Happy St Patrick’s Day from the Prodigal Daughter

I’ve been meaning to write this post for ages but you know how it is.

I’ve been back in Ireland for nearly four months and it feels in some ways that I’ve never been away.  I’ve been asked a couple of times in the supermarket where I’ve been living because seemingly I have a ‘funny’ accent. Nothing changes then!

Surprisingly, the weather has been very good. I don’t turn on the central heating (that I so longed for in New Zealand) very often as I have a stove, and it’s only March and I’ve already started going out without a coat.

I always said that Ireland was like New Zealand (if you could put a roof on it) and I think that’s why I’m settling back in so easily. The differences are mainly around technology. NZ is much more tech savvy than Ireland, particularly in the banking sector. There’s a lower % of online shoppers here than in most other countries, trust is hard won. Irish people use cash! I’ve been caught out a few times where I’ve had to leave my purchases and go find an ATM.

BUT, as most people know, Ireland is about the people. I’ve never laughed as much with complete strangers as I have in the past four months. I’m living in a town called Gorey. It’s in Co Wexford which is in the optimistically-called Sunny-South-East. The town is buzzing. During the recession when shops were closing the local Chamber of Commerce dressed the empty shops to look like they were open house and 30 days to get your house ready for salefor business so that people passing through wouldn’t think it was a dead town. Well, it’s anything but!

I’ve joined the local Writers’ group – great bunch of people and again, laughter is the number one ingredient on any given night.  I’ve just published another book; in case you’re thinking of moving house at all, this should be helpful.

I volunteer at the SPCA cattery and have met some lovely people through that but struggle to leave all the kittens behind at the end of my shift.

The best bit, of course, is seeing my family so often. They’re only 30 minutes away so I don’t miss out on the gatherings anymore. We’re off to see Tommy Tiernan on Sunday night and it’s fantastic to be here for my mother’s 80th in a couple of weeks. I’m going to the UK for Easter to visit my friends Georgina and Andy who I met online when we were all making plans to go to New Zealand. Seems like a lifetime ago. It’s brilliantly busy and in the midst of it all is my darling Barney who literally gets me up in the morning!

It’s St Patrick’s Day today and later on this afternoon, the parade will pass by my house. I’ll be outside with my neighbours, sister, and her little ones and I’ll remember my NZ friends who helped make this possible!

Here’s a bit of Tommy Tiernan for you!

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