We are now both doses down with the Pfizer vaccine and made short work of putting our newfound liberty to use, with assistance from Rob J.
This will be a short post as I/we’re pretty wrecked having been up and back from Dublin today to see the GAA Hurling semi-finals, where Cork beat Kilkenny 37-32 after some nail biting comebacks and going into extra time. Even from the nosebleeds and with less than half the stadium’s capacity you can see the atmosphere of the place!
So our first and only “proper” getaway of 2020 was to the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, and it did not disappoint. Amidst stunning weather and narrowly missing the abrupt Covid changes we were so thrilled and grateful to steal away for these few days at the end of the year and New Years Eve.
For those wanting to see West Cork, you wouldn’t want to miss this!
We also have videos but the current WordPress plan is being a stickler for hosting space. We might look at doing something about that in future, but in the meantime will try to send some around to ye. 😊
This last weekend we were blessed to receive our first OS visitors, Annalise and Tendayi.
They were in good form as well as good health, and really lifted spirits here in Beale’s Hill. Though recently returned from Italy we opened with an accidental pizza tour of Cork, followed by hikes around the spectacular Gougane Barra region and Ardmore coastal walk.
Both places were not far from home, which makes us all the more grateful for the stars aligning, the heavens to “plug it” (for a while), and for us to enjoy the quality company of friends that seems to be in such short supply in this Covid era.
Other highlights include frenzied rounds of Monopoly Deal, Hearts, and Uno Flip whilst Aoife cooked up a sensational menu. Also pints, vinos, and a mind-blowing M&S chocolate…
We hope this post finds you and yours safe and healthy.
We managed to steal away for a couple of weekends in July and August to Cobh and Kinsale. Of course, tourism boards around the world right now are pushing for local travel, but both places were < 1hr trip from home and were just what the doctor ordered. So marketing aside, there is some merit to this! As Rob J would put it, “You can’t a good summer’s day in Cork”. See for yourself:
It has been three months since our last post but it feels like an eternity, doesn’t it? We have all seen the world change completely in this time due to the Coronavirus and global economic collapse, so wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, we hope that you are safe and sound.
For us, documenting our new adventure took a back seat to meeting our basic needs here. Myself and the other employees at my work office were furloughed during the week of St. Patricks Day after all events were cancelled and Covid-19 began to take over our lives. For seven weeks after my first payslip I had no welfare support payments, despite being entitled to them. This due to a technicality about payslips and reporting between my employer and Revenue. It has since been resolved through Welfare instead of Revenue, many thanks to them, but it was a stressful process nonetheless.
As we were just getting “settled in” at the time of the shutdown, we had no internet connection as this required a bona-fide Irish bank account to sign up. Until the banks could reopen we could not get this arranged, and lengthy tedium ensued. Suffice to say it was an enormous weight lifted off once we were able to get connected. We completely agree that in 2020 the internet is a basic human right and essential service.
Adding to the fact that Aoife still had both of her jobs, which at that point she had just started, and both required a stable internet connection. Tethering our phones seemed to barely work at times, but as our service provider stumbled under the administrative weight and burden on the network, this soon became impossible.
Fast forwarding to now, we’re grateful to have moved beyond these roadblocks. I guess, like many others, we are still uncertain about many aspects of our lives in the midst of this. We have been very fortunate and grateful to have made it to here with all of our basic needs met. Many others we see here have not been fortunate enough to have that outcome, so as we enter the real “mental game” stretch of this crisis I/we aim to continue our practises of gratitude. Writing this here is to some degree a note-to-self and self-reminder.
Yesterday was the first time we caught up with someone we knew. We were delighted by a surprise “exercise visit” from Rob, and we walked our quarantine quota distance back towards Blackrock in the beautiful May weather. Ireland is still in Phase 1 of reopening at the time of writing, and has one of the strictest health mandates in Europe still in place. As such the per capita infection and death rates among the lowest, and with any luck the restrictions will further ease according to schedule in a couple of weeks time.
In other non-Covid, non-Trump related news, the days are getting longer as we approach the summer solstice. We are beginning to understand why the Irish gush about spring and summertime so much here: it truly is glorious. Sunup is at about 4:30am and sunset at 9:45pm with clear skies and hardly a drop of rain in the last few weeks. On that note I shall keep this brief, get off my backside and go enjoy it, and let you do the same 🙂
From both of us here in sunny Corcaigh, we wish you every blessing and providence to endure these wild and strange times.
We’ve been here in Ireland for two and a half weeks (in Cork the entire time) and it’s safe to say we’re completely smitten! We’ve been blessed with blue skies as well as some unseasonal sunshine however as the day closes in, the temperature drops really quickly and gifts us with some of the most beautiful wintry sunsets conceivable (I’m hopeful we might get snow based on the extra warm days).
We are generally getting around either on public transport (double decker buses that give us a bird’s eye view of charming narrow streets and gorgeous houses). We’re also walking a lot and, as always, it’s my preferred way to discover a new place. I’ll put it out there now: Cork begs to be enjoyed and there’s so much to enjoy. We basically stop every half a block to bookmark places and take pictures.
Amongst our visits to recruiters, we’ve also made our way to UCC (University College Cork) and soaked up some of the lush campus. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves — it’s about 25 minutes walk from the city centre.
Finally, we’re still loving all of the street art and sculptures dotted everywhere — here are some gems from the last few days or so. Let me say it again: we love it here and are thrilled to be sharing this special place with you, too.
This morning Quinn finally took us for a walk down to Blackrock castle as the sky cleared. Well, I say morning. It was about noon by the time we returned back home to Rob’s. It’ll take us some time yet to get adjusted to the 9am sunrises and 4pm sunsets.
Quinn is a golden retriever–poodle–horse about about 4 years old. She just about trampled a poor lady to death who was power walking in the opposite direction. “JEAYSUS!” the woman exclaimed. Thankfully I had enough leash to yank her in the other direction. That was my adrenaline fix for today.
In other news, the precise day last week that I attempted to put Euros onto our Travelex card the company was hacked and its website and app have been down since. According to the chap I recently spoke to in the Phillipines they are having to rebuild their entire security system.
We had planned to use this as an interim solution until we set up Irish/Euro bank accounts, but it seems we’ll just continue to use our Aussie cards (albeit with the crappier exchange rate) until our bank cards arrive next week. So far we’ve signed up with N26, which is some new fandangled online bank. Aoife’s account is already created, using her EU passport, and her card is on the way, but I’ve had no end of being messed around by them and their app. I think it just doesn’t like Aussies…