Last December, I had a novel experience accompanied by nuggets of information – local and traditional – that many might consider trivia, but which I believe are pure gems.
It was my first visit to the refurbishment of and extension to a cottage on one of the hills looking down on the city. This is my fourth decade attending building sites but that December Friday was the first time a client arrived to a site meeting with a pot of homemade hearty soup accompanied by some bread and cheese – very welcome they were, as the regular cold wind was blowing up the hill to compliment the damp environment of a house being plastered.
A sheet of plywood acted as the table and it was standing room only. It was not exactly homely, but the food put a stop to all talk of construction details and contract issues. We fell into general chatter which then veered towards traditions.
I had known of Gobnait’s Measure being used as a good luck charm for those in a building. I had visited the house where one of one of the Eucharistic Tiles was on a ledge over the front door to bless all those who enter the house. Until then, I had not known of the luck believed to follow the placing of coins in the floor of a building as it was being poured.
His colleague told a story from years back in Adrigole where the house owner left four sovereigns to be placed in the concrete floor as it was being poured. Seemingly, coins were placed in the floor slab, but not to the value of a sovereign.
As I was writing up this blog this evening, with a dirty black pint in Tigh an Cúinne, CC queried the use of a laptop in a pub. He was aware of coins in the floor – not necessarily four.
The morning of that site lunch, I had read that the architect of the White House had been born on that day in 1755 – 8th December. That lunchtime, I had heard that it is believed that the Kilkenny man, James Hoban, had placed coins in the corners of the White House which led to concern when the metal detectors went beeping, centuries later.
Whether true, embellished or pure fiction, I like.
Another blog post prompted by Folklore Thursday and the traditions associated with money……..