We’re back, and I should have updated here earlier, but everything has been a little chaotic over the last week. Ireland was brilliant, of course. Although we spent most of the long weekend in Trim, we got out to Dublin on the second day. There we had lunch with Trev in a nice organic restaurant, before heading south to Rathfarnham to meet up with Max and Kate. We discussed the possibility of all of them coming to stay (separately), and once again discussed Trev getting a blog established. Trev, if you’re reading this, set the damn thing up. Once that is done I can start working on John (unless he has a blog I don’t know about?) We had missed Max coming to Bochum earlier in the week, but in fairness it is a fairly long distance from here.
Anyway, there was a big party for my Dad’s birthday on Saturday night. It was much better than I had expected. All of my parent’s siblings were there for the first time in many years. I have some photos of my Dad and all his brothers and sister together which is pretty wonderful as one of them lives in the UK and doesn’t get over to Ireland that much. I don’t think they’ve all been in the same room in many years, possibly going back to when my grandmother died which would have been around 1995. So we had them all line up together and got some decent photographs, from a bunch of different cameras. I’m going to sift through them (I took a lot!) and see if there’s one that needs to be printed and framed… they’re that kind of special. Most of my cousins weren’t there, so it was a bit quieter than the usual family parties we have in Trim. However, one of them was, and all I can say is “holy shit!” – when did he go from being the small child I used to know to being a teenager who was still a bit hungover from the night before?!!! Anyway, it was a great party, and a great weekend. We were shagged after it – maybe even a little jet-lagged! That’s what you get when you go to bed repeatedly at 4am.
While we were over, I tried Tayto crisps again. I had gone off them over the duration of my time in London, and developed a taste for Walker’s Ready Salted. However it all came back to me this weekend. I think I munched a couple of packets of Tayto Cheese & Onion in a row, all wrapped in some Brennan’s Bread. Fucking awesome! Have to take a trip to the Irish shop here that supposedly sells them, and soon.
I had been looking for a nice pair of sun-glasses recently. The lens needed to be decent enough to block the sun, but also not too dark that they hampered my vision as I would use them for driving. That’s the easy part. The frames were the difficult thing really. The size of my head means I would need relatively small frame, and they needed to be strong but light enough not to hurt my nose. I had tried some Oakley Whiskers on in the airport on the way to Sweden and found them really comfortable as well as looking good on my face. They were however about €250, which made them very expensive for a pair of sunglasses that Anna kept telling me I’d lose. Imagine my surprise when I found them for less than half that price in Dublin airport of all places! So I bought them on the spot. Obligatory cool photo on the right…
This brings me nicely onto the new camera I picked up. I had been thinking about getting a point & click digital for some time now, mainly because my SLR is just too bulky to carry around in my pocket all the time. So we got a 7.1 megapixel Sony which is actually very convenient for us as we have Sony laptops. The memory cards it uses are obviously Sony Memory Sticks, for which we have native support on our laptops. That makes getting the images from the camera to the machine quick and easy for us. For example, I took the photo of my in the new sunglasses about five minutes ago, which would have been possible but problematic with my Canon. Oh and I can do things like this on the camera (which has a large touch screen on the back).
You might not be able to see it in these photos, but half my face is anaesthetised as I was at the dentist to have a filling in my rearmost right lower tooth. I’m starting to get the feeling back now, but its a damn uncomfortable feeling, and I can’t eat or speak much because I don’t want to bite off a piece of my cheek.
So, what else? Oh yes, we bought a bed settee for the office / spare room, so all are welcome to come and stay at any time (with forewarning of course). Not that you weren’t welcome before, but as we only had an inflatable bed it might have been a little less comfortable than one might want. Emma is coming to stay next month, and potentially the other Emma and Helgi later in the year. The invitation is open to you too.
Oh, my laptop was overheating lately. The USB port on the right also stopped working on me, so I opened a service ticket with Sony, figuring that I might have to send it back again. The nice techs there recommended I blow it all out and check if the fan was running correctly which I did and I’m ashamed to say it worked. If this were a desktop I wouldn’t have thought twice about taking it apart to look for overheating problems, but laptops are closed magic to me. Typically they’re “warranty void if opened” closed magic too, so I don’t have too much experience working inside of them. Overheating due to dust seems to be a perpetual problem for my equipment. Though I have to say its a lot less dusty here than it was in Stockwell. So, if that wasn’t bad enough, the main hard disk in my desktop died the day before yesterday too. It is fully covered under warranty, and winging its merry way back to the factory as we speak, but a fucking annoying thing to happen with a very modern disk. This is the second “modern” Western Digital disk I have had die on my in recent years. I have a 750GB Samsung unit that may work a little better so it has moved to being the primary drive in that machine. If nothing else, I think its faster than the WD unit.