If someone had told me 20 years ago that my destination of choice for summer holidays would be Kilkenny, I’d have told them to sod off. No way! I mean I knew that I wouldn’t be living in the town of my birth when I ‘grew up’, but I didn’t anticipate that I’d become so attached to it in my, er, prime. But here we are, finally, about to head off to the sometimes sunny south-east of Ireland (as the temperature hits 30 here in Oslo) for our fourth consecutive summer trip.
So here's to three weeks of shopping in decent supermarkets; this is particularily ironic given that I wasn't in fact ever allowed to set foot in a supermarket in Kilkenny until my father sold his grocery store when I was in my early twenties (someone might have seen me and inferred from my presence that a supermarket was better than Leahy's Minimarket - or something like that!).
More important than quality retail experiences, is seeing my parents (free babysitting), cheap booze, cheaper everything, reading loads of lovely newspapers, and catching up with many old friends. The kids love to rediscover their toys – Santa usually visits them in Kilkenny, while the retired grocer always puts Santa to shame with his generosity.
Of course, looking back I realise that I wasn't running away from Kilkenny, but from my dad's darn business, which I loathed beyond reason. That shop defined my relationship to everything; family, friends, aquaintances, myself and my home town.
But that's a story for another day (or memoir :-))
Here's to dry weather, and if the thermometer hits 20 or above, that'll be a bonus.