I see it is two months since the last blog entry. We have not ventured far because of the cold wet weather and have remained for the most part hunkered down in Dublin. It hasn’t been a bad winter as Irish winters go but daily temperatures struggle to get into double figures and the rain comes in with dependable frequency from the cloud-sodden skies. It’s often the wind that is the problem, seeming to come directly from either the Arctic or the Atlantic, neither of which are noted for their subtropical breezes.
I have recently finished reading my Christmas present from Fiona, Greg, Holly and Alex: The Road to Little Dribbling – More Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Leaving aside the question of a sly dig at my deteriorating physical ability to keep my saliva contained – no, wait a minute, let’s not leave it aside. Let’s bring it out into the open and stop all the sniggers! Why can’t I shake off the feeling that if there had been another book available about that well-known English village, Much-Dribbling-In-The-Marsh, Fiona would have bought that for me instead? Or, horrors, sent me both of them?
I have to say, I identify slightly with Bill, both of us of a similar age (I’m not as fat as he is, obviously) observing countries with a foreigner’s eye. Perhaps my collected blogs might one day be able to be bundled up into a small book called, oh, I don’t know, something like Notes from a Small Ireland? Publishers, I await your calls.
Actually, there is another difference between BB and me – his books don’t have any photos. I have been able to take a few holiday snaps around the place: could that be my USP? (Unique Selling Point for those non-authors amongst you). Yes! I can see I will be fighting off publishers with a stick. Watch this space.
So what is coming up that might be blogworthy? Well, in March we are planning 4 days in Sligo and the surrounding district in the north of Ireland. A bit of a gamble with the weather but we’ll give it a go. Then in early April we are off to Scotland for a week – 3 nights with Sarah and Chris and the boys in a lodge in Aviemore, 2 nights with a newly-discovered relative of mine from the Ferguson side near Stirling, 2 nights in Edinburgh. Just 20 Euros each on RyanAir from Dublin to Edinburgh! In late April / early May Ros is coming from NZ to Dublin and then the three of us are going to Porto for a few days for some sunshine and the occasional glass of port. Then in October we have a week in Dubrovnik in Croatia and in late-breaking news confirmed just last night we will be joined there by the glamorous jet-setting Mrs Hawkes and Nigel so that should be a week to remember.
In mid-June we have a week in Hove, swapping our irresponsible lifestyle for grandparent babysitting duties with Angus and Dominic while their parents flit away to a resort somewhere. We will probably hire a car there and explore the coast from Brighton along to Bognor Regis which, funnily enough, is exactly what Bill Bryson does in chapter 1 of his new book. So watch out Bryson, I’m on your tail! Or at least on your trail. With pictures!