(please click on this photo for a larger version)
Some more updates this weekend...
Photo Link: <Tuscany photos> (all 288 of them, we'll have to edit them down!)
Photo Link: <Mum & Dad's Ireland photos #1> (from June)
Photo Link: <Mum & Dad's Ireland photos #2> (from June)
Also, 2 of our Berlin photos (from Christmas) were selected for inclusion in the "Schmap" online Berlin Guide (Deutsche Oper) - Photo 1 / Photo 2
Well, Clare has been in Ireland for 1 year and 1 month now, and Joe has been here for 7 months. So here's a bit of a "State of the Union" (village!) update from us... (a few picture links in here)
Clare… “Not much sign of the summer yet. Last summer (2006), the weather here was magnificent and I had heaps of visitors & wrote a lot more emails. My Mum, Ken, Joe, Kiwi Liz, Gina & Mike and Glen & Simon all came to visit. Even went crew sailing very regularly all summer at the Royal Irish Yacht Club (Dublin) as well as a few Hash House Harriers weekend trips. Chris Irvine is living in Ireland now, and so is sailing this season (I only got a look in last year as Chris was working in Belarus). Now I’m writing the thesis for my MBA, I’m really knuckling down. I completed 2 subjects last year – hopefully it will all be finished by this November. Joe’s parents, Sue & Dave have been here for the month of June (photos) – we had some good trips out, and I’ve just finished a batch of blog stories about our Tuscany trip and Connemara weekend. Tracy also came over from Baghdad last November for the Aussie Rugby match. She’s currently living in Mossman, FNQ - converting the Mossman sugar mill into an organic chocolate processing factory, whilst living in a solar powered hut in the rainforest overlooking the beach. The complete opposite of the green zone in Baghdad, this time last year! Tracy has handed in the final, final version of her masters on mud crabs.”
The biggest change from this time last year is where we’re living now – Annagassan. This is a one street fishing village where everyone knows the names of all the dogs and what they’re all up to. Our ex-carpark dog “Pigsy” (proper name D4), was captured by the Louth dog catchers, but rescued by his owner who lives in a large house in the village. So now from time to time we take D4 out for a walk along the seafront. I think they’re taking better care of him now. The pub (The Glyde Inn) has great “trad music” sessions on Friday nights. So we’re becoming semi-regulars on Friday nights now. We’ve even taken an Aussie flag and a fake cork hat to put behind the bar, but somebody already flogged the cork hat! If it’s sunny (God forbid) we even have a beach (well sort of, but not like Straddie or even Bribie Island!) Clare is forever running outside and taking pics of “weather” as Joe describes it – sunsets, clouds, storms and the ever changing scenery of Dundalk Bay. We’ll try and post some of those pictures soon.
We have an incredible view (and ever changing) view of Dundalk Bay and the Cooley Mountains from the big front window in our apartment. Just this weekend we’ve seen fishing boats trawling just off from the pub (about 60 metres offshore) and sailing boats about 200 metres from the shore. Annagassan was founded by the Vikings coming to raid, rape and pillage the nearby Monasteries, ie. Book of Kells and all that good stuff. But Clare found out the other week that the “Rath” (manmade hill) across the River Glyde was most likely built, not by Vikings or Celts, but by the people before who built Newgrange a long, long time ago!
We haven't really gone out of our way to find history – just the normal tourist stuff so far. Yeah, and Clare’s had audits on estates that date back to AD 462! (In Northern Ireland, quite close to a couple of our favourite walking spots like Castle Ward, Strangford Lough & Tollymore Forest Park - we love County Down :) After Clare finally finishes the MBA thesis, hopefully around Oct/Nov, she’ll have the time to really look into her own family history on both sides. She's concluded that even though it’s through her Dad’s mother that she has an Irish passport, he is SOOOOO German, and not at all Irish, whilst her Mum, who is technically at least 75% Irish but without access to a passport, is SOOOOO Irish in many ways. Her Dad’s family is actually only Irish since the late 1700’s when they came from France, as Huguenot protestant refugees to Cork. So not Irish and not Catholic – so much for all those family “histories!”
We’re off for a long weekend in London 04-06 August. Hope everyone is enjoying the Brissie winter! Don't forget we warmly welcome all visitors (Oh, and we have the best Guinness in the world!)