After making Salthill our home in Galway for a few days we were glad to be back in London. It was about time we left Galway for we had become very comfortable in Salthill and our familiarity was beginning to tell. The bartenders at the sea facing gastro-pub, Oslo and the servers at the charming bakery Tart Company now knew us by our face and gave us welcome ‘you-are-back-again’ smiles.
Clad in boots and trench coats, we ignored the rain and took the kids to the petting zoo and communal fairs where we spent precious Euros losing silly games. We dined-in over Chinese or Indian take-out. Our clingy children basked in the knowledge that they had us to themselves in the evenings, for much to our relief and theirs, Galway offered us no nightlife. We even made it to the local hospital for I had broken into hives and needed my allergy to be treated.
We feasted on handmade chocolates and marshmallows. In the evenings, sitting by the cafe,we watched cyclists and joggers pass by but stayed committed to the task of eating and drinking, undeterred. The husband smiled and slept more than his annual quota usually permits. Our life was beginning to look like the settings of a sitcom where happy families hang around each other doing pretty much nothing except coming up with clever lines.
We petted other people’s dogs from the neighbourhood and sorely missed ours and Skyped him every other day to reassure him that he had not been abandoned forever. *(I see some of you are smirking/rolling your eyes at me but the dog is like one of our children and our staff in Bombay has been taught to sign into Skype to make our face-to-face chats with the canine possible.)
We drove across the breathtaking Irish countryside to stunning castles, both of which our children showed no interest in. One constantly cribbed about motion sickness and the other only wanted to know when we were reaching every five minutes. Each time we hit the road the husband cursed himself and me for planning this holiday with the kids.
The highly oxygenated air of Galway also encouraged the brain cells to develop overtime, thereby leading to some disturbing disclosures. The four-year-old confided in me one day over lemonade, that if I removed her skin I would see that she is a ‘rock star’ from inside and that when she grows up she wants to start a singing dancing place where only family will be allowed in for free but old people will not be allowed [sic]. I am now the proud parent of a child who aspires to run a nightclub when she grows up, where in all probability I will not be allowed admission.
At another time, I caught her howling away in her bedroom. Over copious tears and heavy nasal discharge I was accused of being a bad parent by my little girl for giving birth to her sister many years before her, thereby making her come last.
By day five, our urban kids had run out of things to do in Galway and were alternating between the iPad and fighting with each other to make their lives more meaningful.
I had fallen in love with my simple life in Galway but London beckoned. The kids needed the big city and we needed our time out.