My Slice of Heaven

Just back from 4 days in my favourite place in Ireland.

We discovered the Clonea Strand and Leisure Centre/Gold Coast Hotel about 7 years ago! The decor in the hotels are quite dated but the staff are very welcoming and look after us really well as we go there 2/3 times a year. They never charge us for our little boy and the food is delicious.

We have a beach outside our door, a swimming pool in our hotel (+ the "bubble pool" in the Gold Coast), the Play Loft and a small bowling Alley! hubby also joined the Gold Coast Golf Club....MUCH cheaper then the exorbitant Dublin and Wicklow prices! So there's lots to keep us amused without going anywhere else.

We got into the habit, over the years, of just keeping to the hotels and not touring around. This was mainly due to Snuggles......it was one thing to go "visiting" anywhere but quite another to fit any other visits in. Even now he hates if I go some place on our travels that I haven't told him about. Even if it's just 1 or 2 extra shops while out shopping. Also, when he was younger he really was very limited in what he ate. A lot better now and we even visit the Chinese restaurant while we're in Dungarvan!

There are some horror stories from our trips to Clonea...like the times we had to leave the restaurant. They brought our dinner to our room instead! And the awful bowling escapades! Now , he loves bowling but he HATES to lose. Constantly watches out for the pictures on screen when you get a strike or a spare. There were times when I had to pick him up and drag him away he was so upset. Once he wriggled out of my grasp and ran screaming through the hotel. And still they welcome us back!

This year was great though. He found the bowling hard but was able to contain himself so we all enjoyed. I've done social stories with him to help in this area. Because he's in mainstream, and getting invited to birthday parties, I want him to be able to go to bowling parties and cope with it. It seems to be working!

I have found over the years that perseverance pays off. The very 1st holiday we took to Spain when he was 3 was an absolute disaster. I don't know how we ever went anywhere ever again! But we did and bit by bit he's got used to it. We tend to stick to the same places though. But, guess what this year he asked to go somewhere different!! that was for Spain NOT Dungarvan...he loves Dungarvan!

Ahhh......sigh....... roll on Christmas when (please God) we'll be down again! Now, that's one of my favourite times to go there. Christmas is SOOO stressful. Nothing to do with snuggles...he's great. It's family and who's having dinner where etc, etc. My mam in nursing home nearby so we end up taking her each year, so hubby doesn't get to see his family Christmas Day. I really hate it. But, the last few years we've gone to Clonea from 27th - 29th Dec. It is absolute bliss!!! I can cope with it all once I get those few days!!

No pics as I can't find USB connection! Everything packed away in boxes due to flood. Downstairs gutted. We have a DeHumidifier and 2 powerful fans downstairs. 'Tis like living in a wind tunnel!!

The Day The Rains Came

Well, I thought my post on the rainy day in Dublin and our summer was bad. it has NOTHING on the rainfall we had last Saturday! OMG....it THUNDERED down. Unbelieveable. Monsoon-like. Seriously, I've never seen anything like it.

I'd gone shopping and to the gym in the morning and everyone was commenting on the rain. We had lunch when I got home and I noticed a little puddle building up in the back garden that I'd never seen happen before. Hmmm....must keep an eye on that sez I.

Went upstairs, did some ironing whilst checking on the ever growing puddle. Even showed it to snuggles who was getting quite excited about it. Then Hubby calls me and says "look at this". We're at a T junction and about 40/50 feet away 2 puddles had formed either side of road and were meeting in the middle. This had never, ever happened before. So we watched it build. And spread.

Good bit away from us so not too worried. We never thought to look down! So Hubby opened front door to watch puddles out front and Oh My God.... half garden was flooded and it was just at the front step! Couldn't believe it. This was in the space of 10 minutes! Car was in danger of being flooded so got the wellies on and moved it up the garden path. We eventually ended up with a lake out front and the only dry patch was the slight rise where car was parked.

All the neighbours only realised what was happening at the last minute, things happened so fast. We didn't know what to do . I was out helping put builders sand we found into plasic bags. Too late though....water came into house in minutes.

We were lucky though cos rain stopped (Thank God) and Fire Brigade came within 20 minutes. They were there for 3 hours pumping the contaminated water away...they used our side entrance. Needless to say the kids, including snuggles , had a ball! Best day of their lives, to be remembered forever. Our guy LOVES water, puddles, rain, showers etc. He pranced around in it. Hard to get him to stop. Firemen told the people with no wellies to disinfect themselves after so that'll tell you how bad it was.

Something like this brings out the good in people. The neighbours came from everywhere to help out. All the kids were fed in 1 house, we had dinner in another and snuggles got to have a sleepover (Yes...a sleepover!!) in a pal's house!! all unplanned, he was great that day, sure he was so excited. The neighbours were great. Even if it didn't affect them they wanted to help. And they'll contact the council to complain. Of course it was the council's fault for not maintaining the drains. Firemen said it. Council workers who came later agreed! Sure our houses are on a cliff for chrissakes!

Council came next day and found drains that were tarmacadamed over, manholes they didn't even know existed and they found a tree growing in one drain!! Despite news reports saying the 4 Dublin Councils were prepared for this (they had floods northside previous weekend) they were NOT prepared. The "emergency" helpline kept cutting me off so obviously wasn't sufficiently manned. We tried to get some of the "stockpile" of sandbags and 20 arrived (approx 20 houses flooded)! No-one was told they'd arrived..if you saw them you got a sandbag if not....tough.

And now the aftermath. We got 3/4 inches of water. Not too bad I hear you say. It was contaminated though so everything it touched has to go. Flooring, doors, furniture, walls have to be stripped back. Although hall carpet destroyed it only went 3/4 way up 1st stair, but hall, stairs and landing carpet must go. We need de-humidifiers (yes, more than 1!) for 2/3 weeks to dry it out. Loss Adjuster would prefer we don't stay while it's being done. So do I! I swear to God, the smell was so bad. It's toxic. Getting rid of the carpet has helped though.

Just heard today that there was ecoli in the water. A few of the neighbours have been sick. Yikes!! But, we're going away for a few days tomorrow so that'll help. We can think about what we'll do. Moving out for a bit is such a hassle. Snuggles back to school in a week. New classroom, new teacher (for 3 weeks then another new teacher), harder homework AND a new home??? The timing couldn't be worse.

On the positive side....I hate my house! Needs serious de-cluttering and I didn't know where to begin! Now I have no choice! We are going to build an extension so we might try and combine that. My 3 piece suite is falling apart. Bye bye suite...and Hellooo Land of Leather!! This could work out rather well actually!

I also got some cool photos! Not with my camera unfortunately so I'll have to figure a way to post them on here.

Can't wait to get to Dungarvan tomorrow!! Pool and jacuzzi here I come! Keep my bottle of Vino Sol chilled please Mr barman...I'm on my way!!
- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -