Ireland day 0035. Tuesday 02 November 2021- Education

Ireland day 0035. Tuesday 02 November 2021- Education
Today’s summary Guided tour of Malahide castle in the morning, then videocall with a friend in the US, and Spanish evening class at Portmarnock
Today’s weather Sunny and dry all day.   About 12C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click button below to download a gpx of the evening walk to Portmarnock)
¿Hablas espanol?

I have built a workstation.   You can see it in the picture at the top of this blog.   I’m actually rather pleased with it, as it didn’t cost anything.   I removed a shelf from a wardrobe (the Leatherman came in handy again), re-purposed two bedside tables from the spare room, and retrieved a couple of empty microwave boxes from the bin store downstairs to raise its height.   It’s a fabulous space, right by the window enjoying expansive views right over the railway station.   In fact as I write, the 17:38 arrival from Dublin Connolly is busy disgorging its load of weary commuters back home in Malahide.   I’m so glad (and lucky) not to be one of them.   I am sure it’s good for my posture too, and that I will do lots of Good, but as yet unspecified, Work here over the coming weeks.

With the office construction safely completed and tested, Val and I set off to have a proper look round the local Castle.   We are annual members of Malahide Castle and Gardens now, so the guided tour was free.   It’s a fascinating place with, as you would expect, lots of history.

The land to build it was granted to Richard Talbot in 1174 by Henry II in reward for his support of the King’s recent military engagements in Ireland.   It was continuously occupied by the direct descendants of Richard Talbot until 1975 when the then owner – Rose Talbot – was forced to sell to the local council in order to pay the death duties on the estate (a tax which was only introduced after Irish Independence).   The only brief break in the Talbot residence being from 1649-1660 when Cromwell commandeered it.   Further back in time, fifteen family members died in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, fighting on the Jacobite (James II) side.   It is said that the 15 breakfasted together in the Great Hall at Malahide, but only one returned that evening and he later died from his wounds.

Minds bursting, once again, with historical knowledge, I hurried back to my workstation (v useful already) to videoconference with a friend on the other side of the Atlantic while Val walked on in to Malahide town centre.   It was good to catch up on the news from 5000 miles / 8000km away.   I am constantly amazed by just how rapidly videoconferencing technology has made the world seem so much smaller.

Now for the next step in the educational journey – I have enrolled in a Spanish class at Portmarnock Community School, and I need to practice how to count to ten.   Then it’s a 45 minute walk to get there so i need to get my skates on.   Well – with Val and her Gaelic prowess, I don’t want to get left behind!

Post script: I’m back.   My word that was hard work!   Our teacher speaks English with a strong Irish-Spanish accent and so decoding what was going on – especially as I had joined midway through the course – was quite challenging.   A very steep learning curve, but I loved it!  Can’t wait till next week, though I do have a bit of homework to do first.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Keenly anticipating our next history lesson Through the Arched window – Malahide Park from the Caslte
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In the castle crypt – now a museum describing the Talbot family’s 800 year residence here – from 1174 to 1975 Unbelievably, this chair is over 700 years old
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Location for tonight’s Spanish class.   A very well organised facility.   The pupils who go there must get an excellent education Back to school!   I don’t think I’ve had to concentrate so hard for about 45 years!
Checking for escape routes from the upper floor
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