Dublin and Galway:– Irish farewells

I’m planning to be a vegetarian whilst in India. Or at least most of the time. A semi vegetarian if you will. As much as I like a good bit of meat, experience tells me I’ll get a whole lot less ill if I give it a miss. I mention this now, as if anything I’ve eaten my quota of meat for the entire time I’m out there already. Helena’s mum – and I should preface this by saying she’s a fantastic host – has stuffed me full of enough Steak, Pork Chops and Fried Breakfast’s that I think I could quite comfortably go through the first month without even craving a Chicken Korma. Not that I’d find a Chicken Korma anyway, we all know they come from Birmingham.

Moving out of our little apartment in Dublin was a surreal experience. I’d have to say that – Helena aside – Dublin hasn’t been my favourite place to live so far by a log shot, but it has definitely bought some happy memories, and as we stuffed the last of a years worth of belongings between the front head rests of our rental Micra it certainly felt a bit odd. It all came up a bit fast, finishing work on Thursday, spending the weekend either drinking unnecessary amounts or stuffing things into bags and then suddenly it’s all finished.

On the subject of work, Berlitz gave me a very nice send off (thanks guys!) and a couple of books that I’ll be working my way through (though not in India, as they’d take over a little too much of the weight allowance!). My Italian students cooked me a great dinner too. I can’t imagine a better culinary house than two Italian women and two French guys. How they’re not the size of a Texan Farmyard animal is, frankly, beyond me. There was a starter of horse meat and cranberry cheese, which I wasn’t sure of initially. What is it about the horse? I’d say it fits in somewhere near elephant and dolphin on the list of animals I wouldn’t be queuing up to eat. I have to hand it to them, though; cheese on horse is a surprisingly appetising combination.

Next up was pasta, cooked the (slightly hard) Italian way, which it’s much better for. After that came an intensely flavoured Lemon Chicken dish and finally a big chunk of chocolate cake. I’m not in the habit of blogging about meals, but this was sensational. As was the amount of meat I mentioned back at the start. Really.

When we got down to Galway (or Headford, to be more precise), I spent most of the days messing around, watching television, and generally doing very little which is worthy of a travel blog entry. I’m sure you’ll live. We did go and see Zara, who is incredibly cute and will become my niece after the wedding. I feel very lucky. At two months old she’s already a large multiple of the size she was when she was born and capable of something vaguely resembling speech, except perhaps in incredibly slow Klingon (I wouldn’t know, honest!). Easily the cutest baby I’ve seen in a very long time. We spent an evening bowling too. Everyone needs to slow down sometimes. I’m going to need to speed up in India to lose the weight though!

Which leads us to now. It’s around 60 hours until Helena and I head to India. I need to buy a rucksack, write an article and say goodbye to the family, and then its adventure time again. Until who knows when!

Here we go….

James x

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