Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Walking for hours (not quite knowing where the path would lead) in fabulous surroundings, taking a few pictures, soaking up the fresh air and the sun… it does not get much better for the soul than that. This weekend gone by was like balm for my soul.

Last week a very good friend and I decided to go away for the weekend. We decided to go to the northwest of Ireland, to an area called County Donegal – specifically to a lovely place called Killybegs.

It was a fantastic weekend. I could most likely write for hours but instead I will share with you some highlights and most importantly some pictures of this beautiful place.

  • The best little hotel in town Tara Hotel, highly recommended! Try to get a room with the view of the harbor – so you can see the fishing boats go out at night and come back early morning.
  • The seafood chowder… ohh soo good!
  • Sheep… lots of sheep…
  • Stillness – only disturbed by those cheeky seagulls.
  • A perfectly calm sea (just a few ripples caused by a few hungry seals).
  • Sea mist that slowly lifted, sunshine and hardly a breeze.
  • Absolutely beautiful views.

 

The harbor in Killybegs:

The beauty about being here off-season is that we hardly saw any other walkers/hikers around. Just a few locals and plenty of sheep (one was even leading us for quite some time)

The nearby Slieve League Cliffs are a must visit and absolutely stunning. The sea mist came and went but never fully lifted in the sunshine.

So 407.3 miles by car, several hours by foot and two fantastic days – makes one great weekend. The only bad thing was that it ended too quick. So for the next trip away it will have to be a two nights stay. Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

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Curveballs

Posted: February 17, 2011 in Driving, Life
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This is turning out to be quite an expensive week so far. First the charges that I made on my VISA card while on my holiday are starting to show up on my statement. How did it add up so fast?

Then we discovered that we need to re-tile the en-suite shower as we have a persistent issue with water damage. This is where i could go off in a rant about incompetent builders that installed it in the first place but I do not have the energy for that right now.

To make things even better my beloved car started to overheat on my way home from work the other day which really causes me problems as without my car it is a nightmare to get to work and I refuse to take public transport for 2 hours when it takes me 30 min to drive. So into the garage she goes. Of course it is not a simple issue… they are still trying to find the cause of the problem… please, please let it not be the head gasket! If it is it will cost me over 600 euro…. (bye-bye Malaga weekend trip with the girls, which already started to look unlikely).

The most important thing that I need to remember here is that I still need to be able to laugh about things. The best comment I got in regards to my car was from one of the girls in work. I pointed out that my car was sick and had a fever… her response was “… just pour a bottle of Butterworth into the tank and wrap up and let it have a good sweat…”

Loved that!

I might be getting very close to be very broke but with a few good laughs it will be grand. Life might through a few curveballs at me but you know what… hahaha!

Grin factor

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Driving, Life
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Dublin has been quite icy and cold the last few weeks. As most people here are not used to this weather it has meant that traffic has been pretty horrid. Driving has been interesting to say the least… ice-rink conditions mostly as the sand and grit obviously still is on-route from the Gobi dessert or similar. It might get here in May…

All this has mean that I have used my partners car instead of my own. It is heavier than mine and made for this weather (it is a SAAB…Swedish tried and tested). It is also safer to bump into other vehicles with, if that would happen.

It is comfortable, has lots of gadgets and techie buttons, has more horsepower under the hood than my car, it is safe and smooth…. BUT soo bloody boring to drive! Where is the grin factor?? I want to drive with a smile on my face, I want to feel like I am surfing the streets.

Ford Puma 001

My car is not a very powerful car ( a Ford Puma) but it is a fun car. There is enough speed in it to make in enjoyable and it feels good. Whenever I have had a really stressful day at work..all I need to do is get into my car and I immediately relax. Sigh… sod this weather.

Driving has become my guilty pleasure. Yes, I know it isn’t very environmentally friendly. If it wasn’t lashing down with rain here 365 days a year (OK…slight exaggeration) then I would probably go back to riding a motorcycle. Can’t stick to bicycles in this town… unless you have a death wish. But then I just have to upgrade to a nice and even more fuel consumption friendly car…hmmm the Mazda RX-8? <grin>

Snowflake. Small microscope kept outdoors. Sna...

