Thanks for reading. I’m Liz Barron, humorist, blogger and would-be short story writer. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland in the ’60s and ’70s and now live and work in Washington DC. It seems I am most comfortable in cities where politicians can’t get on, and where security is fist-tight. I have a Belfast accent and try to eat a potato as part of every meal, but otherwise I can pass for an American. I have mastered driving on the wrong side of the road. I can talk about pants without giggling. I routinely ask for to-maay-to with bay-zil when I order a sandwich or a soup. Like Sarah Ferguson, I am a natural redhead with a tendency to photograph badly.
Food is important to me and I am a good cook. I am fortunate in my friends and my family about whom you will read often. I like to travel and take photos. I am good at word games. My knees are a worry.
Who is the Blarney Crone?
The Blarney Crone is Irish, sharp-tongued, quick-witted and has a redhead’s hot temper. As you will see, you can take the Crone out of Belfast, but it’s harder to take Belfast–gritty, trenchant and resolute–out of the Crone.
What’s In the Name?
The Blarney Crone is so called because she is never stuck for a word. Raised in Ireland, she was always chatty but things really took off in her teenage years (reader, she was not born menopausal). She visited Ireland’s famous Blarney Castle, near Cork, where she admits to locking her lips on the black and glistening Blarney Stone, an act that involves a most uncomfortable upside-down manuever. It is said that those who kiss the stone are forever blessed or cursed by the power of speech–usually an ability to coax, cajole or flatter. The Crone if often charming but she can be sharp-tongued and snarky. A boyfriend of later years, worn out by the constant noise, accused the Crone of going way further than just kissing the Blarney stone. Her eloquence, he suggested, was reason to believe she and the stone had shared a greater degree of intimacy–the Crone, he believed, was the Monica Lewinsky of masonry, perhaps even the sex queen of castles. He was wrong about this of course: the crone, being from the North of Ireland, is a Presbyterian, and the Blarney stone is in a very public place.
Where can you find the Blarney Crone?
The Blarney Crone is far from where she was reared. She ekes out a fretful existence in Washington DC and spends weekends in Itchy Ankle, a small, mosquito-mobbed swampland settlement by the Chesapeake Bay. The Crone and her children Hansel and Gretel are supported by a loving cast of characters in the US, and host frequent and eccentric visitors from overseas.
Now read on…