Dot writes: on Friday I was talking to a former colleague from St Andrews, who had come over to Dublin for a workshop, and found myself oddly thrown by his conventional inquiry whether we got out into the countryside much? Um…no, not really. We do live ten minutes from a beach. A tiny beach in a silted-up harbour, admittedly; but what with that beach and the parks and the local shops and the neighbours we seem to be able to amuse ourselves most of the time without leaving a two or three mile radius of our house. Fun Fitness is a little further away, I suppose, but only just outside the M50. It was a little surprising to reflect how rarely we do leave greater Dublin. Talking to my former colleague I felt a bit self-conscious about it.
But no longer need I blush or stammer when asked about our outings! – for the moment anyway. For yesterday we went to Mount Usher Gardens, which is a whole forty minutes or so south of Dun Laoghaire. After a miserable windy cold May June had burst out into brilliant sunshine. (Now finished; it rained last night.) It seemed like a good day to explore the gardens for the first time, and indeed they were enchanting. Nor was it ruined by recalcitrant or stroppy children, because the boys enjoyed it too.
I’m never very good at taking pictures while helping to chase small boys, and the battery in the camera ran out quite soon after we arrived. But these should give a taste of how pretty and how sunny it all was.
The other thing we did yesterday was get Hugh’s hair cut. He had been nagging for a haircut since Thursday. When asked why he wanted his haircut he replied “Because it is too long,” which I suppose is fair enough, but given how I’ve had to bribe, threaten and cajole him into the hairdresser’s on previous occasion it was still a bit disconcerting. The baseball cap was bought in Mothercare at the same time – Hugh’s choice of the available hats; again, having been a determined hat-hater in the past, he wore it quite willingly, though he grumbled a bit when I also applied sun-cream. (This morning I see that he has caught the sun a bit anyway, on the back of his neck.) One shouldn’t be surprised that children change, but somehow I always am.