Friday: Was able to observe the democratic process up close in Cork (where my mother was allowed to vote despite failing to produce polling card or identification on the basis that Mr. O’Rourke, who was responsible for ticking her name off the list knew her – didn’t he live aound the corner and didn’t his wife play bridge with my aunt on Tuesdays and where had I been, he hadn’t seen me around in a long time) and Dublin (polling card and ID please).
Saturday: GAA rained off (bizarre and practically unprecedented, the point of the GAA is that you should be wet and miserable). Quick tea with other rained out parents. Princess hysterical at sight of school friend. V. mortifying. Rain continued belting down all day. Deeply unsatisfactory trip to the Chester Beatty museum where the Princess sulked and refused to look at any of the beautiful books. She did, however, watch with interest a DVD on making paper and insist that Mr. Waffle take notes for her to use later. Hired a baby sitter to come to the house that evening (still lashing). Went to a pub to hear comedy only to discover wrong evening. Went to nearby hotel for restorative cup of tea where Slovakian waiter compared Irish weather to April in his country when the weather is always unpredictable. I think that he is missing home.
Sunday: We went to Smithfield horse fair. It’s a monthly horse market in the centre of the city and Mr. Waffle reckons that it will be gone by the time the children have grown up so they should see it. All a bit too authentic really, the horses were sad looking or vicious or both. Men from the ISPCA were roaming the square. We asked a nice young fella holding a small horse, if we could rub it and he said we should find a quieter one. The horse was four years old and it hadn’t got a name. The children were terrified of hooves and I saw one horse foaming at the mouth (hot, rabid, scared of the trap behind? who knows?). We took ourselves off to the quieter environs of Collins Barracks. Much quieter, since the museum didn’t open until 2 and it was now only 12. More cutbacks, I suppose. Home for lunch and afterwards wrestled with the wretched creeper thing which is taking over the garden. Sigh. At least it stopped raining.
horse markets are resilient. Buttevant market still going strong. I know its the country but most people there are not trading horses by all accounts!