Day 123 –
BTW – we heard later that the German school children that were so badly behaved at Avalon House – put a hole through the wall in the one dorm, how, we don’t know?
L: We’re on our way to the beach and it’s raining! This is the first grey day in Dublin for us. We were up bright and early. We had breakfast and met Patty from Barcelona again. We crept around in the dark again and showered, got dressed, packed up and left the room before our room-mates stirred.
S: We walked the hundred meters to the bus stop, lugging all our bags. The bus dropped us off quite a way from the station but it was the closest we could get on a weekend so we had a tiring walk carting all the bags. It was a bit “higher grade” for me to figure out how to buy the train tickets from the machine and getting through the turnstiles, but once that was done, we went and sat on the benches. We had quite a wait as we were early and it was pretty cold though there are some strange young Irish girls that walk around in shorts and t-shirts.
L: I went in search of a bathroom and was so shocked when the station-master said that there wasn’t one. What! in Dublin. He said that, luckily, the train we were taking had a bathroom. Just when I was thinking that Ireland was so jacked up.
“Mind the gap” is repeated every 5 minutes and it is quite scary crossing from the platform to the train with a lot of bags. Once inside, it is pretty plush so we enjoyed the half hour ride to Donabate. Nick, our host came to collect us at the station which was a great help. We met little Ivy (2 years old) in the car and then Nick’s wife, Agnes, back at the house.
We were shown around, after politely being asked to leave our shoes at the door and taken to our little loft room. S: It is quite small with a slanted ceiling which I have to remind myself about so as not to “bonk the conk”. Down the passage, is the shower and toilet and wash basin for us to use. We were shown the living room and kitchen too which is downstairs.
L: I feel a bit strange in someone else’s kitchen, but Agnes showed me how she likes to do things. The fridge is really full so there is no separate shelf for our things which makes it a bit of a juggle for space. We have a large plastic container allocated for our non-perishable items which are not stored in the fridge.
The good thing is that there is a little supermarket and a butchery directly across from the house so we popped over for some provisions. You can have meals with the family, but at 7 euros per person per meal (plus 3 euros for a drink), which is way over our budget.
S: The meat we bought for under 12 euros will last the 2 of us for 3 meals. We managed to get most of what we needed at the little stores. We made egg sandwiches for our lunch and then spent most of the afternoon relaxing. Lesley even watched a movie on a TV with little Ivy asleep on the couch next to her. She speaks German taught by Mom and understands most English as that is Nick’s mother-tongue.
L: We share the dining room table in the kitchen with the family for meals. I made supper earlier than them so Steve and I ate alone tonight. We excused ourselves after tidying up to go to our upstairs room to read and catch up on the blog etc.
It is really quiet here, even Ivy seems to whisper so we should get some beauty sleep tonight.
Day 124 – Happy Birthday, Emma xxxx And little Cloe too :-))
S: It was lovely to be able to lie in a bit and so nice to have had an unbroken sleep.
We had our own breakfast of cereal and toast and then showered and got ready to walk to church.
It is about a kilometer up the road to the Presbyterian Church which has its services in the Community Hall. There was a lot of noise, but we both immediately felt at home and everyone was so friendly. The church became a full church on Tuesday and we met Andy who hopes to be called as the permanent minister. He and his wife, Victoria, are expecting their first baby to arrive in a matter of days, so a lot of new beginnings for them.
L: The service was lovely and they were being taught some new songs which are well known favourites for us and even one song with a verse in Swahili (an African language).
After the service we were invited for tea, coffee and cake and a really friendly lady, Elizabeth came to chat and asked if we were English. She soon realised why we sounded so familiar as she and Mike, her hubby, had lived in S.A. for 27 years. What a lovely couple. They asked us to come and visit them in their home, just down the street, on Tuesday for tea. Elizabeth said that we are welcome to use their computer, scanner and printer, if we need. And also to let them know if we need to get anywhere by car. What a generous offer.
We were then introduced to John and Natalie, ex South Africans, though we found out that John hails from the U.K.and Natalie, – Zimbabwe originally.
Church started at 10.30 am and it was after 1pm by the time we got back “home”. We had stopped for a couple more things so that we could make spaghetti bolognese for lunch. Nick was busy cooking their breakfast still, we call that brunch so we sat at the kitchen table with our coffee and waited until they were finished with the cooker. We enjoyed our meal and sat and chatted to Nick about jobs and got some pointers.
S: Later, we excused ourselves and went to the loft to do research and relax. The weather is still lovely, though today has been cooler. They call this an Indian summer, but there is no rain.
We both dozed a bit in the afternoon.
L: Later I squeezed in to warm up our leftovers of steak and veg on the stove top while Nick and Agnes were baking pies from the fruit in their garden.
While I was in the bathroom upstairs I saw that the light was so orange and went to look out of our teeny little loft window. The most amazing sunset greeted me. Wow, what a pleasure to see.
L: Not a mouse was stirring. I went down to get breakfast ready for Steve and I at about 8am and the house was still so quiet. We sat and chatted at the kitchen table with our toast and cereal and then went back upstairs to shower.
S: I sent the visa agency a message saying that we have decided to hold off on applying for Lesley’s permit as it feels like putting the cart before the horse. It is such a lot of money so I am going to go flat out to look for a job and we can take up perusing the permit when I know that I have a job in the U.K. to go to. Please keep us in your prayers as we are having to make a lot of decisions at the moment so very much out of the comfort zone.
L: We had decided to walk the mile (as Nick says it is) to the beach at Portrane. It is still such lovely weather here and so it was really nice to see the countryside and have a nice walk. You feel like you should be whispering as the only noise that we have heard today is that from the little school next door to the house, though they only seem to start at 9am.
The tide was in so we could see the sea from the roadside and a few birds, but very few people. We did a walk along the beach and back through the little lanes and went past a holiday trailer park which has been there for over 50 years.
When we got to the little restaurant, Pipers, on the beach front, we discovered that it only opens in the late afternoon so we were not able to have lunch. We stopped off at a cafe for a cool drink and a packet of chips and walked the mile back “home”. We think it was about 6 kms all told for our little tramp around the area.
We bought some more provisions from the butchery and supermarket and came home to make mince meat subs for our lunch.
S: We spent the afternoon on the computer making my CV look its best and sending it out in all directions. Thanks so much to those of you who have been encouraging us and praying for us, it is lovely to feel your care. We are also needing to decide where to stay for the next while as cost-effectively as possible. We have been buying our own groceries and Lesley has been cooking every meal so that has saved us a lot.
We were thinking of going to Galway by train, but it is 200kms so the train is fairly expensive there and back and we would need accommodation there too. It would be lovely to see that part of Ireland though.