Sunday 28 June 2009

Let's start at the very beginning...

Hola! Where do I begin? The flight was FULL and left on time. Jess and Kirstin managed to get seats next to each other but Malcolm and I were scatterlings of Ryanair - he upfront and me near the tail. I got a middle seat, between two guys from USA on their way to Palma to celebrate a 40th birthday party. We had a great flight, J the 6'1" guy was really nervous of flying which was highly amusing because he is a pilot - well in training and only in little planes! By the end of the flight I had been invited to join the 40th birthday party celebrations - with 91 guests I guess another bod is no big deal!
We landed 30 minutes early - half an hour extra holiday I cheered, little did we know the inefficiency that is Palma airport meant that the 30 minutes were spent waiting for stairs for the plane! Ah well. No amend that too...another 3o minutes wasted waiting for our luggage - I think Palma owe me an hour.
Next was the car hire and that really peed me off. We had to go to a central meeting point and find a person in a yellow shirt. It felt a little like the Amazing Race- which incidentally I have discovered I would SUCK at. Then we had to go outside and look out for a mini bus that said Centurio (or something close to that) on its side and we would be whisked off to the car hire place 5 minutes from the airport. Sadly we are not as pushy as most of the other families utilizing the car hire service so we miss out on 2 busses (they only hold 6 people – you do the math when faced with mostly FAMILIES) and by the time we get to the car hire place it is 18h45 – and we landed at 17h00!!!
Next is the drive to Pollensa – uneventful besides driving on the WRONG side of the road!
We missed the grocery store by a minute – as I ran in they turned the lights out….right now I hate my Mallorca holiday!
Finding our apartment is slightly challenging – the garmin is not doing her job, but only because it does not recognize the street name we input. The restaurants are overflowing with happy patrons as we drive around aimlessly and my stomach is beginning to remind me that I have not eaten since 13h00. This annoys me because by the time we find our apartment the places will all be closed – it is now close to 22h00…an open Spar! Wahoo – milk, wine, bread, ham, cheese and coffee – sorted!
Stroke of luck! Malcolm asks a woman if she knows where our street is and it turns out we are only a block away, this is superb news and if I had a tail it would be wagging furiously. Once we locate the apartment complex the next trick is finding our door “E” with a key tacked to it. The hunt is over after about 5 minutes with Kirstin triumphantly holding the coveted key. We had also spotted a really great restaurant around the corner that was still open, so after dumping our luggage and Dublin clothes (jeans) we legged it down to dinner.
The restaurant was great, across the road from the sea (of course we soon realized that these are a dime a dozen) and we sat and ate al fresco. I decided to have fish, Dorado was part of the 3 course menu on offer and Malcolm said it was a fabulous game fish. I think a Dorado is a different fish altogether in Mallorca because there was no way the little guy winking up at me from my plate was a game fish – and yes eyeballing me because it was WHOLE!!! Game fish meant a nice fillet or a steak in my mind, not a teeth to tail on my plate affair so I ate it with caution and yes to be honest…long teeth, but I did eat it. Of course I also did leave a fair bit on my plate so there was no way I was missing out on my third course and when they mentioned crème caramel that definitely sealed my calorie counting fate. It was also a spring board to many more dinners ending in something sweet - a habit I do not often indulge in, the constricta style jeans I am wearing today have reminded me of my bad holiday eating habits - ah well.

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Hoooo Boy!

Wow, it has been a while - I just feel like I have nothing interesting to say on my blog..but then I think, did I ever?
Work has been hectic, we have been short staffed for ages so it has been challenging but a new staff member joined a couple of weeks ago. She is still in training and I feel sorry for her because it has been slow going as we still have to do all the usual work and try and teach her!
On Saturday we fly to Majorca/Mallorca (depending on who you are talking to!) for a week of sea, sand and sun and we are looking forward to it immensely. We are staying in a self catering apartment which looks really nice, Malcolm booked our holiday this year so I am just going with the flow. It feels really strange as I am usually the one doing all the organising but now that I am working I do not have as much time on my hands, Malcolm did for a while but now work has got very busy for him too as he is running with a finance project.

Kirstin and Jess are now young ladies, and make me very proud, Kirstin is almost as tall as I am and although she still enjoys her go kart is definitely more of a GIRL. Gone are the days when she did not brush her hair before leaving the house, invariably with a chocolate moustache!
A trip to the mall is not like it used to be, outfits need to be co-ordinated, make up applied (mascara only for Kirstin - have given up saying no) and hair fiddled with. Jess writes her last state exam tomorrow and then the summer holidays begin, although Kirstin has been enjoying her summer holiday since the end of May! Jess has been home when not writing exams and I think she adopted the holiday spirit so I am not sure how keen she is to see her Junior Cert results in September! We have had some fabulous weather and it is really awesome to have daylight until after 22h00...summer in SA may be longer but enjoying daylight for 5 hours after work is brilliant, albeit short-lived!
Now I am afraid it is time to do a bit of cleaning, got home and baked peanut butter chocolate chip biscuits with the needs my help!

