Circle of friends



or nutters, more so. 

They should not let a big blue sky and a date on a calendar fool them: this is Ireland after all.

Actually, hold on a second, pass me the binoculars there, honey.
No, these are not nutters. 
This is a group of 20 high profile clinicians. I read about them in the New Scientist. 

They are conducting an in-depth study on testicular retractability.

dejection, life lesson, orange tape floating in the gentle May breeze, parenting, Uncategorized

Hang in there, Luca!


You could be rolling in medals today.
Then again, maybe not.

My degree in Lowering of Expectations really came in handy today.
And Luca is getting more philosophical every day about not winning.
That usually is a major skill in one’s professional life…

All in all a great day of fierce competition,


gusty wind,


wild motoring,


and… erm… sunshine(?!)



No parking at all at all
When they first came to Ireland (jayzus, back in 1974*…), my parents were intrigued by a lot of things.
Ireland was a constant source of wonder for them.

One thing that they were never able to figure out on their own were the yellow lines painted on the road, parallel to the footpath.

After a few years of serious head scratching (they had been observing council workers pondering the depth and width of a pothole for a few weeks before attempting to fill it in), they asked their friend Buddy Valkenburg what could these yellow lines painted on the streets of the big city (Ballina) could possibly mean.
Buddy was categorical, a yellow line meant no parking.
But what about when there were two yellow lines painted on the road, asked the equally perplexed and enthused French tourists.

Buddy had to thing a bit longer about that one. And then declared that when there were two yellow lines, it meant no parking at all at all.

* when what you could buy in the local shop in Portumna was (exhaustive list): tea, Chivers marmalade or strawberry jam, Galtee cheese (or Calvita), black pudding and breakfast sausages, bread, the Irish Independent, apples, oranges, corn flakes, Cara matches, Carolls or Major cigarettes, Batchelor’s bean and eggs. No fancy things like pasta, yogurts or toilet paper (see Irish Independent above, cut in square, and hanging from a safety pin on a piece of bailing string)

IMG_3364Game. The odd one out.
(yep, it’s the one wrapped in a life-saving 3mm layer of neoprene)


No parking at all at all