We were at the market a couple of weeks ago during the first real spring-like Saturday of the season when we were chatting with Ron, the fellow who sells us our fruit and veg, about the weather. He used the title colloquialism when talking about the change of weather. I found it absolutely quaint and plan to use it in future.
The last few weeks have been busy, filled with all sorts of interesting people and things to do. I went to a lecture at the city museum with a new friend, about the condition and maintenance of the beaches in Galway. It was given by a professor in the archaeology department of NUI Galway. It was quite informative; I had previously never known how beaches and dunes form. I have met several very engaging American women – which, after over two years here, is a bit of an anomaly for me. One is a fellow volunteer at the Age Action computer courses. She’s been here for about 20 years with her Irish husband, who was a fisherman until the industry kind of tanked. She’s trying to start a unique business that could really take off if she does it right. Another is a lovely retired woman who had lived in Galway with her partner for a couple of years, then moved to Portland, Oregon with him but couldn’t get Galway out of her system. She’s here enjoying her retirement while he is earning his PhD back in the States. We have a lot in common and she’s fun to hang out with. There’s also a young woman from the Philly area who accompanied her new husband while he studies at NUIG for his PhD in Irish theater. She came because the rules for visas said she is allowed to accompany her hubby, but she still had to file for the visa with the GNIB (immigration) when she arrived. She’s been waiting more than 8 months for them to tell her whether she’s allowed to stay or not. To say the poor girl is stressed is putting it mildly. One evening I was on my way to the restaurant for dinner date night with my honey but I was a bit early, so I stopped by Galway Bay Tattoo to look around and meet the artists. Turns out Nancy, one half of the owners of the shop, is from Colorado! We talked a blue streak and now I have yet another new friend in the city. It is so nice to have these few new friends with cultural ties to the USA because we speak the same language – literally.
I meet a huge variety of people at the Oxfam charity shop, which keeps me smiling and keeps each shift pleasurable! Last week I met this amazing woman who had come to Ireland from Chicago just to visit and fell immediately and totally in love with the Emerald Isle. So much so that she hired a matchmaker to find her a husband so she can stay forever!! I was so intrigued that I asked her to please come back to the shop if she settles anywhere near Galway. Because the shop manager is a French woman, we tend to attract a great many French-born volunteers from whom I have learned a great deal about French sensibilities. I work with a really sweet young Korean woman who came to Galway to study English but who also seems to be enjoying every minute of being in Europe. She’s been to London, Belfast, Dublin, and next week she’s traveling to Holland – and she’s only been here since December. She’s a lot of fun since I speak American English and that’s the version Koreans learn so when she hears something she doesn’t understand, she asks me. I’m trying to get her to read more English-language books but she’s too busy having fun.
Claude’s job has been taking up entirely too much of our lives lately. He’s been stressed out by the fact that the US office wants everyone in Galway to drop everything and go full speed when they come online. They have nicknamed that time of day “headless chicken hour” because everyone goes bonkers when the Americans expect them to work like maniacs – as if they haven’t already put in most of a work day already. He’s been working until past 10 PM some days. He’s such a trooper though, doing what it takes to keep us in Ireland.
Last week I took a few pictures with my phone camera of things I found worth memorializing. I’ll share some of them with you here. I also got some video of a busker playing his didgeridoo on Shop Street. There are a great number of buskers in Galway because the music culture here is very rich. Some of these folks are not so good but most of them are incredibly talented. Galway really is a very culturally diverse area, there’s always a cool festival or fascinating artistic gathering going on.
This little birdie was just tweeting and tweeting outside my front door. I didn’t get much of his song, but there is some in the background.
The weather has been alternately warm and cool but the rain has been intermittent. But the sun is more prominent every day, so the layer is most definitely off the onion.