Well, I made it to Ireland and back (sounds like some kind of children's adventure book, doesn't it?). It was a very short week, packed full of wonderful things. Followed by a rather insane period of doing things, from which I am still recovering. Basically, we got back from Ireland on a Thursday evening, which happened to be Kivrin's 16th birthday. She and Tess came to pick us up at LAX, with Kivrin's new foster dog (more on that, I am sure, in other posts), and we took her out to InNOut (her request) for her birthday, before going home to collapse around 10 pm. We were up at 6ish the next morning to drive down to San Diego to see the Dalai Lama, who was speaking at UCSD. Totally worth it, the hour and a half we spent not moving in the parking lot afterwards notwithstanding (more on what he had to say in another post, too). That afternoon, Rick's parents arrived to help us celebrate Kivrin's 16th, Rick's 50th, and Rick's dad's 75th birthdays, all within a week of each other. So there was a party, and cooking dinners and cakes, and paddleboarding (Kiv's request)(which is, by the way, more fun than a basket full of kittens, and I now want a paddleboard quite badly).
Oh, and did I mention I'm teaching an online summer school class through all of this?
So I've been digging out from under, as you might imagine.
I took many handknit sweaters with me to Ireland. I am normally a light packer, but a) we had to check a suitcase, so I figured, why not go for a big one, right?, and b) it's Ireland!, and c) I was giving a paper on knitting and wellbeing, so I felt compelled to represent. But here's the funny thing - I really only got photos of myself in Oa, which was almost too warm, windy and rainy as it was. It's definitely a winter sweater! This means I still don't have a photo shoot done of my lovely new stripey sweater, and will have to do that later. But Oa performed admirably.
So, photographic proof that Oa is complete, and has been worn to good effect.
There's so much to report on from our trip that I'll break it up a little bit, I think. We arrived in the afternoon of a Thursday, got our car, and drove to Meath (north of Dublin). Rick (who generously navigates on our trips, since while I am fine with being lost, I hate to get us lost, and would rather drive) decided it would be fun to take the back roads, so I immediately got to put my left-handed stick shift and small road driving skills to the test, jet-lagged and all. My stated desiderata for the three days before my conference were: Neolithic monuments, and traditional Irish music. To that end, we got up early on Friday morning, and headed for the monuments of Newgrange and Knowth, which are the largest of the Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland, and date back some 5,000 years from the present.
As with so many of these sacred sites, there have been layers upon layers of human use. Early in Knowth's history, there was a wooden henge, which has been reconstructed based on the "shadows" left by the posts in the earth.
Has anyone else been doing fun things for summer? Any plans for the long weekend? I hope you're all having as much fun as I am!