Month: November 2014

Day 94- Santa run and other fun

Other than packing our day really started around 11:30 when we walked out to the Promenade for the Santa Run to raise money for childrens hospital or some such cause.   Everyone in the race gets and is expected to wear their Santa Suit or they don’t get a medal when they finish the race.   We met up with three of the students – the two from Union were running and Dan from Hobart was taking pictures and cheering.  He had made two signs, ” the end is coming” and “you will prevail”. it was fun to watch the runners faces when they read this signs.  We took some pictures, before,, during and after. The best part was Denis being the only runner with a real beard so lots of “Hay Look the real santa is here” and questions about why he was not up at the NOrth Pole.  It was lots of fun.  While the others ran Dan and I chatted about the year and what he wants to do when he gets back to school. He is a very nice fellow and I have enjoyed several conversations with him during this semester.

After the run Haley and Mike had a tennis match – they are on the NUIG Tennis team when they are available to play. Mike is on the Union team at home and maybe Haley is as well. She comes from Tiverton Rhode Island where I use to work as a nanny in the summers for Phil and Larry McGourty.  We have chatted about that in the past.  Mike is from Guilderland so is a local guy.  Dan is from Geneva and goes to college in town but lives on campus.

Denis and I went for lunch at Arabica and then back here. I ran up to the drug store to pick up something and he was doing some work.  We have everything we need for Paris we hope. Boarding passes, bus tickets, ride from the airport etc.

Soon we are leaving for our first public Bohran playing. Have to admit I am a bit concerned about making a fool of myself. I am bringing my music with me. I hope to get someone to take a couple of pictures and maybe a little video so I can see what we look iike and sound like.  so will finish this when I return.

What a fun time we had this evening.  We walked over to lower Salt Hill to the Cottage Bar and found out they were changing the location on us. So Jim from our class offered Denis, Julie and I a ride to the Olso right near the water in Salt Hill. It was a great time. There ended up being 8 of us from our class there. The more experienced folks were amazing. Brian is a very good teacher it is obvious… The band was great and at times we had trouble keeping up as the speed of the reels and jigs increased. But even so it was grand fun.  I was hoping to get someone to take a picture of us playing but we did not go up as groups. we all just played together and then two of the advanced groups played something special for us all.

One of the folks gave us a ride home which was so nice. So here we are, eating a late supper, watching Inspector Lewis and thinking about having to get up at the crack of dawn to go to the airport in Dublin.  The beginning of another adventure. Am taking my laptop with me so I can write each night and up load pictures. Cannot wait…

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Day 93 – What fog???

I opened up the weather channel ap on my ipad and it told me there were severe fog warnings.  I looked outside and it was lovely out. Not the blue skies of yesterday but nice none the less.

Today we started at the farmers market. Now I know this is terrible but we had – a donut, and bought one bagel and two spelt muffins and a loaf of spelt Carrot cake.  Not sure that counts as a healthy bunch of purchases but since we are going away Monday morning not point in buying a bunch of lovely fresh veggies now is there.

Got some money and went back to the apt. I finished packing up two more large envelopes of goodies to send home and then headed for the post office.  I had to open one package and take something out to bring the weight to under 2k so it would not cost a fortune.  So I fought with the tape and got it opened and took out a scarf and the nice lady retaped it while I wrote what I thought was in each package and since I was not sure i made it all general and probably put them on the wrong package anyway.  who is going to want to untape all that and put it back together again anyway.

I walked around the Christmas Market just to do it and then went to the Treasure Chest to get a gift for France and to another store so I would be all set for the trip.  Then I walked back and up Mill St to a little local fundraising craft fair.  I bought a couple of little ornaments for the two little girls.  They were made by teens here in Galway. I can put their names on them and for this year anyway they won’t be made by grandma but will have to do.

At about 3:30 I petered out and decided to curl up and read and snooze. Then made dinner, pasta, chicken and cheese. Using up open packages in the cupboard.  AFter a bit we went out for a walk. The town is full of people. We walked the Christmas Market – Irene tells me the locals call it the German Market since so many of the  things for sale and the food is german.  – then we went and got a gelato. Have not had any in quite a while.  WAlked around the long way and stopped and got two bottles of wine.  Not sure why but at least it will be here if we want a little drink this evening.

NO pictures today.  Charging up all the batteries to get ready for Paris. Phone, camera, computer – all almost set  – and did two loads of laundry. So tomorrow is final packing, the Santa Run – will have pictures and we will play the Bohran in public for the first time. wow….

