Diane's '10

2010 Where did it go?

I spent it here in the apartment, at the farm down the street, around town, around the island, around the other islands, and on the continent.

The beginning of January found us back in Ireland after spending last Christmas in Barcelona. The end of that month found us on a train to Belfast, to enjoy Giants' hockey and Cathedral Quarter red ale. Water pipes froze and burst, and people had issues driving and flying. It was just another winter to gently acclimatize the island for the winter to follow.

In February, a group of us went on a ski vacation to Mayerhofen in Austria for a week to enjoy good food, good company, sauna, steam, and snow! Not to mention TV coverage of the winter Olympics and post-ski trip Gold Medal hockey and pizza. It was so enjoyable that we may have to make the pilgrimage again this year.

March and April saw the lambs born and me planting up my little allotment in Airfield, thanks to the generous head gardener. The produce that eventually made it to relative maturity was quite expensive to produce: 50 euro plus gifts and trades, and about 10 hours for approximately 5-10 lbs of beets, 2-3 lbs tiny little onions, 5-7 lbs potatoes (pulled early as I was too lazy to spray for blight), various herbs, way too much rhubarb, one carrot, and some leeks that are currently in the plot at their peril. I think I'll do balcony tomatoes from seed again - 'Gardener's Delight' are the bestest! The lettuces were a win though - cheap and long-lived - I got quite a few very tasty salads out of them. I also had a little strawberry patch that brought me a disproportionate amount of joy upon finding one juicy red treasure.

March also contained two trips up to Ashbourne RFC for some hot port and Six Nations women's rugby: I got some pics of the 'Ireland v Wales' and 'Ireland v Scotland' games. And fans under umbrellas with warm drinks!

Lots of our friends came out to see my first spring concert with Dublin County Choir downtown. We did Beethoven's 'Mass in C' and Rossini's 'Stabat Mater', plus the world premier of the Magnificat one of our basses wrote in Irish. :) Before the concert I was fed dinner at one of my favourite restaurants. During the break I got a text from Jenny saying that her rugby team had won their division final! And afterward I had a pint and a few more songs with the choir crew. Hard to top that, but I'm excited for it again this year.

The spring and summer were absolutely gorgeous in Dublin this year! May was just lovely. It started out with a long weekend trip with my exit buddy around the ring of Kerry with stops at Killarney National Park, Muckross House, Torque Waterfall, some lovely restaurants and B&Bs, and as luck would have it, a walk on Skellig Michael on a warm, sunny day.

June was a very busy month indeed. We were in Prague for our second anniversary, visiting Morgan's parents and cousins. There was a weekend in London with Morgan's folks, strolling around St. James' Park and Hampton Court. At the end of the month we travelled up to Donegal for the Sea Sessions music festival and a few mornings of surf lessons. Bundoran was the place to be that weekend. The ruggers were there in fancy dress, doing what they do best. The bands were battling. The surf was... salty!

During the summer, I fell in with some hill walkers through a choir friend, and thus got to experience parts of Wicklow I would never have otherwise seen. They are lovely and helpful and welcoming; if only you have a sturdy pair of hiking boots, bring water, a snack and maybe some rain gear, boy do I have a hook-up for you! I think the camera is going to have to come along for the next round of walking. Relative to the spike in photography interest last spring/summer, progress has definitely been slow, and since Morgan has a fancy new camera body, that should pick up again in the coming months.

At the end of August, my mom came over to Dublin and we were to be found somewhere around these isles throughout September and into October. We saw Riverdance and ANUNA while in Dublin, spent a day seeing the old passage tombs at Newgrange, and went kayaking in Howth harbour. Our UK road trip took us over on the ferry from Dun Laoghaire to Holyhead, through north Wales, through the Peaks, to York, across the Dales to the Lakes, then down to Warwick, Bath, and back to Wexford via the south of Wales. I will make this new year's resolution: I will create a separate post for all you adventurers to consult should your future path cross that of my past.

And the traveling wasn't quite over! My dear friend Celine very kindly had us to stay with her in Switzerland, and we ate some very tasty noms: fondue, sausage, confections, and chestnuts that we gathered ourselves. I'm also completely spoiled by the local wine. My wine life will never be the same. And I love to meander around with Morgan, enjoying a bit of scenery. Also, would recommend the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and CERN in Geneva. Celine even came over to Dublin for a few days of rain and wind and excursions that did not nearly compare to our adventures in Vaud. Please come back in the summer, Celine!

Then teh travellingz slowed down and the only other places we went were over to Newcastle to see Joanna and catch a soccer game, and Glasgow and Aviemore to see Brasstronaut.

Once home, I decided it was finally time to join the Belvo rugby gals, so I signed up and started showing up for the Tuesday/Thursday night training sessions. My first game was down the road in Arklow, and though I only played half of it, I got muddied right away and had a few plays I felt alright about. Jenny thinks it's funny that because the development team (that's me) trains with the first division squad, we tend to do little things well, like ball presentation, but we're not great at the basics, like running and passing and scoring. :) Most of the time, I just stand around trying to figure out what's going on. And whenever the other team gets the ball and scores, I like to congratulate them for the hard work and dedication I can't be bothered to muster. Don't worry, though, the girls are teaching me, slowly but surely.

Other than that, I've been enjoying my two mornings a week on the farm, visits with the girls, outings with the groups, games with the boys. Pigs. Cows. Picnics. Tea. Beersbieques. Yoga. Monday/Wednesday choir, Tuesday/Thursday rugby. Gardening. Laundry. Eating. Sleeping. Karl has very kindly given me a loan of his viola and I have discovered that it is quite impossible to play, let alone hold properly. I've done a few bits with the choir committee and made a lot of cookies to take along to the farm. I've been to the Mill Theatre and the movies a few times. And the pub lots of times! Apart from that, it's gone from the season of frozen pipes and running out of hay, to the season of frozen pipes and running out of hay, and life goes quite pleasantly on.

Diane