The last few weeks seem to have blown through this household in a blur of broken arms, end of term school concerts, trips etc., lots of car trouble, including the one where the horn sounds every time you bear left!! School finally broke up on Friday (Thursday for us as we finished a day early due to making a mistake with our ferry booking). We spent the weekend in Ireland, visiting family up in Belfast and attending my Uncle's 70th birthday family reunion party down in County Tyrone. The party was attended by over 100 of my closest relatives! An incredible occasion and I am so glad that my children got to be part of something like this and to get a sense of their place in the world. With ages ranging from 93 down to a few months it was fascinating to meet relatives I had only ever heard stories of and never met. It was lovely to see so many of my first cousins together and to see our children playing with each other. The party took place in a rambling house in a beautiful part of Northern Ireland close to wear my mother and her family were brought up.
We managed to spend a day mooching around Dublin on our way back home. I spent "manys the weekend" in Dublin during my teens, it was near enough to visit on a whim but the act of crossing the border and using different currency made if feel fabulously foreign to us Belfast girls. We saw bands, attended rugby matches, browsed the posh shops, suppped some Guiness and fell in and out of love many times. Both Dublin and Belfast have changed a great deal since my days out on the town but I daresay the appeal of the "foreign" remains the same.