Day 92 – To Do or Not to Do or the Anticipation Blues

This title mean nothing…. but it could if you consider the two people living in this apartment are both suffering from anticipation blues.  I think for Denis the end of teaching his class hit him with the reality this is almost over and for me it has been just awareness of the days going by.  After all, this is day 92 which says a lot. It was very hard to get moving this morning but once I did I actually had a full day.

Packed up an huge envelope full of things and walked up to the post office and mailed it off to myself at home. Hopefully it will arrive in good condition ready for Christmas wrapping or not depending on how tired we are when we get home. Denis went to the Meteor store to be sure his phone would work in France. It appears it will just fine so we are good to go there and I got the rest of the cash to pay our host in France for the Apartment.

We also managed to do a bit more shopping, we still have so many things we want to get for home.  But we went back to the apartment and Denis worked on correcting papers and I did some research for Paris.  Think we will get two day hop on hop off tickets for tuesday and weds. or weds and thursday. That will give us two days just to do our own thing and the two days in the middle we will be able to pick two or three things we really want to see as well.  Denis has never been to Paris and I want to have some memories of Paris with him.  I loved it the first time I was there and together I know we will have a fabulous time.

So then I decided that at 2 pm I was going walking and Denis came along too. We walked out the Promenade, I have not been there since we had so much company. I missed my walks out there.  We went all the way out the causeway to Muffin Island and back. Felt good to do some speedy walking. CLeared my head and I will bet I will sleep better tonight. ON the way back we went up shop street and got Denis new shoe laces so another thing taken care of.

When we got back aside from cooking dinner I did a test – see if my clothes and the Bohran would all fit in my suitcase. They did which was very good news.  So now to figure out where to put the gifts as well.  We have three boxes that are pretty big, not heavy but take up space. but Denis has a carry on suitcase this time so we might be okay. I will mail one more package home to see if I can lighten the load even more.  Have quite a few books and because they are heavier they will cost more to mail so will concentrate on size not weight.

It was a lovey day, sunshine, light breeze in the 50’s today. I could do this all year round let me tell you.  What a wonderful day.  We are heading out soon so I will finish this later. Just thought I would start it now.

After our good dinner of chicken, rice and broccoli we cleaned up and went to Tis Coili for some music, we were hoping to see Michael the Bohran maker there but he was not. We did meet a couple who are in Galway for the weekend just a get away who were just having a grand time and knew why we like it so much.  Then we walked up to the Christmas Market to see what it was like on a Friday evening in NOvember. Was pretty busy and we met four of the students who were there.  They really thought the barbecue hamburgers were the best ever.  We looked at them as we walked by and they are huge cooking over a fire on a round saucer type thing.  If I could eat one I would.   It was nice just walking around on a pleasant evening.

We walked back through Shop Street and here we are.  Was a good day in all considering how I did not want to get up this morning.  Tomorrow is start packing for Paris, get money, go to Farmers Market etc.  So we shall see what adventure awaits us tomorrow. I might go for a bike ride if today is as nice as today.

PIctures include, a swan, a Galway Hooker, the famous row of houses on postcards of Galway, County Clare across the water, selfie at the causeway, low tide, a sea bird breaking a shell on the causeway, four swans, coaster with Jameson and Ginger recipe on it, and pictures of the Christmas Fair and one of Shop Street. And finally a lovely picture of denis and I in Ireland by Solveig… a happy looking picture I must say.

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Day 91 – Thanksgiving I guess

It is very strange when you know it is a holiday at home and there is no holiday here.  I woke up in a funk today for the first time since arriving.  Just no get up and go. Of course it does not help that I have been staying up reading quite late lately. Like 1 am.. Not sure why I don’t just go to sleep instead of reading. Need to change this behavior because I want to sleep too much during the daytime.

I packed up Asta’s birthday presents and went to the postoffice to send them off to her.   I wandered through some stores looking for something special but have not found it yet.  I love Christmas shopping and here it is so convenient.. Also think when Sarah arrives I will take her with me and see if I can buy one of these little dresses I love looking at. Not sure how they would look on me but I really like the way they look on the hangers.  I walked home the long way and saw some swans in the canal which was a treat.  The river is just so fast now they cannot swim in there

Back at the apartment I skyped with Ian, Maya and the girls for a little bit. Solveig is not happy with me because we have not been to visit for a long time.  She wants us home.  I told her we are very close to coming home and if she would like we will come for Christmas and her daddy’s birthday as well.  She seemed to like that idea.   They were off to meet their new cousin in Virginia so at 10 pm here we will skype with them again so they can say hi to Grandpa Denis.

