Im massively into podcasts at the moment. Since I cant be working with Mr Clev all the time in the business (as agreed during summer holidays) Ive been trying to further my business brain by listening to sage business advice mainly from Americans who are much younger and much richer than myself. Anyway, one the other day said “You are the sum of the people you hang out with” ie, if you hang out with 5 millionaires you will be the 6th, equally if you hang out with 5 complete douchebags you will inevitably be the 6th.
When we moved here we quickly learned who our real friends are. Theres a few we can really count on for all manner of friendship – laughs, chats, culture, deep and meaningfuls and luckily enough for us we saw most of them this summer and did loads of fun activities together.
We went to the Birr Vintage parade back in July with my old teacher. Sounds weird but its not, my mum used to teach at my school so I have lots of teacher friends. I like Birr and think its a must see if you are in the midlands with kids, especially the castle and the castle playground. Its awesome, but more on that later! So the parade was ‘interesting’ made more interesting by the parade commentator who literally did not pipe down. We ended up bunking for a coffee instead! We also took our first trip to the Botanic Gardens in Dublin with my oldest friend and her boyf (can you still call someones significant other a boyf even though you are approaching 30? I never know, I was going to say partner but then I always think thats a bit ambiguous, its a minefield it really is). I was shocked at how awesome the gardens were considering they are free to visit! We drove in and parked on site and it was all super easy.
Walking around the various glass houses and the grounds themselves was great as the kids let of steam and the adults could chat. Win win situation and I loved catching up with all the news. Glassnevin cemetery is next door to the gardens so we took a walk around there too. Visiting with a grown Irishman was awesome and his low down on who was who and the role people like Michael Collins played in Irish freedom was fascinating. It inspired me to get reading up on my Irish history so I can visit again.
The following week my friend from the UK came over with her two children, they came two years ago and have promised to come again the summer after next. These guys have all known each other since they were like 6 weeks old and we went to mother and baby group in a musty old church hall. Its so funny seeing them interact with each other and pick up right where they left off the last time! (dont mind my scruffy child there, turns out the quiet car journey from Athlone to Skerries was spent working a nice hole in her leggings)
From meeting them at the airport we headed to Skerries. We FINALLY, after like 4 visits there went to the ice cream shop on the harbour and it did not disappoint! delicious doesn’t even begin to cover it. We had a great few days with the kids visiting Minevention again (post coming soon) and in general having a lovely time together filling up the friendship tank.
During their visit we also had a great old time at Coosan Point, Lough Ree, which has recently been re covered (no more sand everywhere, wahey!), again its well worth a visit with the kids if you are in the Athlone area. My kids also ALWAYS paddle there. This isnt really the done thing, or at least it doesnt seem like it is, but my kids + water = paddle. Every single time. Luckily Paige and William are cut from the same cloth and their mummy, like me, isn’t phased by a bit of lake water and having to take kids home bundled in towels and whatever clothes we could find!
So, going by my earlier statement that you are the sum of the people you hang out with..
(literally hanging with in these guys case)
Then we are a very lucky bunch indeed as the guys we hung out with this summer are a hard working, determined, loving, bubbly, funny, caring and passionate bunch of super cool peeps. Long live summer and life long friendships!