Ok. I know it’s been a while since we last posted. Sorry…we are just not that great at consistent blogging, I guess! But here is a little update for you, sort of a mish-mash of what’s been going on, what we’ve been doing and seeing, etc.
Tim was asked by Basketball Ireland to be a Technical Consultant for the remainder of the time that we’re in Ireland. In case you missed that announcement on our Facebook page, here’s the URL to the press release: http://www.basketballireland.ie/news-detail/370240/. So far he has observed training sessions for 4 of the 8 teams. In addition, a few weekends ago he was asked to make a presentation at the Basketball Ireland Elite Performance Committee meeting in Cork. As you can imagine, Tim is enjoying meeting the coaches and making new friends with others who love basketball.
While he was meeting, I drove east and saw a sign for the Fota Wildlife Park. I pulled off the N25 and had a great little drive to the park, but when I arrived I realized I’d rather continue driving, so I crossed the stone bridge onto the Great Island, and drove its perimeter. I snapped a few shots along the water in the lovely town of Cobh (pronounced “cove”), literally drove to the end of the road on the eastern edge of the island, and encountered a road closed due to flooding on the northwest edge of the island, before returning to Cork to collect Tim after his meeting. Here is a video of my drive through part of Cobh and a video of my drive along the Belvelly Channel on the north side of the Great Island. Photos from my drive are in the gallery below.
We had a quiet Christmas in Galway. Tim picked up a head cold and managed to share it with me, so we both were in full-on, bad-head-cold mode for about 4 days starting Christmas Eve day. However, it didn’t stop us from going to a carols service at the medeival-era St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church (Anglican) in Galway on the afternoon of Christmas Eve day. We were spotted there by our good friends Yvonne & Eric Hannagen, and hung out with them in the rain for a bit afterward…good fun with good people! That evening we went to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway for their Christmas Eve dinner. Tim posted a few pictures from our evening on Facebook. I cooked dinner on Christmas Day, and we wore our paper crowns from the Christmas crackers we got at the Radisson.
We spent most of the time between Christmas and New Year’s getting over the colds. Lots of Yin Chiao and Clear Lungs supplements for us! Fortunately, it did not get into our lungs, something that in my recent past would have been certain, and would have resulted in pneumonia. All that work with Shauni to improve my immune system and the continued use of Clear Lungs has really changed my life! I’m very happy about that!
We decided to spend New Year’s Eve in Dingle, so we drove down that day, checked into the lovely Beenoskee B&B near Castlegregory, and enjoyed some tea, homemade Christmas cake, and conversation with the owners, Mary & Michael Ferriter. Great people! Then we drove over Conor pass to Dingle for dinner and their fireworks show…it was a great show and it was fun to watch people celebrating by the harbor! We drove back over the pass (safely–here’s a video) and enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked breakfast by Mary at the B&B. We drove back to Galway on New Year’s Day, taking the auto ferry across the Shannon Estuary from Tarbert to Killimer. The weather was windy and rainy, but we enjoyed the sail anyway. See Tim’s FB page or The Doctors Rice FB page in case you missed the images and videos.
Some of you know that I have been struggling with fallen transverse arches and dropped metatarsals in my feet, making it very painful to walk. About 6 weeks ago I began working with our good friend and physio guru Mike Lynch, and it has been incrementally better. About 3 weeks ago, after a session with Mike, I was able to do something that most people take for granted: walk barefoot. I hadn’t been able to do that for nearly 19 months! It’s not completely without pain, but at least I can do it without cringing at every step. If you’ve ever had any foot problems, you know how HUGE it feels to have the pain reduced. And to have hope that it might go away completely. At any rate, I’m thrilled with the progress and looking forward to the day (hopefully soon!) when I can get out and walk the Prom (the boardwalk along Galway Bay in Salthill) and stroll through the city centre.
We are slowly but surely hearing from friends and family about planning visits to Ireland, so we figured it would be a good thing to post a photo of our humble abode. Because we are here only temporarily and will not be bringing much back to the US in July, we have not done any decorating, so it is fairly spartan and a whole lot of beige! Don’t get me wrong…I’m not complaining at all! We are grateful and happy to be living in this house, which has everything we need! A few weeks ago I broke down and bought a colorful and funny canvas for the sitting room.
We are also continuing to improve our knowledge of coal-burning fireplaces with back boilers. Yvonne and Eric spent an evening 3 weeks ago making everything operate correctly. What a blessing those two lovely people have been to us! Did I mention Yvonne brings us a fresh loaf of her homemade brown bread each week? It’s incredible! We are so cared-for.
School has been back in full swing at St. Mary’s as of January 6th, and we spent a few days preparing to give a presentation to the Board of Management on January 18th. It’s fun to see some of our projects nearing completion and exciting to consider the possibilities of the projects that are still in-progress! Tim spent a long, cold day in the rain helping with a cross-country meet at St. Mary’s. You can see a photo of the aftermath of lots of young men running across a soaked course.
Tim and I also were fortunate to assist in small ways with an international student sharing experience, the Erasmus+ Project. It involves five schools, one each from Ireland (St. Mary’s), Spain, Romania, France, and Germany. Teachers and approximately 20 students from each of the schools will visit the other schools throughout the course of the next year or so. St. Mary’s hosted the first experience, a 5-day visit to Galway by some 80 students and teachers. One of their many activities was a hike in Connemara, which Tim agreed to join as one of the helpers from St. Mary’s. You can see in the gallery below some photos he took, and here is a video from that hike.
Just before sunset on a mostly-gray day in late January, we drove to one of Galway’s best beaches, the Silver Strand, and watched the daylight fade away. It was chilly, so we stayed in the car, but managed to see some beautiful scenes unfold on the beach, from a female athlete doing a workout to a family with dogs playing along the water’s edge. I had a little fun with the post-processing…hope you enjoy!