Ireland day 0192. Friday 08 April 2022- Eyetest2

Ireland day 0192. Friday 08 April 2022- Eyetest2
Today’s summary Val at work so I did some cleaning in the morning, has a quick walk round the demesne in the early afternoon, then drove to Swords in late afternoon for driving licence eye tests (again).
Today’s weather A re-run of yesterday.   Cool, bright and sunny most of the day with occasional light showers.   Moderate westerly wind.   About 8C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my walk)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Demesne again anticlockwise

Second time lucky?   Well, maybe so.   If you can cast your minds back as far as last November, you might recall that we have been here before.   Yes, it was eye test time again here in Ireland.

I have gone on at great length about the driving licence exchange process, so I won’t get into the details again here.   But basically, if you intend to stay in Ireland longer than a few months, you can no longer drive here on a UK driving licence.    So you have to get an Irish licence, which you can do either by taking an Irish test (inordinately complicated, costly and time consuming) or by exchanging your UK licence for an Irish one.

We chose the latter route but even that isn’t straightforward as you have to fill in a load of paperwork, gather together a number of documents including you passport and current UK licence, have an eye test and then, within 30 days, have an interview with the National Driver Licence Service where, if all your paperwork is exactly in order, they may agree to relieve you of your old licence and request that you are sent a new one.   Which should, all being well, arrive some weeks later in the post.

Today we started the first stage and arranged to have our eye tests in advance of our interviews in a couple of weeks’ time.   We got this far in November but lost our nerve at the last minute and cancelled our NDLS interviews.   The simple reason being that we needed to hire a car shortly after the interview, and in the period between the old licence being taken away and the new one arriving, the temporary bit of paper they give you as evidence cannot be used to hire a car.   So we decided to wait until we had got our new Irish car (which in turn required us to have our old UK licences anyway – in order to get insurance) before taking a deep breath and doing the exchange.

Anyway, now that we have got the new car and successfully insured it, it’s time to do the exchange which is why we were to be found this afternoon in the waiting room (pictured in the header image at the top of this blog) of the Swords Eye Centre.   Once again we had to do the stressful space-invader thing where you look for virtually non-existent dots of light and press a button hopefully when something flashes.   Then you get a bright light shone into your eyes and then – if you are lucky the optician signs a bit of paper and you’re all good to go.

Fortunately we passed the eye tests so now, assuming we also pass our NDLS interviews in a few days time, we should be ready to relinquish our licences.   You’d have thought that the 21st century would have established a better way of dealing with this bureaucracy, but evidently not.   Let’s see what happens.

Aside from the interest of the eye tests – and relief when they were over – I think Val’s day was a great deal more exciting than mine.   Mine consisted of doing yet more washing (I think Val and I must be horribly dirty people as we seem to produce so much of it) then cleaning the bathroom (ditto) and making lunch.   I rounded off the day with a quick walk round the castle demesne – successfully dodging the showers once again, and marvelling at the vivid green of the grasslands.   It’s easy to see why this is called the Emerald Isle and it was genuinely beautiful.

As for Val – well she was visited by a VIP today.   Channing Tatum (a film star) was at the castle today, having a look around.   Evidently he must have known that Val was on duty.  Anyway, it apparently created great excitement – and lots of googling – all round.

So I’d say today was a day when we had stars in our eyes – in more ways than one.   Well, Val did anyway.   In my case, cleaning the bathroom doesn’t really count but never mind, at least it smells nice.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Honesty, Lunaria annua, growing in one of the wild flower verges up in the castle demesne.   Actually, these wild borders have always had one or two hardy plants in bloom right through the winter.   A real success I’d say.   I don’t know if they are to be re-planted for the spring, or if they will just be left to self-seed and re grow.   Either way it will be interesting to see what pops up Eirebus is Ireland’s biggest coach operator.   Not to be confused with Bus Éireann, which runs most of the buses (except in Dublin).   I mainly took this photo to show the trees still looking wintry.   I think in a week or two, they will look quite different as the leaves start to burst out from the bare stems
Arty shot (even though I say so myself) of interesting growth patterns on a rotting tree branch.   I this might be what my fingers looked like if I never cut my nails Sun bursting through the clouds – a re-run of yesterday and the day before.   But just like yesterday, the downpours stayed mostly away, so I didn’t get drenched on my trundle round the demesne
Distant view of Malahide Castle – where Val is currently working Hazel catkins in full bloom (if that’s what catkins do)
A polypore (bracket fungus) on a dead branch in the woodlands.   You can see the pores – where the spores fall out from, and which give the fungus its name – on the underside of the bracket
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 5236 m
Max elevation: 30 m
Min elevation: 9 m
Total climbing: 85 m
Total descent: -84 m
Total time: 01:00:53
Download file: Demesne Again corrected.gpx

You can read earlier and later days’ blogs below

Previous day’s blog
Next day’s blog
Ireland home page