Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Today Sarah and I took the bus to Waterford. It takes about an hour to get there and cost me €13 round trip. It was spitting rain all the way there, but we didn't see a bit of rain once we arrived. Yay! We looked around in the shops and almost bought a few things, but then didn't want to carry them around with us, so we settled for looking. I did buy a new Smart Cover for my iPad mini at Argos and then realized I could have waited until I got home as we have an Argos in Wexford, but at least it fit in my handbag, so nothing extra to carry.

Waterford was settled by the Vikings and is the oldest town in Ireland. I took a few pictures around town and you will see some of the Viking influence.

After a bit of walking we realized we were starving and by then it was half twelve so we went to a cute little place with homemade food called Bistro on the Dole. I had chicken soup with vegetables and noodles and Sarah had the potato and leek soup; then we shared a modified shepherds pie (I can't have mashed potatoes, so they served the interesting meat mixture with chips (fries)). It was very tasty.

We went into a really fabulous store called Guineys that had everything from fruit to nuts at very good prices. I definitely want to go back there when we are in a car because there were lots of things I would have bought. I have up until now thought I would not buy a car here, but have now decided that I will in the future. When the house in Michigan is sold and I get my share, I will buy a small used car. I have an off the road parking spot reserved for me at my apartment place and would only use the car for going out of town, but it would surely be handy - and I may as well get used to driving on the left and shifting with my left hand. I do so like learning new things.

Here are more pictures of things that caught my eye in Waterford. I cannot wait to get Photoshop on my laptop so I can straighten and crop my photos, but that will have to wait until I go to visit Michigan in May.

I love gates and doorways

And alleys

This is a retirement home right in the pedestrian friendly part of town. What a great idea.

We didn't have time to see the museum this time, but will go back some time.

Carol Chrisinske - this one is for you!

We actually went to Waterford to go to an auction house to look over the things that are being offered on Monday next. They had some beautiful things, mostly antique furniture, paintings, and mirrors, but I don't think there was anything there that I would bid on. I think they have these auctions periodically and I would like to go check out what is on offer again some time.

We got back home on the bus about half five and stopped in Dunnes to grab a few things before walking home. I heated up a bowl of the stew I made on Monday and yesterday and had a toasted roll with it. I am in for the night. I had a nice visit with my sister, Anne, using FaceTime and caught up on what some of the family is doing for Thanksgiving Day. I talked briefly to my daughter, Dana, yesterday and she was putting up her Christmas tree with a bit of help from their little kitty. I think instead of having named him Thomas they should have called him Trouble. I was hoping to FaceTime with her girls this evening so I could see the tree.

One more photo for you

Hope you had a great day, too, and if you are in the States I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May those of you who have a long weekend enjoy it thoroughly. For those of you who have to work in retail on Black Friday my heart goes out to you.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Another Busy Weekend

On Thursday after swim aerobics and then soup in D'Lush Cafe at the Art Center, Sarah and I walked up to her house, which is just a few blocks up from my place. She has a lovely place and a woman, Siobhan (Shavan) was coming to hang sheers on the doors off the kitchen out to the garden. It was after that visit that we stopped in to visit Katrina, whom I introduced in the last post. While we were visiting her, she told us about a fund raising concert to be held at St. Iberius' Church, not far from my place.

Saturday morning Sarah and I and many more of the TidyTowns group met to plant flowers in the planters all around town. It was extremely cold, but I wore a thermal under my shirt and a hoodie that I didn't mind getting a bit dirty with a hat and gloves and once we got to work I was warm enough. Afterwards a few of us went to O'Brien's for tea (Sarah and I shared an apple tart). When we were walking back home I told her I had pretty much decided it was too cold to go out in the evening for the concert. I spent much of the day in my kick-about clothes reading and then realized that I'd been indoors far too long. I turned on the hot press for a bit and then took a shower and got ready to go for a walk.

The concert was fabulous, but imagine my surprise when Brian Murphy was introduced to find that he wasn't a folk singer, but a baritone and he sang opera - fabulous voice. There was also a folk singer/songwriter, a pianist, a French Horn performance, a reading, a trumpet (no, I think it was a flugelhorn), a poetry reading and a soprano. The soprano sang The Sound of Music theme and it was quite fine. She and the baritone ended the program with a couple of songs in duet. I was really glad that I went. Katrina walked with me as far as my place before heading up the hill to walk her dogs and settle in herself.

Sunday I was lazy all day except for a couple walks for provisions. I made a trip to Heaton's and bought a half dozen rag rugs to use as draft excluders in the window sills. They work quite well. I then walked to Pettit's to buy something for dinner. I started a stew when I got home, but had no carrots. I will finish it tomorrow. I had a chicken and avocado sandwich instead. I finished The Dark and Distant Shore, a multigenerational story that kept my interest throughout. It had quite a bit of historical fact interweaved. I have just begun Brooklyn that was just released as a movie here. It takes place in Enniscorthy, which is in County Wexford, and includes a span of time in Brooklyn, NY.

