Cobh – day 267 (J)

Everyone who lives/grew up in Cobh at some point has had to visit the Heritage Centre, probably as a school trip. It chronicles the life and fate of the Irish people through the famine and emigration. I can’t tell you if it’s changed much over the years, but apparently it’s a bit more animatronic. And of course it’s inundated with stragglers who come off the cruise liners and don’t want to get on a coach to visit other sites in Ireland. But, no trip home to Ireland is complete without a scone and a cup o’ tea at the Heritage Centre. Mam used to spend most of the summer down here selling jewellery to tourists, mostly off the liners. They seemed to have dwindled in numbers and the ones that do turn up don’t buy anything except the cheap stuff in the gift shop. Ah well, their loss. Blissfully quiet on this occasion, the scones were still hot but the latte came straight up from hell and took ages to cool down. Again, loads of catching up on complete nonsense that we’ve missed over the past few months.  After enjoying the Disney film yesterday we said we’d throw on another one – this time ‘Robin Hood’. Not as old, being released around ’73, the colour was still captivating, the voices were striking and memorable (legendary Peter Ustinov as Prince George) and the songs and ditties had a catchy quality like all of the classics. I worked away on the blogs and beauty clinic websites for a few hours and before I knew it the day was chewed up. Mam went out and continued being creative! Thus, it was brilliant news that Ritchie was still able to come collect me from Cobh and bring me down to Cloyne for dinner and a catch up. He’s now working as an EMT and has proper hours and rotas and can plan holidays and weekends away. Now, he’ll admit it himself, he used to be the type of guy that would be late for his own funeral and he was always rushing around to get from own job to the next as a self-employed carpenter. Things are finally looking up for him and I couldn’t be happier – he deserves it. And of course the last time I was down in Cloyne I was babysitting their 2yr old so they could have a night out. He’s now 8, incredibly sporty and doing well in school and he hadn’t a clue who I was. (Insert sad face and play small violin music). So, sitting down for some rice and curry we picked up as if we just left off and chatted for hours. Karen managed to get back from Port Laois on a business trip by 22:20 and suddenly the wine was pouring, the gossiping was in full flow and the hours melted away in to the morning – just like old times. With both of them working on Friday I was incredibly lucky to be able to meet up with them and was luckier that Ritchie didn’t just let me walk home, being the perfect gent and driving me. Exhausted, I still Skype’d Katherine to tell her how amazing the evening was. Thursday 30th June 2016

Shepparton – day 267 (K)

A better morning than yesterday (not that it was hard!). Chatted to Jayne about her day as she fell asleep on the other side of the world – still feels odd to be speaking to her when we are both yawning, except I am waking up and she is going to sleep! After breakfast, I managed to buy our coach tickets from Melbourne to Cairns and our prepaid accommodation vouchers for YHA without any issues! Went into town with Ash and got my haircut. Just needed a trim and tidy up after 9 months of travelling. Feels very weird to have such long hair (for me!) but I need to keep it as long as possible as I still intend on donating it when we get home to the Little Princess Trust who provide real hair wigs to boys and girls across the UK and Ireland that have sadly lost their own hair through cancer treatment. Treated Ash to a hot chocolate and cake as a thank you for driving me to the hairdressers while we waited for her appointment at the beauticians. Popped into the local bookshop, looking at the illustrated version of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ and browsing through the massive range of titles they had. Also went back to the clothing shop and bought the jeans I had seen yesterday. I have never owned ripped jeans before but, since they were on sale and we are away from our ‘normal’ life, I thought ‘what the hell!’. Also helped that they are a size 14… The nearby arts and craft shop had some super cute Finding Nemo and Dory outfits – if only they did them in adult sizes!Went back to the hairdressers for Ash’s appointment where I caught up on magazine reading, including an article about the British Royal family. Grabbed some stuff for dinner and made Shepherds pie – much more successful than yesterday’s attempt at cooking! Spent the rest of the evening watching TV and catching up with Jayne. 5 days to go.

Thursday 30th June 2016