“Don’t put pressure on yourself to create the perfect family staycation..we expect those we know best – our children, partners, siblings, parents – to become completely different people. So we assume that the teenagers are going to get up before noon, and get cross when this is not the case. We think that boys who wear black, talk in grunts and are really into heavy metal, in that 13-year-old’s rite-of-passage way, are going to be super-interested in seal trips, or that massively self-conscious teenage girls are going to love taking off most of their clothes in public. Or that children who cannot conceive of a world without screens are going to spend two weeks looking around them interestedly and not down at their phones instead..” India Knight.

..OR AT LEAST DON’T DO IT THE WAY WE DID : 5 supposed-permanent (supposed-)adult minders/posse (the numbers of which fluctuated wildly, depending on who out of the five of us could get away with it at the time), to be assisted by other parents/grandparents during the two-week ‘holiday’, with what transpired to be between 13 and 19 youths to supervise/look after (/for), find and/or hide from. It was harder, at times, during the two weeks, to find our ‘assistants’, which led to a few awkward moments when a couple of the missing assistants bumped into some of the missing kids in the near-by town. Those complicated moments always seemed to happen in one of the local pubs..

It was hectic, to put it mildly, but therein lies the craic (in hindsight, that is) – a large gathering of family, friends, neighbours, children and grandchildren, sharing holiday cabins and tents, some wanting to go out ‘on the town’ when others are only getting ‘home’ from there, some others not wanting to go with the main party but expressing a new-found interest in nature, wanting to ‘explore the woods’ or go fishing/climbing (yeah, right..) and some of the older kids wanting to go into the nearest bigger town to go ‘shopping’ ; what they were looking for wasn’t, we expect, sold over a counter.

The weather was kind to us, for the most part, but we had three days of heavy rain over the two weeks, which wasn’t bad and, overall, things worked out for all of us, more or less. Us ‘minders’ took it in turns, two at a time, to get home to Dublin during the ‘break’ for a breather for two days, which was a welcome diversion, so much so that, rumour has it (!), some of the ‘minder teams’ were a bit reluctant to leave the peace and quiet of an empty house to return to the fray but were eventually persuaded to do so…!

Anyway – it’s done and dusted now, and we left the holiday homes/cabins/garda station cells in Dublin, Wicklow and Meath in much the same condition as we found them (!) and, indeed, we’ve probably left the staff numbers of the above-mentioned accommodations in a better shape than when we arrived, as we’re still trying to locate some of our party!

We got back to Dublin on Sunday just gone (4th August) which allowed us to chillax a bit, as Monday was a Bank Holiday here in this State, but no rest for those who (try to) look after (/for) the wicked (!) : we were immediately jobbed, as expected, to help with the running of a 650-ticket fund-raiser for the Cabhair organisation, which will be held in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday, 11th August, 2019 and we began doing so yesterday Tuesday, 6th August.

Regular readers will know that the ‘autopsy’ into how the event went is held, as always, on the evening of the day following the event, in a Dublin city centre venue, meaning that we will not have enough time to put one of our regular posts together for Wednesday, 14th August ; we’ll be back here on Wednesday, 21st August next with, among other bits and pieces, a story about a highly respected (by his own type, that is..) British Army officer who assisted in the formation of what turned out to be a criminal gang, but who was then conned by a different criminal gang (…the latter being his own type, as well!) out of a small financial fortune, an episode which gave his own family another reason to publicly belittle him. The poor man..(!)

Thanks for reading, and do please check back with us on the 21st August next, thanks again!


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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