Today I went to the gym early and then came home and showered and had breakfast, then headed out for the drawing class. This was my first experience. We did value charts and then used easels and charcoal to do value studies of my friend and fellow TidyTown volunteer, Dennis Collins. Big fun.

Here are my results:

Here is my value study. I was supposed to get 12 gradations, but was not totally successful.

This one was a picture from an art book that I used an eraser on to uncover the lights of the drawing. 

The two above were done in my sketchbook with a 2B pencil. I was sitting at a table. These next ones, which are supposed to be of Dennis, were done with charcoal standing at an easel.

This began as a blind contour and then I added to it.

This one is just a mess.

This one I am quite happy with. I was loose and pretty much concentrated  on just the darks and lights.

This afternoon I rewarded myself with a trip to the spa that is part of White's Hotel where my gym is. I spent time in the warm suite - sauna, steam room, and huge swimming pool sized jacuzzi; then dried off and put my unmentionables on and using a provided robe and slippers I relaxed in a special room and visited with a couple of very nice women; this was followed by a pedicure and then a manicure. It was fabulous and members of the gym get a 15% discount. I will definitely be getting a massage there some time in the near future. While I was there I had two cups of herb tea and a small bowl of fresh, chilled fruit. Yum!

Here is the result of my mani/pedi. Because it is too cold to show off my toes, I didn't think they had to match. Love both colors and the young woman who did them was very friendly and very professional.

So what have you been up to this weekend? Did it include some snow? Are the roads clear? Do keep me posted by either leaving a comment here or posting to Facebook. I love to see what you are up to.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Wexford Goings On

This is a very busy time of year here. There is no Thanksgiving to get in the way of Christmas so the shops are full of decorations and the town is beginning to look like holiday time. The one thing I am heartily thankful for is they are not playing Christmas music yet. 

It was quite a cold day here today. I walked over to the Friary where the drawing class is held because Dimitry told me that he would be there at 10 and we would be drawing a still life. It was too cold to hang out for too long. I showed up around 10 minutes before 10 and waited outside until almost quarter past; couldn't wait any longer, so went walking. It is 3ÂșC right now. That is in the high 30s F. I've been out several times today wearing my Trespass jacket. It is perfect for the cold. I even wore a winter hat and gloves this evening. I took my last walk of the day just a bit ago. I was hoping to find the decorations lit up. I am almost certain that they were alight last evening when Sarah and I walked into town in the dark. I sat outside "The Yard" a restaurant and tapas bar for about 1/2 hour waiting for 6 pm to see if that was the magic time when the lights came on, but no luck. Here are a few of the pix I took.

A favorite eating place. They have great tea and goodies.

One of my frequent places to buy necessities for kitchen and gym.

Supposed to be quite a fine pub, but don't sell food, so I haven't been yet.

Lovely butcher shop.

Lights in the side entrance to "The Yard"

Shot of the icicles hanging over the street. Not lit up tonight.

And another lovely decorative element. Can't wait to shoot it when it is lit up.

I've been to the gym three days this week, but didn't walk across the bridge on Tuesday. It was raining when I went out around 10, so I stayed in until it cleared up. I did walk 4 miles that day on my own. Then walked 7.5 on Wednesday. Yesterday I didn't walk much, but met some new people and visited with Sarah. Katrina is a friend of Sarah's whose lives just up the street. She runs a b&b, sings in the choir and is quite the cook/baker from what I gather. She does catering and is planning to make batches of Christmas cakes. She also has hens. I love fowl.

She has these two Rhode Island Reds and just got a new black hen. The new one is in a cage in the house getting used to things.

Here are a couple more pix from my walk earlier in the week:

Swans in the river.

Beautiful tree in Redmond Square. I expect it will be decorated at some point.
Tomorrow in the morning I am meeting the other TidyTowns lads and going around the town putting winter plants into the planters. I noticed on my walk this evening that the planters around here have already had some advanced work on them. They are ready for planting. In the evening I am going to St Iberius' church on main street for a music concert. Katrina told me about it and it sounds like a good time. Then on Sunday I think there is a ramble scheduled in Rosslare. I'll have to call Marie and see if we are on for it. She picks me up for these things.

I am going with about 20 people from the gym to White's for a Christmas dinner on December 4. Though I won't be celebrating Christmas in my usual way, I will enjoy what Wexford has to offer as holiday outings. Sarah and I may take a bus to Waterford next week to check out some of the goods that are going to be auctioned later in the month. We will spend the day there. It should be fun.

Hope all is well in Michigan and that you don't have to be out driving if the roads get bad this weekend.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Weekend

Saturday morning I went to the gym around 9 and worked out for about 45 minutes; then I walked down to Oxfam, a charity shop on the main street to say "hi" to Lily the woman I walked with on Tuesday. I was planning to do a walk even though it was pouring rain, but changed my mind. I was soaked through just from the gym and my short stroll. It wasn't so bad not to get a walk in as I had walked more than 8 miles the day before. I don't think I shared the picture of the reward I purchased for myself at the end of that long trek.

