Monday morning Mark and I awoke to several inches of fluffy snow coating the cars and the streets of Liverpool. It was still dark as we made our way to the car, and it seemed our neighborhood hadn't yet woken up. It was the perfect way to enjoy a rare occurrence of snow in northwest England, and we squeezed each others hands as we quietly made our way to Manchester for my flight.
Upon my arrival in Ireland, however, a flurry of different sorts awaited us. People were panicking on the television, the terminal, and the car hire. People were panicking on our visits, leaving early or not coming to work at all. People were... clearly using the snow as an excuse to call in to work, since though we saw alot of snow in the air, not too much stuck to the ground. Here's a terrible webcam of the snow outside my window in Dublin (you should normally be able to see the harbor outside):
Scratch that, uploading the damn thing was more trouble than it was worth.
The past few days have been a flurry of activity and I'm learning a lot. Everyone here has been very friendly, even if I can't understand them (we were in Northern Ireland the other day and I met a guy with a Celtic accent, apparently, and I still have no idea what he said. I did try to laugh when he smiled, but that's all I could do). The only downside thus far was a five hour traffic snarlup that Matt and I found ourselves in last night, trying to get back through Dublin and out to Tullamore in the midst of rush hour traffic and the snow... It's hard to believe we only travelled 60 miles from 4pm until 9...
Tonight we're in Clonmel, and I've returned to my hotel room from a few pints of Guinness in front of the Liverpool VS Everton FA match. To those of you not in the loop of English competitive football, these two teams are ranked 2nd and 4th (?) and have already played once to a 1-1 draw. We're now in extra time and it's still 0-0, but they'll play until someone wins. Apparently the FA cup is one of several that football teams compete for here, and it's supposed to crown the best team in the UK Premier league. I think. Liverpool is chock full of Irish that never made it across the Atlantic, so they're one of the most popular teams over here - meaning we weren't the only ones interested in the Liverpool match at the hotel bar.
The best part of the evening (besides being hit on by an 80 year old from County Kerry named Willie - apparently I just need to head down there and tell everyone that I know Willie, since he once ran for office on the slogan 'don't be a sillie, vote for Willie' so they'll know who I'm talking about) was listening to two dozen older men from County Kerry (one of them a Brosnan or Brosnahan!) converge on the hotel bar, drink several pints, and launch into song after song. It seemed like I was stuck in a Maeve Binchy movie, and apparently all the old guys do it, but it was a lovely way to meet these characters, and even though it was corny I loved every minute of it. I'm looking forward to coming back.
Now back to my chips and gravy, and then a well-deserved sleep. I miss you all.