Ireland day 0209. Monday 25 April 2022- Progressing
|Today’s summary||Video call with family then dealt with car admin and credit card application in morning. Visited Citizens Information in Library in the afternoon to ask about tax and then fitted in short walk. Spanish in the evening|
|Today’s weather||Dry sunny and bright. Moderate easterly wind. About 12C|
|Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Malahide out and about
When you are committing a record of your daily activities to writing, like this blog, it forces you to look back critically on your day and ask yourself what you have actually done all day. Have you achieved anything? Has anything been progressed, or have you learned anything new?
When I posed these questions to myself this evening, my initial thought was “No. While Val has been out at work all day, I haven’t actually achieved anything at all”. After all, I hadn’t been anywhere new, I hadn’t undertaken a new physical challenge, and I hadn’t read anything more mind-expanding than the daily news headlines on my phone. But then I considered things a bit more closely, and realised that I had probably actually done more than I originally had thought.
First of all, I had a very enjoyable video catch up with family, straight after breakfast. People – especially family – are always curious to know what we are doing, and I enjoy putting them in the picture about life in Ireland. And also, of course, keeping up to speed with developments back in the UK.
Then I thought I would see what had happened to the credit card application I made a month ago – and about which I have heard nothing since. I knew it would be a lengthy process hanging on the phone, so I got my weights ready, and called the bank. I was on hold for 75 minutes so used the time to do a short weight training programme – I am told that it’s as important to maintain muscle strength as it is to build aerobic fitness, so I try and do this three days a week to prevent myself withering away to nothing.
Finally the phone was answered and I was able to learn that my application was stuck because the address I’d given on my application wasn’t the same as the one on my bank account (one has the postcode in it and the other doesn’t – honestly: couldn’t someone apply a bit if intelligence and work out that they were actually the same? Evidently not). I also discovered that the bank needed proof of my PPS number – although I am pretty sure I told them what it was when I made the application. Quite how I was supposed to know these vital bits of evidence were missing if I hadn’t phoned and spent over an hour on hold, I don’t know. Anyway I scanned the relevant proofs and sent them in and will just have to hope for the best now.
Next up I decided to chase the garage to see what had happened about getting a replacement rear windscreen for our car – because the heated rear windscreen didn’t work properly in the vehicle when we bought it. I had heard nothing despite chasing several times, so finally managed to speak to someone (on the fifth attempt) and they said the missing part was “on back order” and there were long delays. Anyway five minutes after we finished the call, the garage called back and said that the windscreen had, by a truly uncanny coincidence, “just that moment come in” – so it’s being fitted next week.
It seems that really nothing happens unless you chase it – but eventually if you make enough of a nuisance of yourself, things do get sorted out. It’s not just an Irish thing I should add: the UK – and I suspect pretty much everywhere else – is just the same.
By way of light relief, I thought I would pop into the Citizens Information service office (equivalent of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau in the UK) to ask about tax. It’s an excellent, friendly, little service located in the library and I found them very helpful today. I’m hoping our accountant will do the bulk of the work on our tax returns but I still want to try and understand properly the principles behind it all. Anyway, it turns out that the lady who is in the Citizens Information office on Wednesday and Thursday mornings used to work for the Irish Revenue Service so I’m hoping that if we go back later in the week we may be able to catch a few moments of her time.
By this stage it was mid afternoon already and I was feeling very much in need of some fresh air and sunshine. So I left the library and wandered up and over Robswall Hill to the sea. Malahide at the moment is looking beautiful – especially in the sunshine and with the luminous blue sky. The tree blossoms are spectacular, and there are quite a few new ones like Choisya ternata with tiny leaves and a snow-like robe of brilliant white flowers which I’d never seen before. I finished the journey by walking back along the beach, grateful that the tide was out allowing me to take a bit of a shortcut almost from Lithostrotion beach right back to the marina, without having to walk so far along the road.
Once Val was back from work, we had a quick dinner then I set off again down to Portmarnock. Tonight was the last Spanish class until the Autumn term, so although I won’t miss having to turn out on cold dark winter evenings for a while, I will quite miss the mental and social stimulation it provided. Anyway, for now it’s hasta manaña and time to reflect on a day when, on closer examination, I realise I actually made quite a lot more progress, on many fronts, than at first I had thought.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(Elevations corrected at GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
Max elevation: 50 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 122 m
Total descent: -120 m
Total time: 01:45:48