I did rest this afternoon and then we ate a little bit and went to drum lessons. It was fun. The group gets laughing and sometimes quite out of control. Great fun really.   We learned some new jig combinations this evening so tomorrow will have to practice. We are playing in public on sunday evening at the Cottage Bar.  Should be a fun time.

After our lesson we went to the Spanish ARch to listen to some music for an hour and then came back as we wanted to skype with NOrah and Dan.  They were getting ready to sit down to dinner so we chatted a bit and then here we are. Nice to see them and some of the Plue family who are there for dinner..  At least they had power unlike some of my friends on facebook who cannot cook dinner due to no power.  Got a nice picture of our house in the snow from Lon and Heather. I might add it to this just for fun. The contrast of Galway vs Niskayuna.

Going to get something else to eat, then skype then to bed.  Have to get packed for next week and figure out what I need to take to Paris. NO plans to dress up while there that is for sure.

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Day 90- Make up Drum Lesson and Group Dinner

Today was a gorgeous crisp day in Galway. The sun shown all day. We were up early and caught the bus to Knocknacarra to Brian’s house for a make up Bohran lesson.  It went very well and I think we both did very well. Worked on playing the waltz and a faster jig than we are use to.  We walked back and caught the bus back to town and dropped our music off at the apt and walked up to town.  It was lovely going in and out of the shops. Got another gift for someone. Was nice for sure.

We came back around 1 and made a brunch for ourselves of rashers, scrambled eggs and toast.  I think we were both quite hungry by then.  Denis had to see a student so he headed out a bit later and I decided I needed a nap. I was torn between going off on the bike or sleep and sleep won.  I read and dozed for a while. Then got up and started making reservations for next weeks trip.  The bus to the airport and back and a shuttle once we get to Paris.  So that should be all set by tomorrow.

I got dressed up for tonights Thanksgiving Dinner with the NUIG staff and our students.  It was held at the Park House HOtel.  We had a private dining room.  All the students but one attended and the parents and sister of one of the girls joined us.  It was a wonderful meal.  I had the fruit plate starter, Turkey and ham dinner and Pavlova dessert.  It was all very very good.   We said our goodbyes to some folks. I am not sure if I will see any of them again before we leave but we told them not to worry – we are coming back even if just to visit.

We walked back home through the park and down shop street. It was pretty quiet although there were still some buskers playing along the way and a few young folks who were quite excited to see santa out walking with his girlfriend. We ignored them.

Good pictures of the group and the meal… was just so nice and I was pleased with myself that I was able to eat as much as I did.

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Day 89 – Time is Flying and I don’t Like It

I guess the weekend wore me out since I slept in today. I finally had some breakfast about 11 and then chatted with Denis for a bit – he was working at the Univ. And then I went shopping.  There was not a lot of food left in here.

I did laundry, sorted all the gifts we have purchased so far, almost died when my computer would not turn on at all. It was obviously working somewhere in the background but nothing came on the screen until finally Denis played with it after dinner and it came on. And had internet again and nothing more about missing drivers etc. So seems I am good to go so I added some pictures from yesterday to yesterdays entry. The ducks in Trim came right up to us out of the bushes every time we walked by them. I bet they are use to being fed. We had nothing for them but they stayed and chatted for a little while.

Tonight we walked up to the Christmas Market.  Many of the booths were not open so we are wondering if more open up later or during the daytime.  It is very pretty walking through there and there is lots of food to be had although not the variety I would have thought.  It appears there are more rides down the street and around the corner. I bet they are busy on the weekends. Not too many folks out on a damp tuesday evening.

What really struck me today was that the Center of town is so nicely decorated. It is not overdone. I will take some pictures now that everything is up.  It looks old fashioned to me.  Quite nice walking during the day or the evening. I think in the States that we do everything up so big that it is overwhelming and when you see this done less so it comes across initially as missing something but then once you get use to it the charm of it comes out.  They don’t go nuts the way we do.  I would love too see someones home and how they decorate. I suspect they also don’t go crazy the way we do.  But we shall see, might prove me wrong but I somehow doubt it.

After a lovely lazy day and not writing at 1 am I am going to call it a night. Have not had a day like this in a very long time.  I am putting up the picture of the tree I saw on Saturday. I thought it was just lovely looking

Day 88 – Back Home, but ain’t love grand!!!!!

Lovely day, aside from something being wrong with my computer, we had a grand time.  got up, ate and then about ten thirty we headed for Tara. we had been there before but wanted to see it again. The visitor Center was closed but we walked around and enjoyed the fabulous view.  When we got to the gate we ran into Brian and Sue who are also staying at Weirs.  chatted for a bit and talked genealogy and then They headed up and we went to lunch in the little shop.  it was very good and we enjoyed our time there.

