We spent a couple of days in Cork. The weather was surprisingly good but much of our time was spent indoors exploring the delights of various electronic devices.
We did get out for our traditional trip to the observatory and went for a short walk nearby. The view looks idyllic but in fact the Cork ring road is only a stone’s throw away and the noise is quite extraordinary.
We also saw a large rat which was very exciting and quite daring for the rat given the number of dogs being walked nearby.
My family are always very generous with Christmas presents and the children always look forward keenly to their Cork haul. This year it included, very successfully and at minimal cost compared to the overall investment, a packet of Pringles each. Here you see my brother handing over €20 each to his nephews, jaded from the effort of ripping off paper from so many parcels.
This is what the pile of presents looked like before they began their work:
I think that a little commentary is needed on the tree. This is the tree which my parents bought the first Christmas they were married. I doubt whether it was particularly attractive in 1967 but now as it approaches 50, it has lost almost all of its sparkle. The spirited campaign which I waged as a teenager to have it replaced by a real tree was utterly unavailing. Now my mother says, “We were green before anyone else.” I am still struggling to make my peace with it.
My sister bought the boys the Skyrim guidebook. She says it is the largest non-academic title she has ever purchased. Indeed, when I saw it first, I thought for a moment that it was a telephone directory. They love it. Even though they do not own Skyrim the game and we will not be purchasing it in the near future as it is certified 18s.
We also went for our obligatory walk up to the Lough and I recollected how my great Uncle Dan used to skate on the Lough (skates still in my parents’ attic) and the children were filled with hope that it might be frozen but it wasn’t. It was quite mild actually allowing punters to sail their motorised vessels, “like in the Tuilleries” as I said to the children.
We also went on the big wheel which would have been fantastic if only the boys hadn’t kept twirling it around and making me feel sick as a dog. Note the Princess’s cowl which she knitted herself.
Returned to Dublin laden with presents and stuffed to the gills.