I bought the cake at the Bull Ring market - it is lactose free and fabulous!! I think fondly of Holly Steffey every time I use my cow cup.

In the early afternoon Sarah and her husband John picked me up and John dropped us at Tesco where Tidy Towns was having a recycling drive. We had battery boxes, cigarette butt pouches, and gum keepers. We also had information on taking care of doggy poo. Sarah and I stayed until 2:30, then John picked us up and we went to the Wren's Nest for lunch. I had the fish and chips. Maybe the best I've had in Wexford yet.  

This morning, Marie picked me up at 9:30 and we drove to the Raven Nature Reserve where we were meeting some of the Tuesday walking group. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the car park to find it jammed. Apparently there was a 10k going on. We decided to walk anyway. It was quite warm but very windy. We were pretty protected in the woods and the wind wasn't too bad on the beach either.

Some of the runners going past us. We actually turned left just past that child.

A great place to walk.

The Irish Sea is gorgeous. I am sure even more so on a sunny day.

Will definitely need to walk this again.

Wish I'd recorded the roar of the sea.

Can't wait to come here in June when I have company.

Further down this beach is where I've been told the beach scene from Saving Private Ryan was filmed.

My fitbit said we'd walked about 4.5 miles. We stopped in to the Curracloe Hotel for coffee/tea afterward and enjoyed a visit. I was home by about 2. I read for awhile then took a nap. It is very windy and the noise from the chimney sounds really wintry, but the temps are quite mild. I finished the book I was reading and am now getting ready to start the last of my stash. It is called A Dark and Distant Shore, is quite thick, 837 pages long. It is described as "a marvelous blend of Gone With The Wind and The Thorn Birds". I'll let you know.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wind and Rain

It's been really windy the past few days, sometimes with pounding rain. But the times in between, although very windy, have been really pleasant for walking. I've taken more pix and hope that if they are repeats, you won't mind too much.

I never tire of the views of old buildings

Especially the old Abbey

I love the directional signs in both English and Irish

Another one of the Abbey

The main shopping walkway

This is my usual approach to the quay via the bus station

I think I've mentioned one of my favorite meals - Lamb Tagine. Here is a pic

Very tasty!

I've been very active at the gym this week. On Monday I went over early and did my own workout in the gym. I spent about an hour there and then walked 6 1/2 miles. Tuesday I walked over the bridge and met the gang for our walk, then continued on my side of the bridge for a total of 6.12 miles. I met a new walker. Her name is Lily, she is 82. She usually plays golf on Tuesdays, but since it was so windy, she decided to walk with us instead. She walks as fast as I do and was never breathless and she is a font of information. Yesterday I went to the gym for the Fabulous @ 50 class then walked 7.44 miles. I am still sore from the workout, but not quite as much as I was before I went to the aqua aerobics class this morning. Afterwards, Sarah and I went to D'Lush for lunch. I should have taken a photo of the lovely root vegetable soup we had then afterward we split a blueberry and almond tart - fabulous. I'm not sure of my mileage today. I walked just over 3 miles before the workout in the pool, but then had to recharge my fitbit so didn't have it on the rest of the day. I'm pretty sure I didn't get in more than 5 miles total due to the weather. Sarah and I got caught in a downpour that we waited out in a bookstore. Just before the rain we went into Penneys. I was looking for a gym bag. They had exactly one with a price of €12, so I took it up to buy it. When the girl rang it up, she said it was only a fiver, so I got a very serviceable gym bag for only €5. Great deal!

A few more pics

Love all the alleyways! I was out early enough that the trash wasn't removed yet.

My favorite eating establishment
Another cute alleyway

All along I thought this said "abracadabra", but then realized it was different. Then I found out it is a kebab place.
Bushes are still flowering
This was a section in the paper I bought yesterday. What do you think? Can you read it? I can't either.

This is actually the view from the parking area of Abbey Court.

Tomorrow I am planning to make an early trip to the gym followed by a walk. In the afternoon I am planning to go to the drawing session from 2 to 4. I was going to go with Philomena from 6 to 8, but her daughter is going to visit in the evening. On Saturday I am planning to pop into Oxfam after my walk. It is a charity shop where Lily works on Saturday mornings. Then in the afternoon Sarah and I are working for TidyTowns at Tesco doing recycling. Then hopefully on Sunday, weather permitting, I am going on a ramble over to Curracloe Beach, a place I've not been yet.

I feel like I've lived here for a very long time, but it has really only been 7 weeks. I am very much at home here and look forward to meeting more people and going on rambles to places that are near by car, but not close enough to walk. Marie, one of the women that walks on Tuesdays, is picking me up this weekend. Many of the people I've met who live in town don't have a car, but we are able to get a ride when there is a plan to meet out of town. I feel blessed to have met such warm and friendly people (I was going to say women, but there are a few husbands who participate too and they drive us).

I've booked my flight to Michigan to visit. I will be arriving on May 26 and flying back on June 13, which means I will be back in Wexford on June 14. Sometime very shortly after that my sister Anne and a couple of friends are coming for a visit. Can't wait!!

So when are you coming to visit?