Then We headed for Trim.  I like that little town and all its old castles and monasteries.  We walked around and met a very nice lady with a Jack ?Russell terrier who brought us his ball to throw for him. He was very polite about it and well trained.

.we drove back roads to Multyfarnum and then finished our packing and Went to find Una to pay her and give the little gifts we had brought over for them.   the girls are lovely young woman and very fun to chat with.  I like Donna learning to speak American For her school play.. She is doing a good job of it. And Elena explained to me how they grade in the upper schools. Love to be learning new things every day.

we went over and had a final drink in the pub, a very quiet Monday evening and I think Mark was happy for some one to talk to.  we said goodbye to Pat and then Una and the girls drove us to the Bus.  the ride here went well and now we are settled down for the evening.   Would love to post some pictures from today but I cannot access the Internet on the computer.

Denis and I really enjoy just spending time together and that is what the second part of the title today, We just had fun being together today and being who we are…   Been weeks since we just had time to be  no work, no friends, just us.  Hope this continues for many years to come.  I like all the other stuff too but these days are precious.

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Day 87 – Peace, Quiet and Flowers

Hamish and Mary set off to the Dublin Airport about 11 am.  Denis and I realized we have not been alone together for over five weeks.  Been a long haul and one of our lessons learned it that you cannot have that much company days and days one after the other without getting a bit thin emotionally.   But that was our lesson to learn and all the folks had good times we hope and that our nerves were not showing too much as time wore on.

So today thanks to the kindness of great people we had a car to use so we went over to the flower show in Mullingar and just walked around the lovely old church, smelling the flowers and enjoying the Christmas themes of the decorations and then we went to the Hotel for coffee and a muffin – (gluten free not) and enjoyed having a conversation together and people watching. Again we walked around the town for a bit and then came back and are sitting in the quiet.  It is divine! I love all of you who visited so don’t be offended, has nothing to do with you guys. We just did some bad planning never having had this kind of opportunity before.

By the way , if you are planning a trip to Ireland this is a place you would love using as a base. You are near so many places you can go on day trips to. IF you are traveling with buddies – this apartment has three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. a large living room and kitchen and eating area and a backyard for sitting. a pub and a four star restaurant across the driveway and people who take very good care of your every need.  If you want to check it out on line go to either Weirs Bar and Restaurant or go on homeaway,com and look them up – either by their name or County West Meath and Multyfarnum.   You cannot find a better place. We are going to go over to the HIll of Tara and Trim tomorrow. Not a far ride but suppose to be pleasant and we will be able to do it all even with the sun setting so early  these days. The restaurant is not open tomorrow evening so we will probably eat on the way back and then Una is going to take us to a late bus to get back home.

Went over and had a very good dinner. I ate too much. I had the tempura cod, and Denis had the steak. He waited to have it the last night here as a treat to himself.  After dinner we visited in the bar with the folks and then Brian and Sue came in. Turns out Brian is a 68 grad of Notre Dame.. I suspect if I checked some of my folks might have graduated around then.  Fun discussion about neat places to go and visit but at 8:30 we decided to throw in the towel and come back. We were very tired.  So end of another good day. Who could ask for more in life than good days.

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Day 86 – The Mean, Nasty Men of Belvedere House

We got up late, well some of us did and had a quiet morning and then headed off to Belvedere House to see the house and to visit the fair they were having there.   It was a lovely day, the sky was blue although it had rained earlier.

When Denis and I were here several years ago we tried to go to Belvedere House and totally missed the exit it would appear as it was very easy to find this time.  It is a lovely preserved home although it was funny this fellow built a jealousy wall – a huge fake remnant of a castle to block his neighbor and his brother from seeing his house.  How weird is that?  Then the fellow married a very young woman and as the marriage was not to happy he decided that she had had an affair with his brother and had her locked up in their old house and his brother put in debtors prison for the rest of his life. The poor wife who was allowed to speak to no one use to walk around the house and talk to the paintings since none of the servants or anyone was allowed contact with her. Then when the old guy died she was allowed to see her children again and then took her away from that place.  But the place was certainly lovely with a great view of the lake etc.

I got what I wanted at the fair in addition to buying some fudge and some caramel popcorn and a cute little pottery plate that I will love having at home.  And because of my secret purchases I was given my choice of a piece of jewelry by the artist. So I got something for my efforts as well. So I am quite pleased. We had a good lunch there as well so it was a win win.  I did not take Una’s advice and not go to Mullingar Pewter Store. It was not what I remembered it being. Denis did get something for one of the girls for a gift so that worked out alright anyway.

