BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Claire's adventues and coincidences


Claire's visit over this weekend, gave us the chance to catch up... and party!

To start of with, Claire has moved into a rundown old Victorian house in Clapham. Where she lives with 5 other roommates (three Aussie men --by complete coincidence, they are all named Matt--, an Irish woman, and an English woman). She is rapidly expanding her circle of London based acquaintances, and is once again enjoying a full and busy social life.

So she was very happy to have a quite night in on Friday, allowing Brad and I to go out to Mantra with our friends. (Don't worry, she went out to Mantra on Saturday with her friends).

The weekend bloomed beautifully with the first sunny heat of spring. We spent Saturday hiking around Phoenix Park, and greatly enjoyed the tour of the Presidential Palace and the Park Visitor's centre. We'll have to go back after Easter for a proper tour of Farmleigh, Ashtown Castle and the Victorian Walled garden.

Sunday we set off for a exploratory cycle ride (with Claire "testing" a bike that Brad was rehabilitating for a friend). Our original goal was Arthur Guinness's grave... which was located at the top of one of the foothills to the Wicklow Mountains... after which we were going to ride into the Avoca in Naas for lunch. I nearly died of starvation on the way up the hill, so we never made it to the grave site. We did however bump into the Lyons Estate on the way down the hill. A lovely lunch, with a short poke about the estate and we now have a new favorite spot! (The scones are literally the size of Nikolai's head).

Now to end with a story of Amazing Coincidences.

Before leaving for London, Claire received e-tickets for 3 to the Cirque du Soleil in London. She tried to figure out who gave them to her... and who she was supposed to take... but after an unsuccessful search she called the ticket agent. She was told that a woman with a British accent booked the tickets. And that was the only information provided. Now Claire did not know any British women at the time, and couldn't figure it out at all.

Nevertheless, the day came for Claire to go to Cirque, she printed out the tickets, choose 2 of her London friends to accompany her, and set off to meet her mysterious benefactor... ? ...only to be rejected at the gate. Apparently a Clare Parrish booked the tickets, and this Clare has nearly the same e-mail address as my sister Claire (literally just minus the "i"). So Cirque's French-biased typo resulted in Claire receiving tickets that were not for her. When the real Clare called to find out where her tickets went; Cirque failed to let my sister Claire know that her tickets were no longer valid. And bad on Cirque... as they have yet to even apologies for the mix up! At least Claire now knows where her missing e-mails may be going! I think she should call up the Clare Parrish from Bristol and invite her for tea!

Above is Claire and Nikolai with the Papal cross (1.25 million people came to see the Pope in 1979). In the photo below we're trekking across a field to the President's Palace.

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