Friday 5 July 2013

Tuam visit

On Thursday we made the trip west to Tuam, stopping in to see Granny Coen in her nursing home. The boys were relatively well behaved, but marshalling them in an environment of very elderly and frail people is always a bit fraught. From there we went to Annette and Frank's for a splendid lunch in their new kitchen and conservatory. Sean, Rowan, Angus and I had a good play in the garden with a ball. Rowan came off worse in a few tussles for the ball, leading him to parrot my phrase "Don't go in for a 50-50 ball with Angus", his younger brother being fully committed to the play! We dropped in to TJ's to see Ursula and her latest arrival. TJ and Kitty's big new house ("This is a mansion!" proclaimed Rowan) built on the site of Uncle Bill Burns' land was packed full of children and our boys were packed full of lunch, so they rather sedately watched TV. Angus went exploring though and found the duck pond, through the other side of Uncle Bill's old house, now renovated and extended as TJ's office and sheep tag production facility.

Next we drove down to Cortoon, to the graveyard, to visit a number of the family graves. Sharon was speaking of Granny Mary Gormley and Joe and Uncle Bill and Gabrielle when Rowan got very tearful and sad, so sad in fact that, as we were tidying up Billy's grave, he was insisting on leaving Pooh Bear there, in between howling sobs. Maybe he's just getting the "death is permanent" thing but he was inconsolable on the way back to the car, until his hysterics started to become funny, they were so ridiculous. We calmed him down in time for our (late) arrival at Rosarie and Pat Flatleys' for dinner. They have a quieter house now that all five children have moved on. It was good to see them and tuck into our second big meal of the day while the boys played down the hall.

We returned to Athlone after a long day on the road to Galway, tired but having enjoyed a day of visiting.

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