Ireland day 0219. Thursday 05 May 2022- Dandelions

Ireland day 0219. Thursday 05 May 2022- Dandelions
Today’s summary Val was at work, so I spent the day on various admin tasks and trying (partly successfully) to sort out post-purchase bugs with the car.  Managed to fit in a short walk round the castle demesne amid fields of abundant dandelions
Today’s weather Dry and overcast all day.   Very little wind.   About 15C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
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):
Short demesne to bus stop with dandelions
Commentary

The last two days have been pretty busy so today, with Val being out at work, I took the opportunity to catch up on a number of those tedious but essential admin tasks that just never seem to go away unless you do something about them.

The top priority for today was getting some minor snags with the car fixed. The heated rear windscreen has never worked properly since we got it, and the exhaust tailpipe seems to be a bit loose. The car’s still under warranty so the garage agreed to fix the bugs free of charge and we’d arranged that they would do it today. The only complication was that the garage is in Ashbourne, which is some 25km / 15mi away from Malahide and as they had asked me to drop off the car at 9am, that meant a relatively early start.

It didn’t take long to drive over there and the drop off process was easy enough. The garage offered a replacement car free of charge for the day. But that would have meant contacting the insurance company to transfer the policy temporarily and quite frankly I’ve had enough of faffing around with cars and insurance companies so I declined and took the bus back to the flat.

I spent the rest of the morning on some more tax issues (yawn) and on arranging a brief visit back to the UK in early June to deal with some family matters.

Then it was time to lead a Zoom discussion with Natural History Museum colleagues in London, Italy and Spain, on the likely future evolution of the Covid pandemic. I have to say I really enjoyed engaging my academic brain again and we had a wide ranging discussion. As a matter of interest, most participants thought that the pandemic had probably largely burnt itself out – in the UK at least. But I think I’m a bit more hesitant to say it’s all over – ask me again in a couple of years.

I managed to slot in a quick lunch between these various tasks then allowed myself some R&R time in the afternoon for a short walk round the demesne. As I was out and about admiring the abundant dandelions and their clocks, the garage phoned to tell me that the car was ready for collection.

Rather naively, I assumed that would only take me an hour or so to get back out to Ashbourne as it had only taken me that long to come back in the morning. But somehow circumstances conspired to cause me to miss every single connection on the convoluted bus journey so what should have taken me no more than an hour and ended up taking over two and a half. I could have walked it quicker. Anyway part way through I realised that the garage would be shut by the time I got there. So a couple of hasty phone calls were made, and the garage agreed to leave the keys at a local petrol station in Ashbourne and I picked it up from there.

At last I’m back at the flat now – the car rear windscreen seems to be fixed – though annoyingly the exhaust hasn’t so it looks like I’ll have to spend more time sorting that out (it would be nice if something actually worked first time for once – but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day).   Anyway, as well as the windscreen, a long list of admin tasks has been crossed off too. So all in all, quite a satisfactory outcome, though with perhaps a bit too much time spent looking at the computer screen, making phone calls, and hanging around at bus stops for my liking. Tomorrow I’ll try and make time to get out and about a bit more actively.

 

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

I think this is a hornbeam, just coming into leaf.   I love this time of year – everything is so fresh and green and clean and full of hope This is a (nowadays all-too-rare) elm, also just bursting into leaf.   You can tell it’s elm because if you look at the leaves, you can see that they are bilaterally asymmetrical.   I don’t know how Ireland fared in the Dutch Elm Disease which ravaged the UK in the mid-1970s
Narrowleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata), also in flower.  Normally you think of this as an invasive weed which you try and dig out of your lawn, but actually I thought it looked quite attractive today. A cathedral of green
The long and winding road… …to the bus stop.   I spent altogether too long hanging around at these today
The new rear windscreen.   It looks shiny and clean so I assume it really has been replaced.   But I can’t easily test out the heating elements as it’s too warm at the moment so it’s not steaming up.   But I’m not in a rush for the weather to cool down, even though it would allow me to check out the repair.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 5029 m
Max elevation: 31 m
Min elevation: 8 m
Total climbing: 83 m
Total descent: -79 m
Total time: 01:01:10
Download file: Dandelions corrected.gpx

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