The weather here has been quite atrocious lately. It’s been raining almost incessantly for weeks and many areas have experienced bad flooding.

The last weekend of July, however, was quite pleasant and we enjoyed a lovely afternoon in St. Anne’s Park playing boules and smelling the roses. Our plan was to walk through the park to the rose garden, but we were pleasantly surprised to find our friends Caragh and Jasper also enjoying the afternoon with some other friends of theirs playing boules. They invited us to join them and we happily accepted.

After a couple rousing rounds we took our leave and continued our journey to the rose garden. St. Anne’s has a lovely garden with a huge variety of roses. The park also has some wonderful hidden glades with spectacular trees.

Another recent weekend was spent in art appreciation. The National Gallery had an exhibition of impressionist interiors we’d really been wanting to see, so after church we took the DART to city center. A new friend at church, Andrea, wanted to join us, so we met her at the Gallery for lunch before seeing the exhibition. Several paintings by Degas, a favorite artist of mine, were included. We really enjoyed it, though Andrea prefers landscapes. Afterward we parted company with Andrea to do some shopping. Here I am outside Hodges Figgis, a very cool bookstore on Dawson St. near St. Stephen’s Green and the largest bookstore in Ireland. Sharon picked up a few books on the discount cart. Next to the bookstore is Lemon, and we couldn’t resist crepes and lattes. The simplest crepes with fresh lemon juice and caster sugar are the best, and they make some pretty mean lattes, too. Our final destination was our favorite Chinese market on Abbey St. where we bought some frozen dumplings and stir-fried veggies with fish balls. We like to keep an assortment of dumplings around for quick dim-sum dinners, and we enjoyed some that evening with our stir-fry.

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