This year was an outstanding success. Twelves years of experience came to a head.
Niamh as usual had worked wonders and found the ideal holiday home. Four double ensuite rooms suited Dermot, Céin & Kat, Tadhg, and Ryan & Nicola together with Nell and Seb who were so popular with everyone.
The Granny flat. Oisín & Bianca with their little bundle of smiles, Mila, occupied the granny flat. All happy.
No room for Grandad Flor though. He causes problems every year. No worry! Clíona made her home, in Dungarvan, available for him and Ger and she went to stay with her Mam, Niamh.
Kelly, Emma even managed a visit there also. Thank you Clíona. One in a million, no doubt at all.
Jonathan , Emma’s boyfriend settled for B & B. Alan managed to find a bed on a a couch in the holiday home in Ring.
All the Ring families were lucky to have their own beds. Everybody accommodated. Everyone to their own time. All happy.
Saturday 22nd. July, 2017. Ger drove me down from Dublin.
Dermot, Ryan, & Nicola with Nell and Seb, followed by Tadhg, Céin and Kat arrived in Dublin, by boat or air, and drove down to Ring. When we arrived Oisín and Bianca were already settled in. A good start to a lovely week.
Sunday. Pattern Day in Ardmore. Not to be missed. Off we went in force. Place packed but we managed to hijack the usual spot on the beach and on the adjoining wall. Nice day. Kids had great time. All had chips. ( sshhh. Don’t ask about the curries! )
At home we had a barbie, food provided by Niamh, with Oisín doing the cooking. Lovely. This was repeated over the next few nights with a variety of helpers.
Monday. Down the Faíll. Everybody going? Not for the faint hearted. Grandad Flor was excluded.
This is a lovely cove in Ring. No easy access. Have to climb down.Not easy with children. Has to be timed for tides or may be cut off. Everybody, who goes, says it is worth it. Have to take their word for it.
To compensate Grandad, Ger took him for a walk on the new Greenway between Dungarvan and Waterford. Had a short walk to the railway tunnel. Well worth the effort.
Tuesday. Went to Mahon’s Falls in the Comeragh mountains. Bianca’s choice. Bianca, Oisin’s partner, is from Sweden and loved her last visit. This is a waterfall at a valley end. Very rocky but can be climbed. Very popular with the younger crowd. The walk from car park to the falls was a family effort helping and resting with Grandad Flor. All the babies made it too. We were lucky. As we left a cloud started descending on the falls.
Wednesday. Céin and Kat had to go home. Work commitments. Kat is from London and was on her first visit to Ireland. Climbed the Falls with Céin and loved it. Says she will come again. Not put off by all the mad goings on.
Céin, Kat, Tadgh, Shellie, Cliona.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing, at the holiday home. Kids had a great day.
To finish off the day in style, Nicola with a little help from Ryan and Tadgh treated us to a wonderful mouth- watering shepherd’s pie.
Thursday. The Greenway day. After great discussions about possible rickshaws or wheelchairs for Grandad Flor. He was excluded. Bikes for everybody else. Nell and Seb shared a tow cart. Callum and Ronán shared another. They cycled from Durrow to Dungarvan. This includes a 300metre tunnel, an open causeway through Dungarvan bay, and a bridge over land dips, with lovely views. Everybody happy. Bianca and Oisín cooked a lovely Lasagne. Delicious.
Friday. Getting near the end. Tadgh had to go home that afternoon. Work. Followed by Oda, Fionn’s daughter, who also had to go home. She was celebrating her 21st birthday on the 30th, and had promised to spend it at home in Oslo with her Mam, Elin, and family. She had spent many of her birthdays in Ireland with us.
Ger, with a little help from her girls, produced a lovely Bolognaise that evening and we spent the last night recalling all the old family tales etc. Some red ears no doubt.
Saturday. . Dermot was leaving early. He was driving to Dublin to catch the Boat at 2.50pm. All packed, with Ryan and Nicola and the babs. As tradition demands, all up to Niamh’s house, for an Irish breakfast. Not usually at 9am but just as nice. A good send off by all Niamh’s family with a few extras, as usual. Derm left at 10.30, to catch the boat, and Ger and Grandad Flor, shortly after. Great send off. A few tears too. A great finish to a lovely week👏👍.
Or so we thought.!!!
This story will, no doubt, be repeated for many years to come. Might as well tell it all now. Can hear them, ten years on. “ Do you remember all the hassle? Ryan was it? What year was that?” And so on.
Having cleaned up after the breakfast, Niamh, together wit Cliona and Caoilfionn, had gone down to the holiday home to tidy up etc. When Clíona was in a bedroom she found Ryan’s laptop in a bag. Panic. He keeps work, indeed everything on it. Phoned him and all goes wild. They have gone too far to return. They must catch the boat.
Niamh takes charge and phoned Ger. She is now in Waterford 30 miles away. No time to come back either. Niamh solves it, we hoped. Asked Ger to wait at Waterford and Seadhna was sent to meet her there. Ok that worked. It was by then 12.30 pm. 100 miles to Dublin, usually a 2hour journey, followed by a tedious drive through the city centre to the dock lands.
Derm kept phoning Ger to see where she was each time. At one stage, Derm was driving through the city and was being frustrated by the delay. Decided that Ger should drive out to Dublin airport and then take the tunnel to Dublin port. Longer, but should avoid the heavy traffic.
In the meantime Derm had arrived at the terminal and was not allowed to queue for the boat, as access on foot not allowed, but was allowed to await outside the loading gate until it was being closed to latecomers. Had decided that if that arose, Ryan would stay outside the gate and then book as a foot passenger, as they had more time. After that the option was for Ryan to fly home. Not ideal.The only bright spot was that they found out that we had until 3.10 pm.
However all their worry was unnecessary. Ger pulled wonders. Would not let Grandad see the speedometer and arrived as they were still outside.the gate. The relief all round, unbelievable. Ryan saw his bag on the back seat and took it out through Ger’s window. Seadhna had put it in the same thing to save time. Ger never even touched it. No delay. Worth it all.
Great family effort altogether.