Saturday 13 June 2009

Love Actually..

A song from one of my favouite movies...especially because Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are fabulous!!

Monday 1 June 2009

Flora mini marathon - Done and dusted

I did it! Finished the Flora Mini marathon! Before I even began the marathon I had to walk 1.5 km's to my luas stop which was teaming with women in running gear, man paradise!

When I got into Stephens Green I decided to visit the ladies, avoiding porta loos being my primary reason. I battled to get into the shopping centre because of all the people and once I made it up 2 flights of stairs and saw the queue for the ladies I made a hasty exit. I guess 40 000 women clog up a mall with ease...

I walked down Baggott street to the meeting point and nipped into Burger King - no queue for the ladies there! I met up with two of my colleagues and we made our way to the starting point. Interesting!

If you could see the sights I saw! The shoes some wore, would cause the feet to roar! (Sounds a bit like Dr Seuss there) Okay seriously then...for a 10km mini (I know) marathon may I present you with the image of a woman in HEELS - yes I promise it is true. Women walking in skirts, jeans, women looking ready for a night out after the leisurely 10km stroll. Well at least it helped pass the agonising 35 minute wait in the sweltering sun! Katie and I had a good gawk and an even better giggle. And then we were off! I was VERY nervous as Katie had been training and I did not want to get left behind because her husband was looking after my purse and phone (Kirstin did not want me to leave home without a lifeline...for her) so I mentally prepared myself for hell..."When you get that stitch, keep going, when your calf muscles are screaming, keep running, when you can hardly breathe, keep breathing, etcetera" and then I surprised ME. I could jog the course, I discovered that the reason I can only make it around the block is because I start too fast! I run instead of jog. I had a marvellous time! I confess to being very relieved in the beginning because with 40 000 women we actually could not jog but then things began to open up and Katie began to move...and I kept up! In fact I think I could have jogged more than we did! It was extremely hot so we decided to take it easy and did some walking but in truth I wanted to keep practicing my new found ability to JOG!!! Of course being sprayed with water by firemen along the route gave all us ladies that little bit of extra reserve energy required to push on through! I now have my first mini marathon medal and plan to start a little collection I think!

After the marathon I caught the luas home, jam packed full of other sweaty smelly women! In fact I hoped I could make it all the way to Windy Arbour for the odour! I got home (another 1.5km walk I MUST point out) and the first thing I said to Kirstin as she opened the door was "Do I smell?" She sniffed the air rather carefully, came in for a closer whiff and confidently said no. "How about under my pits" I asked lifting my hand to the heavens. She backed away slowly but I really did need to check... and so the poor child came in for a cautious sniff again and a relieved (and surprised) look crossed her face as she declared me smelly free. Perhaps I need to work a little harder next year??


I cannot begin to describe the fabulous feelings that are welling up inside me and all because we are enjoying our fourth day in a row of pure blue skies and marvelous rays of sunshine; according to google this pattern is set to continue until Wednesday, perhaps longer but our home page only give a 3 day forecast.
To attempt putting into words how beautiful Dublin is when the sunshine is difficult, but I think I have raved about it in varying degrees in previous posts.

We have a park across the road from work and on Friday Alan, Artur, Demi and myself all bought sandwiches and went and found a beautiful spot on the grass amongst hundreds of other like minded people and ate our lunch. We soaked up the sun and the atmosphere, appreciating the beautiful day that we had been given.
After work we all headed to Diceys beer garden and I enjoyed a shandy with my team, soaking up the sun again! It was amazing standing there in my short sleeved shirt and skirt, watching people in summery gear streaming into the garden, all the more cheerful because we were looking ahead to the 3 day weekend!

Malcolm was enjoying a sports and social event at The Kingston Hotel near his work and they also sat outside enjoying the first days of summer. Sadly he spent a lot of the beautiful Saturday with a wee thumping in his head but on Sunday he got to enjoy another fab day outdoors playing cricket. This morning he heads off for Mullingar to play cricket again, this time on a private estate, yep some guy with a little bit of money has a cricket ground in his garden where games are played, apparently it is a lovely setting...I bet! Maybe Malcolm will take some pictures today and I can post them on here at a later date.

For now I am off to enjoy another fantastic morning, and a small matter of an unprepared for mini marathon....