Thursday, August 9
Another beautiful day made more beautiful by the certain knowledge that our fellow citizens at home were continuing to struggle in damp conditions. We went to the beach to celebrate.
Friday, August 10
The Princess and I went for a last trip to the beach.
Ever game, she went to pony camp in the afternoon but the boys bailed out and the four of us went to DoÃ«lan where they enjoyed themselves more than you might expect paddling in the small harbour.
Saturday, August 11
Is there anything more depressing than cleaning a holiday home? It took three hours. Our kind landlords gave us caramel sweets and hydrangea to speed us on our way but we were left shadows of our former selves.
We went to Saint-Malo where we were spending the night before going for our ferry. It’s a very pretty, touristy walled town. It’s also almost entirely reconstructed having been bombed to bits during the Second World War. We went aboard a pirate ship which, surprisingly, turned out to be a mistake. The bare footed man in pirate dress treated us to a detailed talk on the historical role of corsairs and buccaneers [much nodding and smiling at us as the historical opposition of English and French interests was discussed – in vain did we protest that we were Irish and, historically, even less in favour of British naval supremacy than the French]. The children went careering around the deck in a spirited attempt to throw themselves overboard or at the very least hang themselves from the rigging.
A trip into the town led to Michael falling in love with a small bear in a tourist shop which he promptly named “Pooky the Second”. I said that if he still wanted him in the morning, we would buy him. Michael spent the remainder of the evening saying disconsolately “Pooky the Second” and a considerable portion of the next morning until, inevitably we purchased him. Yeah, go on, despise me.
Sunday, August 12
We shunned the breakfast buffet in the hotel on the grounds that it would have cost â‚¬50 for the five us. We had a lovely breakfast at a cafe inside the walled town instead. Since this cost â‚¬47 our saving was not as significant as we had hoped but on the plus side, it meant we were in town early and the tourists were fewer as we walked around the ramparts.
Also, of course, we were re-united with Pooky the Second. And his friend Jojo who had to be purchased for parity of esteem reasons.
Then, onwards to the ferry. Mr. Waffle brought the children to the cinema while I dined in solitary state in the waiter service restaurant with a copy of Saturday’s Irish Times. Oh the virtues of a kind husband.
Monday, August 13
The return. We were all glad to get back. We stopped for lunch in the Courtyard in Ferns where the food was fine and we were reminded that Irish people really are very friendly. The bar staff were lovely after a fortnight of slighty haughty French service.
Stay tuned for our trip to Kerry. Go on, you know you want to [insert hollow laugh here].