Close to home

It’s kind of comforting to call the U.S. and hear the familiar ring tone. They are different over here, a double-ring, lower tone (you may remember hearing it in a Pink Floyd song). Plus I don’t understand how I’m charged for various types of calls here and can see how people waste money based on their calling habits and not paying attention. That it matters whether I call a cell mobile vs landline is a strange distinction for me, not to mention nights and weekends applying to my landline as well, and the toll calls that Skype can’t call even if you are stranded in yet another country with a cell that doesn’t work and need to contact your airline. Fortunately I am not much of a chatter and Skype is good about 98% of the time.

I guess you could call this a lazy weekend. We slept in both days (I think David is a bad influence) and while I planned to get us out of the house today to go hiking in Tipperary, he wasn’t too enthusiastic and I caved. He would have gone, but I’m not sure it’s better to force it. But this counts as the first weekend since I arrived that I didn’t go do something. Next weekend is a bank holiday (long weekend, though we don’t get tomorrow off like the States!), and we’re planning to go to Dublin or somewhere else a little longer distance than the usual daytrip.

Yesterday we did some shopping in Cork, but it was pretty unsatisfying because I’m still not good at figuring out how to shop here, David’s still learning how to drive on the left, I had to learn all over again how to pay for street parking in Cork city (you have to buy this lotto ticket thing in a shop and scratch off your time, rather than pay the parking box like every other town), and I don’t need to spend all day sourcing dog food and hangers. We did walk into town (Kinsale) with Walter in the light rain today and ate food from the chipper at a bus stop shelter along the water, which was a nice way to pass the time despite how it sounds. Walter is so weird about food that he spit out the chips (fries) we tried to give him.

Walter is on one of his hunger strikes again. He hates most dog food (and half of people food) and our usual tricks (spoon feeding, mixing crappy “tasty” wet food, coddling, warm broth, ketchup) are not working very well. The only thing he consistently likes is Casper’s expensive, kidney disease-specific canned food, which really isn’t enough nutrition for a young healthy dog anyway. The dog food selection here is pitiful compared to home. Pitiful, and three times as expensive. The fancy food here is Royal Canin, which I still consider to be shitty, but it’s the best you can do. Heaven forbid your dog has allergies to beef-based foods in the first place.

Going up Breakheart Hill, a shortcut from Kinsale town to where we live near Summercove, which is treacherous after a little rain because the moss on the path gets slippery slippy. David took Walter off lead to avoid having him pull us down. It’s easier to go up the hill than down when it’s wet, and thank goodness the rail is there. (Walter is in the pic if you look in the greenery.)

David took this picture of me to make fun of my rain hat. However, it is his rain hat for backpacking. He just thinks it wasn’t raining hard enough to warrant wearing it. I pointed out that he was wearing a baseball cap, to which he responded he needed a haircut (which I have to give him and then clean up the mess from the clippers, and he always wants to do it in the house). Later it rained harder and he said he was now glad I was wearing the rain hat. (insert eye rolling)

This is how they keep track of a crack’s progress

You would think this is Home Depot. The color scheme and layout are nearly identical, although they don’t stock quite as many items. Instead of Spanish subheadings on the signs, the alternate language is Gaelic.

David feels at home in BQ and is trying to build a desk but has no saw. Yet. Here he’s waiting for his four free cuts.

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