Monday, June 24, 2013

Currently

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Two different hikes in the last two weeks. Black Hill in Wicklow with beautiful views of the Blessington Lakes above. And below, Glendalough, a glacial valley with a monastic settlement... A really amazing place!

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Thinking about: How lucky and happy I am. It's a good summer!

Making me happy: Minding Ódhran for the afternoon. He's only six months but he's already such a big boy! And every time I see him, he's grown so much, I can't keep up!

Looking forward to: I'm going to Sweden this evening for a conference and then a week's holiday with my family who live there. I'm so excited!! I'll be in Lund, Gothenburg and Copenhagen. The conference should be fairly interesting and it'll be so nice to see family I haven't seen in a few years! 

Reading: Inheritance, the last book of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I read the first three books years ago, before Inheritance was released so decided to reread them all again over the last few months. I'm still unsure about the series... I like the premise and the characters, but I'm starting to think this last book is a bit sloppy in a way. Still though, I am enjoying it!

Watching: Nothing really. I have a lot of shows I want to watch, but I've taken a bit of a break from TV. I'm spending a lot more time in the evenings relaxing, reading and writing. I find that all this helps me sleep much better than sitting in front of the TV for hours before I crawl into bed.

Listening to: World War Z on audiobook while I run... I've had to cut back the running as my knee has been giving me hell so am listening to this slowly but it lends itself really well to a chapter or two a week.

Inspired by Danielle.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hello Sunshine!

Ireland had it's summer two weeks ago.
For a whole week!!
It was stunning.

Salthill in Summer - 03

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I was out every lunchtime and evening, soaking up all the vitamin D, making the most of it.

I cycled to Barna Woods one evening, where everything was the most striking emerald green.

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We went to the beach on Sunday afternoon and nearly froze ourselves in the icy water... Before, y'know, acclimatising.

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It was an awesome week and I want more of it!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The wonders of Connemara...

I had a friend visit awhile ago. She's from Oregon, but is currently working in Belfast and had never been in Galway before. We went on a bus tour of Connemara so she could see the West of Ireland at it's finest.
It did not disappoint.

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I've been to these places and down these roads before and it's really breathtaking every time! Having someone beside me saying 'wow' at every turn really reminded me that I live in the most beautiful corner of a beautiful country.

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The highlight of the tour was Kylemore Abbey, an old castle turned boarding school turned Benedictine Community. Visitors can see a few rooms in the castle, done as they were in the 19th century, visit the Gothic church and stroll through the Victorian gardens. The castle is nestled between a mountain and a lake, while more mountains can be seen near and far.

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I really don't think a trip to Ireland is complete without a trip to Galway and Connemara!

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sicily!!

Paul and I were in Sicily a few weeks ago... Wow, it was an experience! We flew into Palermo and spent two nights there before getting a train to Cefalú, a super pretty beachside town.

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Being honest, we weren't too keen on Palermo. It was an interesting city, but it was also dirty, graffiti-ridden and... raw. We walked all through the city on our first full day, through large avenues, tiny winding streets and awesome markets.

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These markets were cool! Lots of tat and trinkets and stalls full of the most vibrant vegetables you've ever seen. And fish! Huge steaks of tuna and swordfish or whole fish ready to be filleted! On one stall was the head of a swordfish, sword attached, upright as a sort of shop sign - 'we sell swordfish, only swordfish!'

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Cefalú was a treat! It's a very small town, so we walked down more tiny winding streets at least three times each, sat in cafes drinking coffee and beer, relaxing on beaches watching the tide flow in and out and ate the most amazing dinners and lunches... It was special.

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We did nothing and that's exactly what we wanted!
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