We came back and read or slept until 6:30 and then went over for dinner. Hamish and Mary have been well pleased with the meals here.  If you want a really nice well cooked and nothing frozen etc dinner all fresh etc Weirs is the place to come. Even I who does not particularly like high end food love the meals I get here. I often just have starters with a salad and go away smiling.

We went out to the bar and had drinks after dinner and watch a lottery show on TV.  Over here they bring five people on a week to spin wheels and hit buttons etc that can give them money or prizes. They have all won something in the scratch off lottery tickets and I guess if you get three stars you can send in your ticket and they draw five names a week to come on the show.  There was a local Multyfarnum lad on the show tonight that folks were watching. It was interesting. Wonder how something like that would go over in NY State.

Pat came and told us about Johnny Depps visit to Weirs Bar and Restaurant.  They found him very nice and believe he will be back again. I knew about his visit from FAcebook but the boost it gave to their business after it showed up on TV and the national newspapers was great. They deserve it.

So, end of another good day.

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Day 85 – Rain, Trivia and New Places

Well, woke up this morning to rain, that gray, dreary going to rain all day kind of rain.  But we decided the four of us to forge on.  So off we went to Monahan, None of us had been there before and there was what turned out to be a very good museum up there. We all thoroughly enjoyed. it.  We also went up to the Cathedral. it over looks the city but more than that it was built in 1862 the same year as our school house and the fellow we met there told us that about 40 years ago they tore out all the “old” stuff and totally modernized the sanctuary and main alter etc. it was such a contrast in styles which when I can figure out how to get my pictures to upload again I will show you.

Then we headed back to Multyfarnum since it was steady rain and we wanted to get back before dark if we could.  And we did get back around 5ish all tired so we took a rest, read or what ever.

But before that I had gone down to the little store to buy some butter and coffee. The lady there and I had quite a chat. She loves Galway but it is too far away from her grandkids to move. I told her we lived 7 hours from our grandgirls and there is almost no where in Ireland we could not get to in seven hours so how lucky she was no matter where she lived.

I peeked in the pub to see if the guys had stopped in there and Patrick suggested I help him fold napkins and he talked about his philosophy of their rental business. First he told me to take the instant coffee back to the lady in the little shop and he would grind some beans for Denis, because we are like family to them. I said ‘ me casa es su casa” and he said yes that is it.  He said if Denis wanted a cup of coffee in the morning he should just stop in their kitchen to get a cup. You have to love these two people. They have such a great place and we do feel somehow attached to them.

We went over for dinner at 6:30 and had another great meal.  Donna, age 10 came over to visit with us.  She still believes so she was spending a lot of time starring at Denis. She had a great conversation with him and all of us but the way she looked at him you can tell, she is wondering who this white bearded stranger is.  Then Elena age 12 came over to chat as well. They are lovely young women.

After dinner we went into the pub and were chatting with folks. I found it too crowded and I was having a terrible time hearing so I went into the restaurant and met the two Americans who arrived this evening. They are on their third visit here as well.  They will be here for three weeks. Sue and Brian.  She is a retired teacher and he is retired from working in the music industry in NYCIty.  Very nice folks.  They invited me to sit and visit with them and Una and then Denis eventually came and joined us.  It was Trivia night at Weirs, a fund raiser for their community center.  The place ended up packed, the games did not start until 10 pm and lo and behold I saw midnight for the first time in a couple of months. It is now quarter to one and here I am.

I found out how little I know about current sports hero’s in Ireland, politicians, musicians, as well as what I don’t know in general.  I usually do a little bit better with trivia but this was not good at all. As a team of five with some help we did okay but not enough to win anything.  Una won a bottle of white wine in the raffle.  But we surely wished Hamish and Mary had not gone back to the apt.  I know that Hamish would have known the answer to so many of the questions. He is a walking encyclopedia. He knows things I don’t have a clue about.  OH well, our loss, they at least will have had a good nights sleep.

We are going to a fair at Belvedere House tomorrow. The woman who makes the items I want to get for some special people i know is going to be there we hope and if not Una will arrange to take us over to her studio before we leave. So as we left Una was texting her.  Tomorrow night will be another late night as we hear there will be music played. Brian is an accomplished musician and loves to play with all the local guys. Tonight was too late but tomorrow night is another opportunity.  Lucky they are here for three weeks… Nice I have to say.

So,folks, enjoy the pictures if they agree to let me upload them.

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