I was amazingly lucky to win a month’s trip. To IRELAND. This will be a day-to-day record of what I got up to, just a general/detailed outline of my day (photos included).
I landed, found Nuala and Eileen and Uyen, Eileen’s adopted daughter from Vietnam who is gorgeous, if tiny (seriously, she is petite. I would have taken her for an 8 year-old, not 12!). We drove from Dublin, past the two ports – Dublin and Dun Laoghaire, to Glasthule: home,which is a beachfront house next to a delightfully long pier – two-story, large, filled to the brim with artworks and books, as well as two small poodle-like dogs and a few exotic-looking fish. They have a sloping backyard with lots of fragrant flowers; lavender and two types of jasmine, as well as small potted ferns and roses and petunias, among others. There’s also a nanny-flat at the top of the garden for relaxation and ‘quiet time’. They have two barbecues – one a small little cooker, the other a huge silver beast called RedFyre. Along the way, Eileen pointed out the Martello Towers, which are all across the coast of Ireland, in case of Napolean’s invasion (which never happened).
The scenery, which I later saw more of as we went to walk the dogs in Killiney Hill Park that had some gorgeous views of Sandycove and Dalkey Island, is very similar to that of New Zealand. Same sort of climate, similar flora and fauna; it almost felt like I wasn’t on the other side of the world! We went to a cafe for hot chocolate and a muffin, and then straight to Yoga class, which was all about sticking the bum up (the instructor literally said those words almost 10 times a minute… that, and ‘glut’ muscles), and your heart up. It was rather different from the lasses I’ve experienced before. Then – a blissful shower after two days without. The only thing was, it was a bath/shower, and there was nowhere to clip the shower-head on, leaving me to either sit or risk splashing the entire bathroom… Later, we went grocery shopping, and after that it was back to the house, where I tried really really hard not to fall asleep too early.