Cashel, Co. Tipperary is very much associated with the wonderful Rock of Cashel, which is one of the major tourist attractions in Ireland and I would recommend everyone to visit this historic site.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_of_Cashel
I ended up in Cashel last night and into the early hours of this morning with a car load of young fellas who were playing in the Senior Open Tennis Tournament which is in full swing there this week. Two of my contingent battled it out to win a three hour doubles match which went to a third set tie-break and ended sometime after 1am!
Earlier in the evening, I treated myself to a lovely Chinese Meal in The Orchid Garden in Friar Street which is at the top of the main street in the town. I was the lone diner but there were lots of calls for takeaway food.
I had a seat by the window looking down over Cashel. It’s a town that I visited quite a bit in the 1980s and it still has a real charm about it.
The wall paper in The Orchid Garden captivated me totally, especially as we are moving from Summer to Autumn and I wished that I had my camera with me. Suffice it to say, it had leaves of all hues interwoven with each other in a way that made me think of the seasons as Circero (50 BC) described them in On a Life well Spent.
There I was in Cashel in the early Autumn of my life with a group of lads in the early summer of theirs. As I waited for their long, long game to finish, I couldn’t but think of a night so very like last night when I played a tennis match in Slane Castle as part of the annual Stackallen Tournament in Co. Meath. It was a humdinger that lasted hours and one that I would happily replay over and over ~ Castle to one side and the flowing Boyne to the other. Meanwhile, a tenacious opponent and great sport who rejoiced in the whole experience as much as I did.
The lads were in flying form as we drove home along the carless roads from Cashel via Waterford to Tramore, where the sea was humming.
I am certain that they will always remember tonight ~ just as I remember that evening in Slane Castle and I have a feeling that I will never forget tonight either and those leaves spilling down in so, so many senses.
Oddly enough, I had only been thinking earlier about how people these days might describe ‘a life well spent.’ For me, tonight had many of the ingredients but I know there are lots, lots more …..