Ireland day 0092. Wednesday 29 December 2021- Return
There’s always a hint of sadness when a particularly enjoyable chapter of the year closes. But this time, any regrets about leaving behind an excellent Christmas break with family (well the part that wasn’t stranded in Canada, that is) were soon offset by the anticipation of a new chapter opening now that we are back in Ireland. We’re both keen to get stuck into the challenges and adventures that 2022 will undoubtedly bring.
Our journey today was pretty straightforward actually, despite the mountain of paperwork that travel nowadays requires. So our PCR test results, boarding cards, vaccination certificates and passenger locator forms were duly filled in, prepared, uploaded, downloaded, stored to digital wallets and printed (just in case), and we were ready to go. Fortunately ETIAS authorisations aren’t required for Ireland so at least that’s one bit of bureaucracy we have been spared. But these are only minor inconveniences, and if you really want to do something, you just put up with them.
On leaving the UK, my main reflection, apart from having very much enjoyed spending time with at least part of the family, was that I really had hardly seen anyone else, or been anywhere much, while I’ve been there. That’s partly because we only had a week to spare, and the time we did have was very Christmas-focused. But more particularly because we simply didn’t want to pick up Covid. Nowadays, I’m less concerned about the disease itself than of the consequences of actually getting it – having to isolate for days, potentially all over Christmas, and then of missing the flight back to Ireland. I did get the impression actually that many people also felt the same way – everywhere that I did go seemed very quiet, and London as I passed through last Wednesday was absolutely dead.
Oh and the other thing I noticed was that we saw absolutely no sunshine the whole time we were in the UK, and it rained every day. And I thought that that Ireland was supposed to be the wet country!
After an uneventful flight that once again was only part full and once again was early, we hopped on the 102 bus again and were soon back in Malahide. Eventually – after 7 hours – masks could be removed and we could breathe again. What a joy to smell fresh air and not recycled halitosis.
Everything here seems to be exactly as we left it – which isn’t exactly surprising as I’ve only been away a week – so now our minds are turning to our plans for the next few weeks. In the medium term, we have the Wicklow Way walk to look forward to in March, and Val still has a few more days work left at the Castle over the next week or two. But our main short term goal now is to get transport sorted out. We’ve decided to wait until about the 15th of January to see if the missing registration documents for the Yaris turn up, but if there’s still nothing doing by then, we will have to execute plan B.
And, yes, we do actually have a plan B. We will cut our losses and look for another second hand car, like the Yaris, and just swallow the bitter pill that it’s likely to cost ten times as much as the elusive 21-year old secondhand model would have done.
Anyway, it’s beginning to get quite late now and since the new year resolutions don’t kick in for another 2 days, I think a glass of that luscious Chateau Supervalu that I’ve been craving all week, is now fully deserved.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)