It Rained

Ok, so it seems the quickest way to end a drought is to publish something about it. I think there may be a paper for The Journal of Irreproducible Results; something like “Practical control of weather phenomenon through the judicious application of Murphy’s law.”

Anyway, it rained a bit last night.  Might help the plants some.  But we still need a good downpour.

— Claude

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Absolute Drought?!?

“Absolute drought” was announced following 15 consecutive days where rainfall was less than 0.1 mm at Met Éireann rainfall measuring stations.  15 days, no rain, in Ireland???? Say it isn’t so!  Ahh but it is.  And when you consider that Ireland has no snowcapped peaks to provide additional water you can see why the southwest of the country is starting water rationing and threatening to turn off the water mains at night.

On the other hand,  Met Éireann has issued a Potato Blight warning (the great potato famine was caused by potato blight) due to the warmth and predicted showers.

— Claude

Catching Up

It has been a long time since I have written here on the blog.  Though often on the way to work I think of things I would like to post, they leave my head before I get anywhere near a computer.

It amazes me that even after almost two years of looking at it the bay is still magical.  It is always changing color and mood, often within a few minutes.

The new job is keeping me busy and allowing us to stay in Ireland.  It is not the most exciting place to work, but my coworkers are nice people.  We have gone out after work on occasion; the conversations over the lunch table range far and wide and are always entertaining.

I’m not riding the bicycle as much as I should.  Skyler and Josh (my daughter and her boyfriend) are visiting so we have been exploring the local environs, mostly by bus, bike and shank’s mare.

We recently took the bus to the Galway Crystal factory and then walked out to the Roscam round tower, church and graveyard.

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Roscam graveyard, church and round tower

We visited Merlin woods – no sign of the historic English magician though.

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Merlin Park Castle from the woods

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Skyler and Josh at Merlin Park Castle

We did our standard Saturday marketing where people have always marketed in Galway.

Galway market

We walked out to Seaweed Point on one of the hottest days of the year and we rode bicycles to Upper Dangan on another.

We’ve eaten good food in several restaurants and walked the prom a number of times.

Yesterday we swam in the bay and built sand sculptures.

SmallSandSculpture

So that brings you up to date.  I’ll try to stay in touch more often.

— Claude

Heat wave

And oh mercy, has it brought them out in droves!

There are few things Irish people like more than sunshine.  As soon as that bright yellow ball shows its face, they are outside in droves.  And if they’re anywhere near the beach…

The last week of temps has been a trial for me.  I don’t tolerate the heat very well, which makes the usual climate here very hospitable.  However the heat is not something Galway is prepared to deal with in the ways in which I am accustomed.  First of all, there is no such thing as air conditioning.  It isn’t non-existent, mind you, the modern-built buildings have it.  But most of the shops and homes are not equipped with it, since it’s rarely necessary.  But the cars and buses don’t have A/C either, which makes a ride home – on the one and only bus line that takes people to the beach – absolutely miserable.  Bodies packed in on every single bus, schedules whacked because of having to stop so often and take on so many people.  Even taking a cab is no improvement because the car has no air and the traffic is bumper-to-bumper out to the bay.  I’m lucky I haven’t had a really bad reaction or a full-blown attack.  A fan has become a vital inclusion to my everyday accoutrements!

Electrical shops have sold out of fans of every sort.  Ice cream vendors are doing record-breaking business.  One cannot find a swimsuit to save one’s life.  Every clothing shop is out of shorts, light tops, sandals.

Went to the movies the other day for some time off from family visiting and for the A/C.  Guess what wasn’t working?

I started a new volunteer job a couple of weeks ago at the Oxfam charity shop in the city.  I love the people there already and know that I will enjoy this job tremendously.  The woman who runs it keeps only high quality goods out, not like the typical Goodwill store where they just throw it on a hangar and put it out for sale.  But so far I’ve been kind of a jinx!  Last week I accidentally ran the day’s tally way before we closed the shop.  Yesterday, my second-ever shift, I got robbed.  Nothing drastic like guns or threats or physical harm, but a couple of traveler women (Americans call them gypsies) came in and basically whirled through touching everything and distracting me and filling their bags with clothing.  They got away with several items.  I hadn’t been trained in how to handle such situations and I was on the floor all alone, so I just went with the usual advice that one should not confront these people.  The Garda was called and I made a report.  I suppose if they ever catch them I may hear about it.  But I felt so badly about letting them get away.  The fellow I work with was very kind and reassuring.  But I felt badly.  All this while roasting to death in that stuffy, hot little shop…

Today it has cooled somewhat.  I’m hiding inside, staying out of the sun.  A side-effect of the weather has been the largest number of sunburns I’ve seen yet.  Ha!  Silly white people.

Never thought I’d long for the rain.

— Cindy