Tribe of the Ring Fort

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What Happened in June

We pretty much just rolled along in June, although we started to get a bit tense about finding decent jobs. Toward the end of the month, Barry found work he likes, and I've done a bit of temping while continuing to search. Susannah finished the school year, and we are both very proud of how well she's done. She attended three different schools, and settled in really well to each one.

Sus spends a lot of time on the beach, collecting crabs and other sea life at low tide. We often make a temporary aquarium using a wading pool and buckets of seawater. We fill it with seaweed, rocks, crabs, starfish, anemones, sand eels, mussels, periwinkles, limpets, whelks and the occasional fish. We return everything to the sea within a day or so.

Barry and I are getting to know Cork City and the surrounding area pretty well. I really like Cork; the city is big enough to have a lot going on, but it's not overwhelming at all. We've found some good restaurants (HOORAY!), and the shopping downtown is great. The City Centre is an island, where the River Lee splits. It's a good city for walking. Cobh is one of the few places with train service into the city, and it's great to have that available & not deal with downtown parking.

Barry got a job after he shaved off his beard. Along the way, he experimented with different looks.

The harbour in front of our house:

Life on the beach:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What Happened in May

Okay, I’ve been a blogging slacker. Here are the recent highlights:

Barry went to the U.S. (Massachusetts and Vermont) for a weekend at the end of April. I’ll let him post about that trip.

He took our camera with him, otherwise I’d be able to post pictures of the two dolphins that Susannah and I saw swimming in the harbour in front of our house. Since it was high tide, they were roughly 10 metres from our living room. On second thought, I have a TERRIBLE track record of photographing dolphins. I’d probably be posting a picture of a little piece of fin sticking out, with a circle drawn around the little dark bit so you could see what I was talking about. Lis and Carrie were still staying with us, so Carrie saw them, too. Lis hates dolphins.

Lis & Carrie in our front garden:

A typical shot I take of a dolphin, not the one in front of our house, but who could tell?

Lis and Carrie left that weekend, and we still miss them. Lis & Carrie, if you read this, Susannah wants you to create a fancy hair do when we’re in Vermont in August.

Mom and Dad came to visit, travelling here with Barry. We had a great time, visiting Blarney Castle (I’m very proud of Mom climbing to the top of the castle), the Dingle Peninsula and Cork City, and exploring Great Island (where we live). Susannah had been a bit homesick, so the timing was excellent.

Blarney Castle:

At the top:

Me and my huge camera

Conor Pass, Dingle Peninsula:

Mom in our front garden:

I went to Norway for four days with Mom and Dad. Mom’s mother was from Norway, and this was the second time Mom had visited. One of the cousins from my generation gave a smorgasbord on our first evening there, so we could meet everyone (or in Mom’s case, get reacquainted). The next day, Mom’s cousins Knut and Svein took us out on Knut's sailboat for the day. Wow – sailing on a fjord. Fantastic, especially when combined with a picnic and champagne. We ate dinner in a small town on the Oslo Fjord, and spent the evening at Knut and Else Margrete's house.

Mom's cousin Einar with cousins of my generation Hulda and Erik (Øystein's kids)

Svein Rune (host of the smorgasbord and Einar's son) and Svein (another of mom's cousins)

3 brothers: Svein, Øystein, Knut (mom's cousins)

My cousin Ingard -
He and his sister Laila have the coolest accents I've ever heard, a combination of Australian and Norwegian

Mom and Svein on Knut's sailboat

A toast while on the fjord. Skål!

We had planned our trip around May 17, Norway's Independence Day. We went to the parade in Oslo, travelling in by train (the trains are lovely, as you might expect). Everyone dresses up for the parade, spectators as well as participants. Everyone who has traditional clothing wears it, and each outfit is specific to a town or village so we saw hundreds of different costumes. Here's a picture of Knut (Eldbjørg) and Else Margrete - her beautiful outfit includes a woolen jacket (and a matching hat she didn't wear that day) that is over 100 years old. Knut tells me that if you are invited to a formal gathering & don't have a tux or fancy dress, it's always appropriate to wear your trad outfit. After the parade, we had lunch at a restaurant in Oslo with Else Margrete, Knut, and their daughters Silje and Stine. Again, fantastic food. We went to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, then back to Knut's house for dinner. Here are some links to the sculpture park (cut and paste):

Else Margrete and Knut

At the Vigeland Sculpture Park

Mom and Dad went home the day after we returned from Norway. For the rest of the month, Barry and I continued our job search, Susannah went to school, and we explored the coast of County Cork.

Near Youghal:

COMING SOON: What happened in June