Saturday, May 31, 2008

Not such a long way to Tipperary... least, not from where Cathi & Dave live. Today we went out and did a bit of touring around that area - first to Cashel to see the Rock of Cashel, which is one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland, apparently - and one can see why, as it's quite remarkable.

There is quite a bit to see of the building itself, including this fabulous round tower (with a 3YO girl in tow - we took Aisling with us while Cathi stayed home and got stuff done - Aine was in school - the Rapunzel connection was certainly made on several occasions). There are also lots of nice graves with Celtic crosses and a fantastic view.

After that, we went over to Cahir, which has a castle (which we didn't visit) and the so-called Swiss Cottage, a 19th century hunting lodge built by (probably) John Nash for the Butler family - it was very interesting.
Here's Alex outside the cottage. I wish I could show you the wallpaper in the bedroom, but no photos were allowed inside the cottage. Actually, I have a postcard, so perhaps I will scan it in later. Anyway, it was an excellent day, and lots of sun and so on to make it nice to be outside. This despite a rather dire forecast and some heavy showers on the way there. More photos in my flickr album, of course.
Hard to believe that we head home tomorrow - not until afternoon of course - the boys are going off to play golf tomorrow and us girls will be hanging out, tidying up, packing, maybe a little sewing. And now, bed, before I completely fall asleep.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Scenic Cottage

Today's excursion - a small one - was to a village on Lough Derg which I can't remember the name of - I'll check it with Cathi later... There was a nice castle ruin there, this very scenic cottage, and a good playground - the kids (including Geoff) had a good time and Cathi and I sat on a bench and hung out - she knitted and I chatted. Satisfying all around - particularly for the smalls I think. More photos on flickr - over here with the other general photos from this Ireland trip. I know it's a bit awkward when they aren't labelled, but frankly, if I waited until I had time and energy enough to label them all, you'd never see them...

In other big news, tonight at dinner Alex told us he wasn't going to eat anything hard for a while because it hurt his tooth - I asked which tooth, and when he showed me, we realised that this is because the tooth is a bit wobbly - yup, his first loose tooth. He's VERY excited. It's going to be a while before it comes out, but it's definitely a little wobbly. He seems a bit young, but actually, a lot of kids in year 1 have teeth out, and definitely some in Reception, too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lots of scenic views

...though I have put most of the scenic views in the album on Flickr. This is four of us on the road overlooking the Graves of the Leinstermen (not that we could find them - but then again, the field was full of cows, so we didn't go in) - we then went on to the Portroe Millennium Cross - not all that interesting in and of itself, but the view - astonishing. Be sure to go look in the album!

And speaking of cows, we got stuck in a cowjam on the way back - but that's what the traffic's like around here..

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Galway Day

Yesterday we went into Galway to do some touristing and each lunch - had a look around the town, then the boys took the kids to the beach at Salthill and Cathi and I went off to find a little quilt shop (of course). I love the way they paint their houses in Ireland - I only got a few photos of bright houses, but don't you love this lime green one? And there are some more photos of Galway and the beach in my flickr album.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Horse found?

OK, it's not the right horse, but I couldn't resist. We spent a little time this afternoon at a park down by the Lough - it was a bit chilly and VERY windy, but we went for a walk in the wood and played a little hide and seek. Then David and Geoff took the big girls off to play pitch and putt and Cathi and I took the littles back home by way of the Brian Boru hill fort.

Here's Geoff and Alex contemplating the rather choppy waves on the Lough from the safety of the shore - more photos of the day are over in my flickr album.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Have you seen this horse?

Isn't this fabulous? Geoff spotted this sign in the window of the local shop down the road from Cathi & Dave's house - we all just loved it. I'm sure it's very sad for some kid that their horse is missing, but it does paint some pretty amusing mental pictures - not the least of which being some other kid finding the horse and begging his parents "he followed me hom, so can we keep him, please?"

Today, we didn't do a lot - we had a lazy morning and then after Cathi and I took the littles to the playground while the daddies took the big girls out on the river in a boat. Then we hung out, had some barbecue and then hung out some more. We are heading off shortly to do some more (you guessed it) hanging out and playing cards or Mexican Train Dominoes. And drinking some frozen margaritas. In fact, I can hear them calling my name, so that's it for today...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spring at Wisley

I went with my friend Caroline to Wisley Gardens today - great flowers, and a nice, calm, time. More photos of flowers over here...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Azaleas galore

Lovely spring day today (and indeed, all week) so we decided to pop over to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, which is full of banks of azaleas - so it's just the right time of year for them. Loads of photos over here on flickr - these were all taken with my new phone, rather than with my camera, so a few of them, the resolution isn't that great - I haven't really worked out all the quirks yet - only got the phone on Thursday...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

May Fair

We took a trip to the local May Fair today - it was a fairly good day, though I think the fair isn't as good as it used to be - for instance, most of the so-called "crafts" weren't crafts at all, but just general merchandise, like garden sheers or books, which I find really uninteresting. However, there are several good things at the fair each year - one is a circus tent with lots of circus skills toys which the kids can play with (for free) - and in the afternoon, they do a great show with magic and tricks and jokes, which the kids love. Olivia, being Olivia, had to volunteer to be a "helper" - here she is in the end, having put a shaving foam "pie" in the face of the presenter (this was expected). Doesn't she look pleased with herself? Above, a photo of Liv on the bungee jump - there are more images of the day in my flickr album, though most of them are videos - there are even a few with Sarah and Alex, though most of them are Olivia, as she was the one who participated in things - she tried out the African dance workshop, for instance... Neither Sarah nor Alex will ever take part in anything - I guess we can tell which children take after which of their parents!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not much, with a parakeet

Hmm, I see it's been over a week since I blogged over here - that's because nothing much is happening. It's been raining a lot. There was no school today, due to a polling day, so Lana & I took the kids bowling. Then we bought Sarah some sandals and had lunch in Kingston (but without Lana and her kids). Sarah left her coat in the shoe shop, so we had to walk all the way back to the other side of Kingston to fetch it. See what I mean? Such an exciting life!

This chap has been visiting the feeder quite a bit lately (or it could be different ones - there are quite a few of these in the area - I know, it's strange) - I know he doesn't really belong and they sometimes chase away the more timid of the native birds, but they're pretty so we enjoy them.