For our two weeks in Ireland we hired a car for the entire time. With our own wheels, it was easier to visit people and we weren’t reliant on the goodwill of others to get from A to B. I’d recommend Europcar– they were very friendly and helpful (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that!).
The plan was the driving would be shared, with myself doing the night driving owing to poor eyesight on Mr BG’s part. I didn’t mind that as it was a good excuse not to drink too much (my aunts and uncles are prone to plying you until you can barely stand, to which Mr BG can attest).
This plan went slightly awry when Mr BG nearly missed a couple of red lights when driving into the city centre for the first time. No one was hurt and the pedestrians probably put it down to some hard braking. I ended up doing the driving for the rest of the time.
Bookgrrl theory, there are two types of people in the world, drivers and passengers. I am quite happy being a passenger and while I drive, I don’t derive as much pleasure from it as I would just soaking up the scenery whizzing by. Mr BG is a driver and the role reversal did not make for a happy time between us.
As a passenger, I usually navigate. This time, the maps were a bit weird (Melways, Belfast needs you to make a street directory for them!) and my navigator was not cooperating. It made for a very disorienting time the first day I drove and tried to negotiate my way around.
Having to get used to a different car (windscreen wipers and indicators on opposite sides as Australian cars), driving down unfamiliar streets (we were staying in South Belfast as opposed to West Belfast), and negotiating motorways and their inpenetrably STUPID junctions made me testy. And crave chocolate. And swear a lot and be incredibly bitchy to Mr BG about his eyesight and his non-existent navigation skills and his inability to read a map and make us get lost. I’m sorry about the remarks about your eyesight- it’s not your fault that the maps were crap as well. But you still can’t navigate for shit.
Dunnes Stores in Ireland would probably the equivalent of Target- a good basic department store with affordable clothing and other goods. We bought a couple of nice tops for the kids and an extra suitcase to bring all the toys and presents they received. My aunts call it the Dunné Boutique (much in the same way I call Target Targé!), and there was a store near to where we were staying in Belfast.
On the day of said shopping for a suitcase, I let go of Miss BG’s hand for 5 seconds while I checked out the size and weight of one we were intending to buy. I then turned around to check on the kids- and she wasn’t there. Her brother was unable to assist us with our inquiries as to where she went as he had also gone missing. Luckily, he was found a minute later admiring Halloween costumes, a Woody from Toy Story had his eye.
His answer to our enquiry “where’s your sister?” was “I dunno”. We went up and down aisles calling out for her, trying not to get too hysterical. Unfortunately, she has form on this disappearing act and loves to hide and will not come out when called. I can handle this in a toy store, but a large department store in a shopping centre in an unfamiliar city and it’s not so funny.
After a couple of minutes, which felt like hours, I located her, standing on an elevated platform display, casually dismantling the dummies’ hands to get to bracelets on its arm (my daughter the accessory junkie). I didn’t know whether to hug her or kill her. I opted for grabbing her wrist and lifting her down from the platform. CCTV, which is prevalent in all stores (there is a person at the front of the store whose job is simply to watch footage) was probably the single reason why she didn’t get too much of a dressing down.
And if you’ve made it down this far in reading the blog, congratulations!
Following yesterday’s post about Club Oranges, there has been a little interest in these biscuits. I am happy to delve into my limited stash and send 2 lucky readers a Club Orange biscuit. All you have to do is describe a favourite treat you discovered on holiday as a reply to this blog post. Entries close Monday 27th September and is open to all except Bookgrrl’s family. (I would also say employees, but I have no minions, just children)