22 November 2009

Went to the Beach today

So first I would like to say that the amount of rain in Ireland is just insane. This last week has been so bad that there is flooding, and some of the PhD's have been unable to get to uni because the roads are flooded. People have been evacuated and some places don't have drinking water. Of course you don't really notice it that much but today I did see fields that for the time being are lakes.

Anyway I went to the beach today. The plan was to collect barnacles. One of the undergrads in the lab reckons that they're common as, that you see them washed up all the time when you are out surfing. Now he does seem the type to exaggerate so I wasn't really expecting too much, I just wanted to go to the beach. And it was so windy and rainy, before long I was completely soaked through, right to the skin, my jeans were so heavy that they kept slipping down. But still it was interesting. What the photographs don't show is how the wind was so strong that it was nearly blowing me over, and driving the rain like needles right into my face and in my ears, all so I could take photos for you.

This beach is in County Clare which is the one below Galway County, and it is called Fanore. There are rocks everywhere, big flat step-like rocks. Some of it looks like a New Zealand beach, the sand is the same sort of colour as at Oreti beach and there are sand dunes and of course the sky is grey and the sea looks cold. Clare is also a place with big old stone tombs and things but I havn't seen any of that yet. But there was a castle and I took a photo, seeing as I have not seen castles before. It was not really a very impressive castle.

There were no barnacles washed up but I wasn't really expecting much. It is very tiring getting so cold and wet, I had to have such a long shower to defrost. And then I had to go out in the cold again because I had no milk! Plus my jacket isn't quite that waterproof. If there is to be any more sampling I am going to have to get gumboots and waterproof gear. Though they call gumboots wellies here so I have to be careful what I say or people don't know what you are talking about.

Also I had somebody tell me that I have a lovely accent. Who would have thought!? I was told that most people dislike the New Zealand accent.

And as well as going to the beach for the first time today I also tried mushy peas. they are an English/Irish thing. I thought maybe they were just peas mashed up. They don't taste like just peas though, they are a special type or something, called marrowfat peas. Or maybe it is something to do with the way they were cooked? Anyway they were really yummy.

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