Thursday, August 11, 2016


I appear to have disappeared off the face of the world.

Almost a month has passed since I arrived in Ireland, and it's been great.  In fact, I am mostly dreading going home at the end of next week, partly due to having my line check and sim waiting for me, and partly due to just not wanting to leave.  I am, of course, looking forward to seeing my Lily again, but that's about it.

I have done so much in the last three and a bit weeks, it's hard to know where to start.  I've done a lot of shopping, a lot of travelling - to Galway, England and Donegal - and a vast amount of eating.  It seems to be what Baileys do best.

Galway was for a friend's wedding, and that was a lovely weekend.  It was great to catch up and to see old faces, and on Sunday morning I went for a drive around the Burren in Co. Clare.  


After spending more time being Social on Sunday night, I drove back to Wicklow, just in time to pack to go to Devon early on Monday morning.

The highlights of Devon were seeing my grandma, who is now ninety-one, and going flying with Terry, my ex-flight instructor (yes, I almost wrote "old" and thought better of it).  He is still a flight instructor, but not technically mine, so I can get away with that.  We flew across to a little grass airfield called Compton Abbas and had some lunch at the restaurant there).  Afterwards, we flew down to the coast just west of Bournemouth, and flew along it to Sidmouth and thence back into Exeter.  It was gorgeous weather, for which I was grateful as the previous two days in Cullompton had been incredibly wet. 


It was very nerve-wracking for Chris and I to have my five year old niece (his second daughter) in Grandma's house.  Grandma is very fragile and frail, and Lindsey, as Grandma put it "has so much energy - in every direction!"  One morning we found a little baby hedgehog in the garden, and we tried to feed it bits of hamburger.  It seemed grateful, but didn't seem very well - for instance, we didn't think it had any eyes, so maybe it was attacked by a bird or something?  On the last day, we found him dead, so Lindsey and I gave him a burial at the back of the garden, planting a stick as a marker.

"Do you know how sad it makes me?" asked Lindsey.  "You know how when a person dies?  Well, it's the same sort of sadness.  Like, if Grandpa died, I would be about as sad as I am now about this hedgehog."  #values

We arrived back in Ireland late on Thursday night, and although it would have been nice to spend the next couple of days recuperating from vast quantities of clotted cream, we ended up spending most of the time shopping.  (My suitcase is now full almost to its exploding point, so I really need to stop shopping!)

On Sunday, we loaded up the cars with enough food to supply an army for a couple of months, and drove to Donegal for four days.  Donegal was breathtakingly beautiful, although also very cold and windy.  We had our own beach at the bottom of the garden, on which we found caves and lots of rocks to climb.  


Also, the baby (Chris's third daughter) took an unscheduled dip in the sea on the first day and had to be hurriedly carried home.  Surprisingly, on day two I agreed to go in the sea, and five of us took the plunge.  My dad, Sarah, Jon, Chris and I spent a good few minutes swimming and jumping waves before we succumbed to numb extremities and hauled ourselves out.  We then had to climb rocks and run about for quite awhile before the circulation returned.

On day three, we explored an old army fort, including cannon and underground bunkers.  Nobody got hurt or died, which was a bonus.  

Day four was pack up day, and I woke up with a sore neck which didn't make me very useful.  Having helped as much as I could, I retired to my bed to rest, and was soon accosted by three small girls who demanded my full attention.  So I suppose, as I was entertaining them, that I did help somewhat with the packing up!  


Despite having eaten almost all of the supplied rations, we still found that the cars were fully packed for the drive home - perhaps from the stop at Asda where we had to buy All The Food and All The Drink as apparently it is cheaper than down South.

I have now decided, with just after a week to go, that I should fully pack my suitcase just to make sure it fits, and I also have to sort out all of my stuff in the attic to see whether I want to take more of it back to Australia.  It's mostly books, however, and they will happily sit in a corner until such a time that I want them back in Ireland!

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