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I dared the elements and ventured out in the ice and snow among the deserted streets of Dublin to go the extra mile, to make the effort to, to make it to the club for a training class.

OK… slight exaggeration… it wasn’t that dramatic really. I drove to the dojo…it was a bit icy and a bit snowy and no problem at all. I just took it easy but listening to the radio in the car one would think that we are in the deadlock of -35 degrees with 15 feet of snow. Talks about bitterly cold arctic conditions and making no unnecessary journeys etc. FFS… it is about -1 and a bit icy…OK, some spots were more icy than others..but still!

Now that is not the point of this post. My point is that I was back training and it was great. It ended up just being three of us (instructor plus two students) but I really enjoyed myself. We had a very open mat evening trying out a few different things. It feels really good that I went there tonight. I need to feel that I am getting back on track as I have missed too much already.

Bring on Thursday!

 

Alternative version of image:Wooden hourglass ...

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How many times do you find yourself being in the present? Really just existing in that present moment without remembering the past or thinking about the future? I believe that it is very rare. Most of us are either preoccupied with what has happened or with what will happen. Our lives are busy and many things are going on at the same time causing our chain of thoughts to evolve based on what we have learned in the past and what we want to do in the future. There is always something to do.

Some are more focused on what has happened, how things went the way they did, what caused it and so forth. Others focus primarily on the future, how will I get there, what will I do once I am there and so on. I’d hazard to guess that most of us are somewhat in between. Me… I love both the past, as I am a big fan of history, and the future as I am always impatient to see what will happen.

But too rarely do I find myself in the actual present and it is a shame as I believe there is much to learn in those moments, about ourselves and the world around us. It is also a truly wonderful way to relax and just feel alive. Those odd times when I catch myself in the present moment are great. Today I was driving in my car and singing along loudly to the radio (yes, I was alone) and I had a moment of clarity when I realized that I wasn’t thinking about anything that had happened or what I was going to do when I reached my destination. Instead I was just cherishing that particular moment singing to my heart’s content, feeling the sun through the windshield, the noise from the open window and a having a big smile on my face.

Does that ever happen to you?

The joy of driving

Posted: April 28, 2010 in Driving
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Here I am, having had a driving license for the last 14 years and only very recently have I discovered that I absolutely love driving in my car. I have had a car before, it was nothing special. Well to be honest, it was a very boring car. It got me from A to B and that is about it. I never did understand the obsession that others (mainly male friends) had with cars and driving. I though it was silly.

Then came the moment when it was time to change my car. Previously my partner and I shared this one car but now he wanted one of his own and I decided that I would like one as well. Possible not the most economical choice in these times but I decided that I wanted to have a car that was just mine. I also knew that I did not want a boring car again. It took some time before I could narrow it down to a few different types. Taking away the ” ooh so nice but ooh so expensive” – ones and the “my grandmother would drive them” – ones and finally take away the typical “girly” – cars… shudder! I knew what I wanted; a car that is fun to drive, looks cool but not over the top and one that I could actually afford (which definitely narrowed it down). In the end I bought a second-hand Ford Puma. It’s not the car of my dreams but it has opened my eyes.

The minute I step into my Puma I feel happy and I relax. I listen to my favorite radio station in the mornings and then to some wicked music during the commute home or whenever I am out driving. I love the fact that the car is responsive and speedy. It is fun to drive and never fails to put a smile on my face. Oh, I know that many will say that the car is nothing special and that there are many other, better cars out there. That may be true but to me, right now, this is the car that has opened my eyes to the joy of driving and that beats a lot. Driving down the road, good tunes blasting from the speakers and (hopefully) the sun is shining – that is life. 🙂

Mmmmm… I think I will be off for a drive now. See you later, if you can catch me. 🙂