Sunday, December 30, 2007

Photos from Christmas in Edinburgh...

flickr photo link: <Christmas in Edinburgh, Dec 07> Some photos from our trip to Edinburgh!

A blogging Happy New Year!

Hi everyone. Long time no blogging, so it's time for a major update. Well, it's about 8c today, slightly cloudy. I've just been up to the N.I. border to buy some fireworks for NY Eve from a shop in a big shipping container - they take Euros or Pounds (anything really, as long as it's cash!) Gerald & Sandra are here from Germany at the moment - they're checking out the touristic sights of Dublin today. Clare is downloading her email on the kitchen table. Just another day in Ireland!
So today you get all our news in one go. The (loose) definition of a blog is... "a frequently updated journal or diary", and we know we've kind of broken this rule, and we hope to start updating again more frequently as we go into 2008! We haven't written a whole lot since our trip to the USA in October (and we're still trying to finish those stories too)... Somehow our time has been filled. Straight from the top of my head, what's happened recently...?
- Clare finally submitted her MBA thesis, which has come back pretty quickly with edit requirements, etc. so will still need quite a bit more editing. Life wasn't meant to be easy! We went to the Dundalk Greyhound Stadium for Clare's work Christmas Party. Lot's of fun betting on the 'droopy' dogs. We even scored some wins!
- Joe has taken a huge step and left DHL Express after 11 years. What the? I'm starting a new role with HP Dublin (Clonskeagh) in January 2008 as a Technical Support Team Leader. For those of you that may have changed jobs recently, or considered it, or started into the process, it takes time and is quite mentally demanding - especially so after being with DHL for so long. But I'm really looking forward to it. A new role, new location, new challenges, more exercise :) Roll on 2008.
- We spent Christmas in Edinburgh with my cousin (well, relative cousin) Katherine & Chris and their daughter Isla. We had 9 people for Christmas day (Kiwi & Aussie friends joined in) - much ripping open of various presents & tonnes of chocolate gifts from Chris's school kids, plenty of turkey, brussels sprouts (yum), roast potatoes, Christmas pud, a various assortment of brandy creams & butters, chocolates, Port, Baileys, cheese, etc, etc. followed by a long game of Edinburgh Monopoly which ended in a draw (too many competing tycoons to reach a decisive conclusion!) We even cracked open our last bottle of Bundy Rum from Australia (even though you can actually buy it here, from Sainsburys!) Tastes pretty smooth after the local dark rums in Ireland. So overall a great day of consuming and relaxing. Hope you all had a good one too!
The weather here has been pretty mild overall - we've had a few frosty mornings (scraping ice off the windscreen), and some major rain here and there, but nothing too extreme. Certainly no freezing fogs like last year, although we really notice the difference in winter air quality here in Annagassan as opposed to Dundalk, where the coal & peat burning adds a certain "Dicken's" quality to the air.
Life in Annagassan has been mainly quiet as usual, bar one recent night when we heard sirens for the first time (ever) here, and a fire engine eventually screamed into our carpark. Seems a lady tenant had poured vodka into her own car and set it alight! The rain was pouring down that night, but the fire'ies still had to get it under control. Then the Garda eventually turned up to check out all the commotion. The car, quite charred inside, was left in the same spot when everyone left, and was still there days later. No surprises there.
Haven't had much of a chance to do any photography recently, but will get back into this when things settle down a bit. We're off to London on 06 Jan to meet up with Leisa & Paul for the day, then I've got another friend from DHL Brisbane in London the following weekend. Clare has upcoming work trips to Brussels, London & San Francisco. I guess you could call it the "soft" season right now... Europeans don't travel so much in winter and airfares are remarkably low.
What else? Well, wherever you are, or whatever you're doing, have a great New Years Eve and a happy & healthy 2008, and we hope to see you all soon. I'll be setting off those fireworks, after making sure all cats & dogs are well away, and doing my best not to lose an eye, or an arm (or someone else's!) Thanks for all the great emails from everyone with news of your lives too!