Long time no see

Hey blog, how have you been?  Lonely?  Sorry, my fault.  You see, we have been pretty busy doing our own thing, and you know, I haven’t thought much of what we’ve been doing has been exciting enough to write about, so no entries recently.

Summer is here but you wouldn’t be able to tell because we’re still wearing our winter coats some days.  However we have transitioned more often to the lighter windbreakers, so maybe it’s here…  The plants in the front garden are looking happier, and the fields of bluebells (and white and pink bells [?]) are just gorgeous.  PJ the groundskeeper has been running the lawn mowers.  I purchased a pot of shamrocks in early March which had been doing pretty well but is now living outdoors in the hopes that it perks up and starts growing again.  And here I thought I had overcome my black-thumb tendencies.

We had a few days of very disrupted weather, with lashing rain and tremendous winds.  The bay was green with all the stuff dredged up by the roiling waters.  I like the days where the sun just peeps out occasionally and the rain threatens because the Prom is practically empty of people and it makes for a nice, relaxing walk.

The farmer’s market is gearing up with more people and more vendors.  Summer fruits season is nearing.  I am looking forward to some lovely salads!  Claude and I are on a diet, of sorts, cutting out breads, white potatoes and (sob, sniffle) desserts.  While he has not returned to his bike riding since starting his new job, we do try to get out and do some walking as often as possible.  I miss baking, it’s one of my favorite activities and produces such delicious results.  Maybe after we drop a few pounds…

I have started a new volunteer job on Monday nights participating in facilitating English conversation skills with a group called Fáilte Isteach (it means incoming welcome).  My two ‘students’ are a woman from Pakistan and a woman from China.  It’s an interesting and unusual task.  I’m not sure I’m very effective at it but the woman who facilitates the volunteers is very encouraging.  It happens on Monday evenings so we go out for dinner prior to class.

I have also started going to exercise classes conducted by a very energetic and talkative young physiotherapist with MS Ireland.  Their office is way over on the other side of Galway so getting there is quite the trek, but I think eventually it will be worth it.  He has a special vibrating machine that is supposed to help MS people with motor function and strength issues that I’m looking forward to using on a regular basis.

Can’t go to class today though.  The buses are on strike!  I never realized how dependent we are on them until they became no longer available!  Claude sure can’t cab to work every day!  Bus Éireann is administered by the government and has been instructed by the Labor Court to cut €5 million from the budget.  They want to take that from the drivers in the form of holidays and sick pay.  The drivers are not pleased.  Thus, no bus service.  I sure hope they get this ironed out soon.  I need my lifeline into the city.

The abortion debate is still going strong, which in my opinion is a good thing.  Irish women aren’t going to let the government sweep this issue under the rug.  There’s a tremendous amount of support for a significant change in the law, and possibly even the constitution.  I sit on the outside looking in and hope for the best and only rational outcome of legal abortion for all women in Ireland.

This summer is going to be very special because we have so much of our family coming to visit.  We are very much looking forward to hosting them all and showing them our lovely hometown and beautiful Ireland.

I have gotten used to being pegged for American as soon as I open my mouth.  Fortunately most Irish folks don’t mind Americans, they have a certain affinity because so many of their friends and family emigrated to the US.  The Boston bombing was very close to many people’s hearts.  Galway was, in a lot of cases, the last vestige of Ireland that emigrees saw before sailing east across the Atlantic to the new country.  I also get away with murdering the Irish language; people shake their heads good-naturedly and gently correct me.  I am absolutely convinced that I will never speak or understand Irish but I can at least kind of read it and pick out certain vocabulary words.

So that’s about it for now.  I’m sure Claude would have some observations to offer but that will have to wait for another day.  Cheers!

— Cindy



white flowers