(please click on this mosaic for a larger version - from top left to bottom right: cow jam at Newgrange; the River Boyne; seagull; Kilmainham Jail Dublin; Annagassan Fishing Harbour; King John's Castle Carlingford)
Well, it's summer in Ireland. My parents are here for about 3 weeks, touring all around Ireland during the weeks and spending the weekends with Clare and I. So we're hitting the tourist trail and doing some new stuff, some old stuff, and discovering some new places. The temperature has even hit about 26c, but only for an hour or two on a couple of days. Then it went back to cool, rainy days, so you learn to make the most of what you get. We've been to Newgrange again, so different to our visit on the winter solstice last year (nb. link to our story from then - we've been officially published on the Newgrange website!) We've been on the double decker bus tour round Dublin. We've driven around the countryside - a lot! And perhaps one of the best things, the Friday night "trad music" session at our local pub is well and truly up and running and really quite good.
Clare says "I'm finally staying at home on a wet (driving rain and wind) summer day to at least get my MBA thesis proposal done. Not progressing well at all. Just too many things happening at work and at home. I'm behind with my blog stories too! It reached 21-26c for most of last week, the weekend and this week until yesterday. People were lying on the beach in togs, swimming and attempting to boogie board (with no surf). It was still 19c at 11.30pm at night. Complete record. People were sitting on our small beach (mud flat) with deck chairs and togs and eskies on Sunday. Blue skies and extremely hot by Irish standards. Sue and Dave (Joe's parents) were still wearing jumpers as it was 21c! It's actually howling wind and pouring rain from 4 directions at once tonight. Just totally pissing down here for the last few hours. Our front window was bending visibly in the wind and air pressure. Lets hope the sunny weather comes back It's really lovely when it comes! I had a deer slaughtering factory audit this week, on an estate that has the date AD462 on its crest. I questioned Peter (my boss) about this, asking how can the estate be from before St. Patrick’s time? Peter said that St. Patrick was a slave, so someone had to enslave him and since that happened in Downpatrick where this estate is, whoever owned this estate in AD 462 probably enslaved St. Patrick! Turned out to be true - it was the estate where St. Patrick had been enslaved in 500AD or similar. How's that for some history?"
Joe says "We get light until almost 11pm now, unless it's raining buckets and the clouds have blocked the sun. People here are complaining about the humidity - try a summer week in Queensland! I'm back at work now after our trip to Italy, which was so, so good. We're going back to London again for the bank holiday weekend in August - still plenty of bargain seats on Ryanair. Hope you're having a nice winter in Australia!"