We’ve just spent three weeks driving around Ireland in the rain, but it was all worth it because I got see one of my bucket list sights in the sunshine.
When we got to Dunseverick, in Northern Ireland, and visited The Giant’s Causeway, it didn’t rain for two whole days.
The Causeway is a foreshore area that is made up of interlocking polygon rock columns. They make an amazing sight as they disappear into the sea.
The coast in this area would be glorious in any weather but it was so nice not to have to wear wet weather gear.
We visited the Causeway after the visitor centre closed, so had to walk down and back up again. The kids were not impressed with this, but it’s worth visiting early or late so you can avoid the crowds. Once we got down to the stones, they admitted the Causeway was ‘okay’.
My grandparents visited Ireland decades ago and came home with photos of this area. I’ve always wanted to see it myself and am pleased that neither weather nor whinging children stopped me from doing so.
We’ve been on holiday in Ireland for two weeks now and can confirm that the weather is shite.
There is so much to do, and such beautiful scenery, but you will probably need to be wearing wet weather gear with a fleece underneath to enjoy it.
The flipside to this is that you never take it for granted when the sun does come out.
On our third day in Dingle, it stopped raining for a bit so we decided to drive up to the top of the Conor Pass.
I had been a bit put off by some of the trip advisor comments; one in particular described ‘semi perilous’ drivng conditions with narrow roads, rock faces and steep drops.
But the lady who lived next to our holiday cottage said the road was two lanes all the way to the top from the Dingle side. And there was a view point at the top where we could turn around if we didn’t feel up to coming down the other side.
The view from the top was stunning, and I could see how the road worked on the way to Tralee, so decided to have a go at the other side. It was fine, you just had to keep an eye on what was coming towards you and stop somewhere where they could pass before they reached you.
There are a number of places that can only accommodate one car, so you do have to be prepared to back up if necessary. But the drops aren’t sheer, there are stone walls between you and certain death.
To be honest, if you are used to driving in London, you’ll be fine!
And it was definitely worth it, as once we got over the pass we found our way to Fermoyle Strand, one of the most beautiful (and emptiest) beaches we’ve ever been on.
We are going on a summer holiday. To Ireland.
Yes, we have waterproofs.
First stop, Wales, for the night. But first we had to cross the Severn Bridge.
We like a good bridge.
Last Thursday was my birthday. It was also the first day of the school holidays for us. This was not a good combination as the kids were overexcited and over tired and DH didn’t get home until almost 9pm as the Metropolitan line fell over.
I has to wait the entire day for my presents. Three of the kids took gifts DH had bought and wrapped, and claimed them for their own to give to me.
But DD2 is 13 and used her own pocket money to buy me this cup from the local shops.
I have to point out that I turned 46 on Thursday, so was NOT born in 1995, but apparently ‘It was the oldest one they had’.
This makes me feel very old indeed.
Happy Birthday to me!
DD2 turned 13 on Friday, so we have two teenagers in the house now. Gulp.
She likes Dr Who, and I have a very clever friend who makes cakes and this was the result. A dalek cake!
And yes, it tasted as good as it looked!
One of the advantages of getting a new car is that we can now sneak up on our cats.
They used to recognise the old one, and when it pulled up they would be sitting on the path, crying and waiting for us to get out. If we didn’t get out quickly, they would walk onto the road which is not the best idea if you are a feline.
But now, they ignore the new one, and seem surprised when we get out of it.
This is our ginger cat on the roof when we came home the other night. He seemed quite comfortable up there, and watched us go into the house, but joined us with a frog in his mouth 10 minutes later…
More new car photos! I am learning to love our Seat Alhambra.
Firstly, the dogs have finally learnt to jump in the back instead of being allowed to ride on the second row of seats as they were in the old car.
For the first few days I had to actually had to physically wrangle them into the back, which wasn’t easy as they are both Labrador sized. I was very relieved when they started jumping in on their own.
The one on the left is particularly unimpressed as he doesn’t like the way the boot closes automatically but he’s worked out that car= walkies so he puts up with it and just makes faces.
Secondly, the fun bit about getting a new car is finding out what all the bells and whistles do.
This car has heated front seats which will be lovely come winter and it’s useful to know exactly how long I can leave it before having to find a
petrol diesel station.
But the best thing so far are the little symbols that tell me whether the kids have put their seat belts on or not.
They haven’t worked out how I always seem to know yet…
This week we finally got a new car. We have been discussing it for a couple of years now but it’s been difficult because we felt that nothing would truly replace our old Toyota Previa.
She was almost 11 years old and was showing her age. If we could have, we would have just bought a newer one but they stopped making them in the UK 6 months after we bought ours.
We needed something big enough to carry 2 adults, 2 teens and 2 kids, plus two lab-sized dogs on occasion. We wanted sliding doors and a decent sized boot with all the seats in use. It had to be an automatic as we do a lot of town driving and we preferred a petrol engine. We also wanted a backing camera to help with parking. It was further complicated as DH didn’t want something that looked like a van.
In the end we settled for a Seat Alhambra. It’s okay. There isn’t quite as much room in it as there was in the Previa and we’ve had to have a diesel engine. The boot is pretty much non existent with all the seats up and you can’t take the spare seat out to create more room.
But the worst bit about getting a new car was saying goodbye to our old one. I felt like crying when DH drove it off to an appointment with We Buy Any Car dot com. And DS insisted on giving her a hug goodbye before he left for school. It’s the only car he has ever known.
He’s adjusting to the new one okay though. The automatic doors are helping, as is his integrated car seat. I like the dashboard that tells me the kids have put their seat belts on and I know the heated seats will come in handy next winter.
So we are coping but I do still feel guilty about the old car. That’s not normal, is it? I mean , it’s not like she was a member of the family or anything…
The girls had a petting zoo come to their guides group last week. I was on the rota as parent helper, so had to take the two smaller ones with me- what a shame.
They had a ball and DD3 loved the little bantams. She spent quite a lot of time hypnotising them and placing them in various places.
Then she had the idea of putting them on the donkey’s back and giving them a ride.
Luckily neither the chooks nor the donkey minded.