We arrived in Kinsale last Sunday and have spent nearly a week here. We saw a few dolphins on the way in and that was a nice touch of wildlife. Originally our plan was to leave Kinsale for Portugal/Spain on Wednesday but as we’re dependent on the weather (and in no rush to do anything) we spent the best part of a week here and our departure date has gone from Friday to Saturday but we may still be here on Sunday. That’s life now.

We’ve been in to Cork a few times on the bus. The shops there are good and I did a few circuits of the Prada section in one of the posh shops. Not tempted enough though as I can’t see the point with all that as we’ll be at sea and Clive keeps reminding me how much I’ve got in storage. Good point, but still hard not to go crazy and spend, spend, spend for the sake of it.  We went back to Cork on Monday to meet Phil who’s joining us for the Biscay crossing and to buy a new flat screen TV as the rough ‘unprepared for’ journey over meant that we managed to get water on the TV and the screen ended up with lines across it. We got a taxi from Cork bus station to a retail park and the driver offered to stay while we went in to get the TV. We left our shopping and all of Phil’s luggage in the boot and ran in before thinking that maybe this wasn’t such a wise thing to do. Anyway, 10 minutes later we emerged with the TV of choice and to our relief the taxi was still there.On our next trip to Cork we bought a fishing net that is just perfect to scoop up a cat in the unfortunate case of one going overboard.

We have a healthy rivalry with the crew on Kika and after they invited us over to their boat for dinner one night and served champagne and salmon appetisers before the meal we decided to go one better.

We hosted a film night for them on Sephina and watched The Guard. (I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that film but I just love it and the humour is wicked, everyone loved it.)  We had champagne and nibbles on deck before retiring below deck for a 3 course meal. Clive cooked up smoked haddock mousse with scallops, I did chilli con carnie (friends that know me will know that this is all I can cook from scratch) and Phil did a swiss roll with fresh strawberries and cream. We managed to really get one upmanship over them as we have a printer on board and printed a menu for them, translated into Spanish.  We also had fresh flowers on the table and proper napkins!! This was the unveiling of our super duper table and I think we did it justice. Thanks to Paul and Barry for doing us proud with that.

How are the cats?

Last week Clive put a cat-flap in the door between our bedroom and the kitchen/galley so the cats can come and go during the night and they’ve taken to it straight away. It just means that we can have our door shut at night without trapping them in or out of our room and as they’ve taken to playing in the lounge/saloon during the early hours we thought with the door shut we wouldn’t get disturbed. Unfortunately Phil sleeps in the lounge/saloon so this  could be a true test of friendship. Will the cats survive or be thrown overboard by a sleepless Phil?  So far he’s been very patient and even seems to have warmed to Peri, who is an attention seeker and has found a sucker with Phil.

Everyone is so friendly over here in Ireland and the pubs are a great social experience. We’ve had a couple of nights out went out in pubs where an Irish band was playing and Vince joined in on the flute and Jon with his violin. I even had a bit of an irish jig with the locals and as I haven’t seen any photos I’m hoping that bit wasn’t recorded.

It’s not all been play though and on Wednesday I serviced one of the mast winches. I did the deck winches last year (with youngest daughter) but this was slightly different so I got Colin (from Kika) to show me how to take it apart. It works a dream now. My nails are no longer attractive but at least the winch works and we may be glad of that when we’re in the middle of nowhere.

I’ve had a few texts/phone calls from friends at home in response to me warning them that my phone may be disconnected in the next week, having contact with them made me feel a tad home sick.  That on top of not spending any money in the Prada shop is almost too much for such a shallow person as myself to bear.

Since I started typing this blog I’ve been told that departure may be Sunday night now. Do I care? Just got back to the marina and there was a Garda car outside the entrance. Much to our dismay there was a crowd scene on the pontoon by our boat. It got worse. There was a body on the pontoon that had just been found in the water by some kids. (Clive took the opportunity to speak to the Garda and explain that we have CCTV on our boat so no doubt we’ll be getting a visit from the boys in blue tomorrow.)

Mmmmm!! Life is unpredictable