Welcome back! I hope you had a good Christmas and New Year's. Mine was very pleasant. Hit the ground in Dublin running with a skating session with the Waffles. It was the first time both for me and my 4-year-old nephews - by the end I had more or less got the hang of it; they were less convinced. I think Gaelic football is more their sport. We went to the Smithfield ice rink, which R scathingly described as 'an ice cube full of teenagers' but which I thought was very nice nonetheless. I got the Luas there and was struck by the fact that all the stops were written up inside only in Irish as far as I could see. Does this make sense in today's multicultural Ireland? Luckily, although I wasn't 100% sure of the Irish for Smithfield, I knew it was after Na Ceithre Cuairte (the Four Courts) so found my way.
I spent most of Christmas eve cooking chicken pie plus usual Christmas accoutrements (my dad does not like turkey), while listening anxiously for bulletins from my brother and his family, who were rerouted from Beauvais to Lille because of fog, en route to Sicily where my sister-in-law has family. Happily, their connecting flight was late and thanks to a taxi from Lille to Beauvais (ouch) they made it to Sicily and didn't have to spend Christmas in Paris (or in Beauvais airport, more to the point). On Christmas day, I went to the Goal Mile charity run with my dad -my first since the half marathon. I scraped around my mile at a shameful 9.5 minutes, dad was disappointed with his 8, but we ascribed that to the extreme cold. I took my niece to the puppet show which I think she enjoyed though her peak Cinderella years were really two years ago. And it being Christmas in Dublin, I caught up with friends - not in such big groups as in previous years, but it was very nice nonetheless. For a proper description of Christmas in Dublin, I refer you to this beautiful article .