Thursday, August 23
My sister-in-law who had been stuck in Dublin for work had joined the party the previous evening and we really needed her because it was pouring rain and fresh, enthusiastic recruits were essential to keep the children cheerful. We made the obligatory trip to Daniel O’Connell’s ancestral home which is, crucially, an indoor attraction. It was fine though not precisely new to any of us.
It was, mercifully, the last day of pirate camp. I suppose we could have baled out but the rain held off in the afternoon and I felt that the objection was more to the wet suit than pirate camp itself. They went. When we went to collect them, Michael was frozen. He had fallen into the water getting out of his kayak and this did nothing to improve his mood. He also had to stay in his wetsuit and pirate gear for a group photo which I can’t see them being able to use as Michael is in the front row bawling his eyes out. Oh well, we live and learn.
Friday, August 24
We decided to go to Valentia. We repeated all the things we had done the previous year but this time it didn’t rain. There was candle making.
There was the pet farm. This is the closest you are ever likely to get to being a farmer in west Kerry.
We fed lambs from bottles. We fed chickens and horses. We fed the lizard, the ferrets (with care) and the hamsters. We did not feed the pigs.
The children love this place and though it’s a bit rough and ready I can see us visiting here every year.
All in all very satisfactory and that was before the adults all escaped for dinner in Waterville leaving the babysitter with 6 children, one DVD and an encouraging word. I did drive her home afterwords to the scenic part of the Ring of Kerry where she lives (read very windy drive in the dark and the wet) so it wasn’t all bad.
Saturday, August 25
When the landlady came to take the keys back, she said that we had had the best week of the summer. What could be more gratifying?