This past weekend there were an extra 23 people, in addition to Kathy and me in the house! The youth group and leaders from Ballycullen Community Church came down from Dublin to spend Friday night through Sunday afternoon with us here in Kinsale! It was great fun and showed that it is amazing what can be done when you need to.
There were games, scavenger hunts, lots of meals, photo surveys in the village and two sessions looking at the gospel of Mark. It was a bit on the cool side, but there was no rain for the entire time they were here! Take a look at the group photo below . . .
If we walk out our front door and turn right at the end of the drive we can be at Charles Fort in about 9 minutes. We have done this many many times as it's a great little walk with a pretty good hill on the way back. The Fort looks out over the Kinsale harbour and if you look to the left you can see the Atlantic ocean. Straight across the bay, however, is another fort, this one is called James Fort. The idea was to protect the harbour by putting forts on both sides of the bay.
We knew James Fort was there but had not actually visited it until this week. We heard it was a great place to take our pup for a 'free run' as there is lots of wide open fields, ideal for a 7 month old pup to run and meet other dogs doing the same thing. When we got there, oh my, was it incredible - maybe one of the best place I've (Tim) found to photograph Kinsale and the area. We are working to start a camera club as a way to meet people and share interests - James Fort will be one of the first places for a club photo shoot!
This is a shot of a part of Kinsale, near where we live, taken from James Fort
One thing you learn pretty quickly in Ireland - if you are at all interested in cars, is how the registration (license) plates work here. It is no secret what year car you drive. Below is a picture of our car's reg:
aside from the very dirty car (we live on a country road - that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it) you will notice first "05" this is the year of the car. Next is "KK" which is the county the car was first registered in - Kilkenny in our case. The next 3, 4 or 5 digits (depending on how many cars were purchased that year) is the actual 'Registration' number.
So now you can see what year car everyone in Ireland is driving. Now it's 2013, so what should be the first two digits? '13' right? WRONG! Ireland is like many places that believe the number '13' is bad luck. Superstition plays a big roles in lots of things both here and around the world. Some high rise buildings, for example, 'don't have a 13th floor' but go from the '12th floor' to the '14th floor'.
So, how are you going to sell a 2013 car in Ireland when no one wants a '13' license plate? Take a look at the image below:
As you can see, it is now '131'! And, in this case the 'C' is for county Cork, with a 3 number reg, as there haven't been many cars sold this year yet. So, what is next year's plate going to be? '14' or '141'? I have no idea!
Today, 5 February, is our oldest son's birthday . . . happy birthday Andrew. We wish we could celebrate with him and and his wonderful family, but the distance (he is currently in Chicago) is just a bit to great. We are having a cup of Irish tea in your honour Andrew - we love you!
Today is also the day our 4th Irish Guide Dog for the Blind pup showed up! This time we are taking a 7 month old black lab/golden retriever mix. Our previous three pups were all about 7 weeks, but Tia's first puppy walker could not continue in the program, so we were asked to finish her training. So far so good, but she's only been here about 2 1/2 hours as I write this. Only long enough to get acquained and go for one 15 minute walk! After bonding for a few days, we plan to take Tia into Kinsale on Thursday for her first visit to a restaurant - Mother Hubbard's has volunteered!
Here are a few pics of our new 7 month old on 'arrival day'!
Tia arrives in the Irish Guide Dog's van at 10:15 AM
Tia greets Kathy for the first time!
Tia relaxing after checking out the house