Many happy returns of the season!
So I’ve spent the last two weeks or so flying about from place to place making sure I get to see all my loved ones for the Christmas period. Being perpetually on a plane is part of the fun of a year abroad, but also the bain of my life. At this stage I know the little safety demonstration that the flight attendant does at the start of the flight so well I could stand up and perform it myself on demand. Still, every Online Check-in and every last-minute extra pair of pants stuffed into an already overloaded bag is worth it to see my favourite people, especially at this most jolly time.
After four quite rushed days on the Emerald Isle (landing in Dublin for two days of drunken revelry with Jen and the rest of my Taekwon Do gang, before heading to the far South-West with Jack to see my dad and help him put up his Christmas tree), I went home to my mum in Cheshire for some proper Christmas TLC.
Every time I arrive at Mum’s cosy little house, decorated by her with a recurring woodland theme, and with the two dogs – Bruce the overactive whippet and Renie, the bad-tempered but very stylish Jack Russell – for constant cuddles, it’s impossible not to leave all stress outside the front door. It’s slippers on, tea in hand and dogs on laps for the duration of the stay (tea and slippers are optional; dogs are not. Bruce mostly likes people who don’t like dogs).
For 6 deliciously stress-free days I watched entire seasons of The I.T Crowd, trekked through Delamere Forest in the rain with the dogs and my mum and sister, and ate so much cake it’s a wonder any of my clothes I arrived with still fit. Little shopping trips were obviously made (The Hollies, a gourmet farm shop specialising in such delights as Monty Bojangles Truffles and homemade meringues; the dog clothes’ shop – Renie needed a waterproof coat) and much port was drunk. It was all rather merry and very British indeed.
Anyway, I’m now BACK in Ireland and on my way to the Wild West – Connemara, this time – for New Years. It was a bit hit or miss with buses this morning since Storm Frank hit last night (have you ever heard the likes of it) and buses were coming to standstills at the edges of basic lakes all over the country, but HURRAH! I’m two hours into the second bus ride of the day.
So until next time – the happiest of New Years to you all! Enjoy the rest of the festivities!