After 2,072 miles I arrived home on Tuesday at 1.00 pm exactly. It is a relief to be back after all my bike and passport problems.
First thing this morning I woke up in my old bedroom in Mum and Dad's house. I heard Dad getting up at about 7.45 and amazingly, all the sounds of doors opening and closing, footsteps in the hall were very familiar to me from when I was growing up - it was as if I'd never left the house. Dad and I had breakfast of tea and Mum's brown bread about which he said to me "I firmly believe that I'd be dead long ago if it wasn't for this brown bread" - good on you Mum! We had a great chat and planned a trip next week to Newmarket where his parents PJ O'Loughlin and Kathleen Hurley were from (more about this in a later post).
The last leg of my trip was the 100km from Ballingate, via Arklow, to Blackrock - home. I stopped off at Uncaged in Arklow to check out the brakes and front tire - they should be able to complete the job next week. I'll bring the bike to them this Friday on my trailer as I am going down to Wexford for the next few days. While I'll be without the bike for a few days, at least it will be in my own control and I'll be only a few miles away.
At home, there were great preparations underway for the girls heading off in their various directions. As I write this post, Vicki is in the Gaeltacht at Coláiste Columba - she hasn't got to stay in the same house as her friend which did not get things off to a good start. I hope she stays the distance (3 weeks) - this is the same school that Claire got sent home from for speaking English.
Claire is in Amsterdam on the first leg of her Interrail Trip across Europe - she and a group of about 15 pals are heading to Greece via Holland, Germany, Poland, and down through central Europe.
Kate is off today to Clongowes Wood College in Newbridge for a French Camp - that means Eugene and Roma are on their own for over two weeks! This will be the first time without the kids for this length of time since Claire was born nearly 20 years ago! I wonder what we'll do?