accessories for clients. The senior designer needed to find a BED for STALLONE! Out I went to the antiques district of downtown Manhattan, and around and about. It was difficult enough to find something appropriate for a big star, though I found a number of pretty, period beds. At last I saw one I was sure he would love. It was big, it was showy and it was magnificent: early 19th century - with very fine wood-inlay details and on each of the four corner posts, a bronze, semi-nude Roman God.
Sending photographs and the measurements for the Hollywood star's designer, I felt I had made a very good find. But a few days later I was so disappointed to hear that unfortunately, perfect as the bed was in my eyes, it wasn't big enough for Rocky I, II, III, IV or V.
By the way, if you're ever planning to return to stay in Birr, I recommend Emmet House B&B and Townsend House. The former has a BIG, modern four poster bed and Maureen is lovely. In the meantime, as soon as I have an hour to spare, I shall be sure to update my listing to address the bed issue - to be sure people know about it being an antique double. (That fact may be too far into my long blether.)
Hope you've enjoyed this long blether!