Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Invading Ardilaun

The plan for Sunday had been to celebrate Marie & Michael's fortieth wedding anniversary with a special home-cooked dinner but Olivia has unfortunately been sidelined with a virus and is in hospital at the moment so we were one short for the full complement. Edel and Alan appeared (with Louie the dog, which caused Finn some consternation) and Joe Gormley put in an appearance with Nan and Frankie later in the afternoon.

Sharon cooked up an excellent selection of curries: prawn and mango-stuffed lettuce leaves for starter then a choice of chicken and pineapple curry or Trinidadian beef curry made with fabulous, melting beef shin, accompanied by lemony mashed turnips and rice. A fine meal indeed and we were all stuffed by the end of it.

I got a couple of rounds of golf in on Saturday and Sunday, playing with Michael at the now-lengthened Athlone course. It's a tough test in the stiff breeze, being around 6600 yards off the medal tees. There's a 570-yard dog-leg par 5 with out-of-bounds on the right and an approach to a narrow green over water followed by a 190-yard par 3 into the breeze, again over water. My better-ball score over the two days was ten over par with a couple of birdies and a couple of chip-ins so I played reasonably well and enjoyed it. Having my own clubs made a big difference.

On Monday we took the boys swimming with Finn eager to show Edel his forward roll in the water. Rowan went under a couple of times as he tried to stomp off across the baby pool and was bellowing belligerently any time we tried to take a ball (which wasn't his) off of him. After lunch, Sharon and I drove up to Dublin to see Olivia who isn't in the best of fettle although she perked up a little when some of her gang also arrived.

Sharon and I had our one brief slot of time together with a rushed but tasty meal at the Porterhouse before she dropped me off at the airport. I flew back to Edinburgh and bussed home before thankfully plunging into a bed in a quiet house. As is often the case at Ardilaun, the wooden floors upstairs and Rowan's easily disturbed sleep had made for some disrupted sleep for the rest of us. Pity Sharon who is the primary carer for the next week.

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