Despite some difficulty in England, we managed to get back to Dublin without any problems. It was the Cork leg of the trip that was tiring. When we sat into the train for our 3 hour trip to Cork (about the same distance as Brussels Paris which takes a mere hour and forty minutes on the Thalys – no one tell me Cork is less important than Paris) the first words to pass the Princess’s lips were “when will we get to Cork?” Did any of our children nap on the journey? That would be a no. Did the woman from Killarney who chose to sit across from us regret her choice of seat? That would be a yes.
We got there though. To find that Tesco’s in Wilton is open 24 hours and that Roches Stores is being taken over by Debenhams. We might as well have gone to England. Ireland is working hard to replicate the UK effect where every town has exactly the same shops. Soon we won’t have “main streets” we’ll have “high streets”. I can tell you, romantic Ireland’s dead and gone alright. Nevertheless, it is lovely to be home and the Princess is ecstatic to be among adoring relatives. For a variety of reasons she sees less of her maternal relations than I would like and I am delighted at how immediately she seemed at home and how quickly she started prowling around the house and treating its inhabitants with the careless affection she reserves for her nearest and dearest. We are powerless to stop her roaming the house at will and her extraordinary prudence is our only comfort as, being the house of two adults, it is a death trap for small children. This morning I found the electric hedge trimmer sitting patiently underneath the dressing table in her room. The boys are poised to crawl and the plethora of dangerous, shiny objects just out of reach may yet give them the incentive they need or they may continue to settle for doing 70s disco dancing (hand movements only, of course) with my father. No, really, “it’s fun to stay at the YMCA”.