Friday, May 27, 2011

eire travel

I have been back from Ireland for a week now and the time with my brother and his family was too short.

This is just a post to say I have landed back in Cardiff. I will post more with some photos, probably next week, as I'm a little crunched for time right at the moment and the library is closed for three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) next week for another bank holiday. (The library is usually closed on Sunday -- not sure why it is taking two days for one bank holiday.)

It's hard to believe it's almost June. After a lovely, warm and sunny March and April, May has been quite cool and overcast. The weather in Ireland was typically cloudy and rainy as well. I am getting tired of wearing sweaters (or jumpers, as they say here) all the time, but I did move to the U.K., so what else should I expect?

Ah, but the sun is shining now in a relatively cloudless sky, despite a cold north wind. I'm facing a busy weekend at work, with my days off upcoming on Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Land of half of my ancestors

On Friday I am heading for a four-day visit to Ireland to meet up with my brother Kelly and his entire grown family (and respective partners) who are flying in to Shannon Airport from Detroit, Chicago and Boston for a bicycling holiday. Actually, my brother is in Austria at the moment on a European business trip, and will be flying in from Germany, I think.

Though our Irish ancestors came from Wexford County in the late 1800s, south of Dublin on Ireland's east coast, we are touring the much-heralded west coast. (On the maternal side of the family, the line is solidly French, with two Baillargeon brothers heading to Quebec from western France in the 1650s. Whew! Quel adventure!)

I am not certain Ireland will surpass the beauty of Wales, but it will probably come close.

I've been working hard for the last seven months non-stop, so this break is long overdue. It will be more than fantastic to see my sister-in-law Wendy, my nephews and niece Shane, Kate and Michael, and their partners Neil and Katie, and to 'discover Ireland.'

Time to pack!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ma bicyclette

I haven't blogged much lately as the weather has been gorgeous and I've been soaking up sunshine on my days off. I've been taking some reading and have headed to explore and relax respectively along the banks of the River Taff (in Bute Park), along the Barrage (at Cardiff Bay), and 'lakeside' at the delightful Roath Park.

I know previously I didn't give Roath high marks as a destination, but with the warmer weather, it has won my heart. It is closest to my flat and is lovely in the evenings or on a hot day with families enjoying the boats for rent and birds nesting everywhere. It is also a perfect place for reading with benches every twenty feet.

And, to further embrace the spring, I have made claim to 'une bicyclette' that lay abandoned in my shared patio. At first I thought it belonged to the students next door, but when they seemed to do a personnel change mid-winter, and then proceeded to dump garbage around the bike, I realized the bike was ownerless.

The bike is now safe in my flat and, despite being out all 'winter' runs perfectly fine. It is a bit rusty, and I'm sure needs a tuneup, but it is just the right size (a miracle!) and lets me feel the freedom of the road and the wind in my hair.