To avoid boring you, or stressing myself, I'm not going into the details, suffice to say that it was a bit of a nightmare and one that I thought would never end – I have never been so glad to get the hell off an airplane in my life!
On to our hols then!
We arrived in
A soft, almost misty rain fell as we traveled north from the airport. Two remarkable things stood out to me (at least remarkable to me in my haven’t-slept-in-flipping-ages state), the road – it was new since I traveled this route last – a gleaming new motorway all the way from
The second thing that stood out to me was the road kill! When I first moved to
It was great to be back home – the place where I grew up, in the house that I have lived in for most of my life. People have asked me ‘how does it feel being here? Being back home?’ and I honestly told them ‘feels like I’m here all the time’ – that house will always be my home. It’s only now that I understand what confused me as a child – when my mother would take us to her parents’ house, and talk about it as ‘home’. I used to find this slightly unsettling. Did Mum not think her house with us was home? Now I know how she felt. This brings me to my question in my earlier post – is it possible to have two places you call ‘home’? My family home, where I grew up, is one of the most comfortable places I can be – somewhere I can be completely myself and totally relaxed. The home I have in Florida, is getting there, but a combination of homesickness, questioning my decision to stay at home, and a sense of ‘this isn’t really my house’ (my husband bought this house before we were engaged), has held me back from calling this my home. Having two children has helped me feel more settled, and eventually letting go of my career and contenting myself that staying at home is what’s right for me at present, has also helped. So, this house in
Our first week in
The last time we were in
The dollar/British pound (currency in
Ireland is also a country of contrasts right now, with the seemingly incongruous visions of BMW SUVs all over the place, sparkling mansions in the countryside no doubt furnished to perfection, alongside Mrs. McFarmer, complete with green wellies walking along the side of the main road, en route to a field of ewes or the like, or as my Mum put it, when we came across an ‘Irish Traffic Jam’ holding up two lines of traffic where Paddy gets his ponies from one field to another – a scene that could easily have taken place in my Grandmother’s time (albeit that the traffic jam would have been decidedly shorter) – the farmer likely to have been dressed in exactly the same way – brown trousers (probably from an old suit) with a cream stripy open necked shirt, sleeves rolled up on account of the beautiful sunny day.
We encountered that ‘Irish Traffic Jam’ on our way to a
Miss E searched in the hollows of trees for fairies, and was delighted at the possibility that the little creatures (water flies of some sort) that she later saw skirting the top of the water, with dappled sunlight glinting on their wings, were possibly the very same fairies that 'were not in' when she knocked on their 'doors'.
My Mum has a picture of us (her four kids) as children sitting on tree limbs so she couldn’t resist the opportunity to have us do this once again. Since I was wearing a skirt and flip flops - my feet stayed firmly on the ground!
Over the course of our three week stay, we did a lot of driving about, and had a lot of fun at various parties, picnics and barbeques and enjoyed catching up with everyone. We were thoroughly spoiled by both families – with people vacating rooms to give us places to sleep, giving us full access to cars (a BIG help!), and plying us with enough sausages (to appreciate what this means you really have to have tasted Irish sausages and been away from them for some time!), and other culinary feasts to last us until our trip next year, and of course, cause us to pile on a few happy pounds. Miss E is now chatting with a broad Irish accent (Nor'n Irish at that !), and has picked up her 5 year old cousin's talent for saying 'I didn't do anything' on cue once her brother's sudden shrieks for help sound, despite blatant evidence to the contrary, *sigh*, another challenge!
My Mum keeps saying to me ‘I’m sure you’re glad to be back in your own space’, and yes, part of me is. Toting two kids and all their baggage around the countryside was busy, and a lot of fun, and they enjoyed it too, but it takes a lot of energy, and so we’re happy to have some ‘downtime’ at the minute. We miss everyone, and despite the horrible journey back here, we’re looking forward to heading back this time next year. In the meantime we have our memories, photos, and smiles on our faces.