Wednesday 6 July 2011

Golf in Gort

The decent weather (for the west of Ireland that usually means not raining, but it was in fact quite sunny and warm) returned on the Monday. Angus was fascinated by the cows, sheep, horses and tractors in the nearby fields, requesting to be lifted on to stone walls so he could see them. He took me, then his Papa, then his Nana on a walk up the road to see the "hosses" and waved to the farmer passing in his tractor.

We drove the ten minutes by back roads to Gort Golf Club for lunch. Not a great menu, it has to be said. I just had chips. Michael and I played a round of golf while the rest went to Coole Park. The boys complained as, surprise, surprise, there was no playpark, just woodland walks and gardens. Michael and I both scored 31 points (each of us playing off 18) at the golf. I hit four pars and chipped in but my attempts at using one of the drivers I borrowed from Derek were not conduicive to shooting a good score so I reverted back to my cheap metal 3 after losing two balls on the tenth hole. Gort was a decent course, reasonably hilly but well laid out.

Tuesday morning ebbed away in a mix of long lies, lazy breakfasts, jigsaws and DVDs. After an early lunch we drove into Galway. We wandered along the rocks at Salthill then went into Leisureland. Angus had a blast, as the kiddie pool was an ideal height for him to plough about and easily recover if he fell. He must have gone round the galleon and down the little water chute ("slide, slide!") about thirty times. The big three went down the big water slide with Sharon and were also on the pedaloes in the big pool. We were all very prune-like by the time we elected to leave, but at the prices charged in Irish swimming pools you have to get your money's worth! The journey home was broken by a quick visit to Dunnes (enough to stop boys from sleeping all the way home) to buy new jammies for the big three. Sean and Finn's pyjamas have been in a shocking state with Sean looking like a ragamuffin.

Sharon and I took the opportunity to go out for tea as Edel and Marie were able to babysit. We headed into Kinvara, to the Merriman Hotel and had a decent pub grub type dinner in the bar. Sharon seemed to enjoy her two pints of Guinness! I've been trying to stay off the alcohol as my gout flared up at the start of last week having also put in an unwelcome guest appearance while we were in Italy.

On Wednesday morning we bade farewell to Edel and Barry and drove up to Athlone, me propped up on cushions in the rear of the car next to Sean as we were carrying a passenger more than we had seats for. Pete and Tracy were in Ireland, over from Dubai, their new home, so we arranged to meet up with them in Ardilaun. It was good to see them and the children all had a good run around while Sharon made up a bolognese and Marie baked some curreny buns. We need to figure out if we can afford a trip out to see them in Sharjah - and if we could survive a seven-hour flight with Angus, Rowan and Finn. Sean would manage I'm sure. The rain finally arrived as we drove back down to County Galway, accompanied by The Adventures of Tom Trueheart, a fine audio book that has been keeping us all entertained on the drive so far.

We located the Busy Bees soft play in Oranmore and the boys had a blast, especially on the bouncy castle and in the football zone. Sean's kicking of a ball has improved of late. All were wet with sweat as we drove back to Kinvara. We stopped off at the Pizza Cafe on the quayside where I had a rare gluten-free pizza and Rowan was noisy. I took Angus for a walk round the quay ("boat, boat!") while the others finished their hot chocolates and biscuits. He's a great wee lad and has been really enjoying his holiday. The others are too, but you notice his reactions to a new environment more than theirs. Once home, all four were put in the free-standing bath - that's unlikely to happen again unless we come across a very big bath!

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