Dunlewey Church– Image from Google Maps

A beautiful white marble church ruin rests just south of Mount Errigal. Although Marcel spent some memorable days in picturesque Gweedore, he doesn’t mention this lovely edifice. The reason for this is that his visit was in the 1330’s, and the church wasn’t built until the 1850’s.

The ruin is situated in the Poisoned Glen. One of three theories for the origin of the name is that the Irish Spurge Moss plant (now eradicated) may have poisoned the water in the area. I didn’t know about this “Poisoned Glen” until after I wrote about the witches who set up their chemical weapons labs in the area, but now I wonder if that botanical resource was an additional reason King Harold may have chosen Gweedore as his remote base (the other reason being its excellent situation for launching attacks on its southern neighbors).

While I’m on the subject of serendipities, I want to say that I wrote about the blade of grass going up the nose BEFORE I read about it in Nassim Taleb’s “Black Swan.” In fact, it made me a little ill when I read his description. I had been thinking for days about some childish familiarity Aeden and Dovhesa might take with each other in order to break the tension between them, and I remembered being tortured with blades of grass up my nose by certain people who will remain nameless, and I had the thought that I could use that icky memory of mine and change it to something charming. I wrote the scene, and I sighed happily. About a week later, I read about Mr. Taleb behaving in a less than charming way with his blade of grass up people’s noses, and I thought, “If anyone ever reads my book, and notices that I was reading ‘Black Swan’ at the same time I was writing it, they’re going to think I stole that idea straight from him.” I here protest my innocence of any such pillaging.