With the ringing in of 2016, we also experienced our fourth full month as expats in Dublin. Looking back through the month to put this post together, it seems like a really long one. Which is good, in a way, because hopefully that means our time here will feel longer than the two years we’ve been allotted. Let’s take a look at what happened during month four of this adventure.
- We returned home from Oakland to find that the winter storms that had battered Ireland did a number on our house in our absence. We are, unfortunately and much to our chagrin, quite used to leaks in our main bathroom but we were surprised to find the wall in my office a complete mess. There were patches of discoloration when we moved in that we noted and had been told they’d get painted in November if they were dry. When the builder came out in November to address the bathroom leaks he tested the wall in my office but never mentioned painting. Perhaps it’s a good thing because this is quite the leak. Our landlord called him back out and it seems there is a problem with our chimney allowing water into the dwelling. He did something and said we’d see if that worked. Alas, I’m sad to report it didn’t and the leak is as bad as ever. I don’t know that it’ll get fixed before we move out. I’m trying to pretend it’s a really cool design element. Organic modern art, or some such nonsense.
- When we rushed back to the Bay Area, we didn’t take our Christmas presents with us so when we got home we had a quiet evening opening our presents in front of the tree. While it’s customary to take down the tree on or before January 6, we left it up a bit longer since it was still relatively healthy and we hadn’t gotten to partake in its beauty the way we would have wanted to during the regular holiday season. I couldn’t find it in my heart to put away the stars we’d set up in our window though. In fact, I’m thinking about keeping them there all year long.
- Alan kicked off his fiddle lessons. He can play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had a Little Lamb. He’s currently working to learn two additional songs, more of an Irish nature.
- On a whim, I went to the same salon who cut my bangs and asked for a change of color. I debated going black with blue streaks or back to red. After discussing both options with the manager, she convinced me to go back to red because it would be much less maintenance. I walked out happy but a few days later the color started fading and it was horrible. I was so embarrassed every time I left the house so I ran down to Boots, bought a box of darkest brown hair dye and fixed that mess myself. I think I still want the blue streaks but I know which salon I’m definitely *not* going to if I ever decide to go that wild.
- We celebrated the fact that we’ve been together for twenty years with a three day weekend to the west of Ireland. We stayed at Dromoland Castle and visited Cahir Castle, King John’s Castle in Limerick, and spent a cold, wet evening in Ennis, one of the trad music capitals of Ireland.
- We spent a wonderful night at RDS Arena cheering on Leinster Rugby as they trounced the Bath team with my favorite player scoring 20 points!
- We toured the Teeling Whiskey Distillery and walked away the happy owners of a bottle of 21YO from the reserve collection.
- After one previous failed attempt, we made our way back over to Phoenix Park to try and find the herd of fallow deer that call the area home for past hundreds of years. We’d seen them way off in the distance last time so on this trip we drove in that direction, parked the car, and wandered out into the field. And then, off in the distance, I spied them! We took a long walk to get as close as comfortable and then hung out for awhile watching them. It’s really rather remarkable that we have such a large, wild herd of deer in a major European capital city.
- We attended a performance of Trad Fest Temple Bar 2016 at Dublin City Hall, featuring Séamus Begley (accordion & vocals) & Oisín MacDiarmada (fiddle). We really love trad music and this was just a master class.
Whew! What a month. Can’t wait to see what February has in store for us.