Monday 11 July 2011

Parting of the ways

Saturday morning saw us pack up and leave the house by 10am. It was a fine size of house for us and we were able to accommodate visitors too, so we're keen to return in the future. Sharon headed off with Marie and the lads to visit Granny Coen and the Tuam side of the family. They lunched at Rosarie's and also saw Aunty Spaghetti (Annette) and Aunty Birdie (Bernie). Vinnie popped up too, so Finn and Rowan were playing with Luke, who kept calling Angus a "gerbil!" You'd worry if you were up against a gerbil Angus's size!

Later they went on to see Marie's cousin, Michael Gormley and his father Jarlath, brother of Joe Gormley. The boys had some ready playmates, with Rowan as ever mucking straight in to play with Ruadháin (his Irish equivalent). Much to the boys' delight there was a fine spread of sweets and cakes on offer!

Meanwhile, Michael and I drive up to Athlone, had lunch and then slogged our way around Athlone Golf Club, neither of us playing particularly well. It's a long course and I was striking my three wood well off both tee and fairway but some wayward drives on the back nine led to four lost balls and a hefty score. I managed four pars, including the long par 4 16th, so there were a few flashes of decent golf but my wedge play was poor.

We all met up back at the house for a dinner cooked by me. The boys had more fun playing in the cul-de-sac with the Murtagh children then we eventually got them off to bed. Sharon and I were up with Angus and set off at 0930 the next morning, bidding farewell to the big three who were staying on for an extra week. "We'll be crying when you go," vowed Sean, "crying tears of joy!" The drive to Belfast via Dublin on the new roads is so much quicker than before. We were in plenty time for the 1330 sailing to Stranraer.

Angus had a good wander round and about the ship, both inside and on deck. We ate, he played in the soft play and clambered over games machines and eventually we docked in Stranraer around 1630. This may be the last time we do so, as the new Stena Line RoRo port at Cairnryan will soon be completed. (I've just realised RoRo is not in honour of Angus's name for his big brother but must stand for "roll-on, roll-off.") However, this may force us to go the Glasgow route which takes forever to get to Ayr, thanks to the bends and the average speed cameras. Once past Ayr it's quick on a Sunday evening but the first half of the journey was interminable. Angus was a great lad all the way home, not complaining at all. We even headed to Swanston Golf Club for dinner as he was full of beans (and fish and chips).

The house was safe and sound. Not a surprise really, but as we began to hear tales of thunderstorms, torrential downpours and flooding in Morningside, we were glad to find everything intact.

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