Posted by: mdmusingsie | December 7, 2011

Deck the Halls (part 1)

I thought all my fabulous readers would enjoy a taste of what Ireland looks like at Christmas, so here is the first installment from Galway.

My apartment has felt like the frozen tundra this last week and I narrowed it down to the wall vents that are supposed to keep the moisture out, but this time of year, do nothing more than allow a steady stream of cold air inside. After a trip to the local DIY store where I went in search of the plastic weatherization sheets they sell in the US for patio doors and windows, I was stared at as if I’d grown another head. No problem, I just needed a little ingenuity along with a few sheets of cellophane (in a lovely shade of orange) and some packing tape. As far as I’m concerned, any moisture can still escape up the chimney or out the bathroom vent. It’s actually been much more pleasant since I blocked off those drafts, though I’d hardly call it warm. The storage heater has proved inadequate, so on my visit to the DIY store I did pick up a portable heater so I can actually get the place to a somewhat agreeable temperature, though I may be in for a shock when I get the electric bill. I’ve tried the fireplace and still have a box of quick lighting fireplace logs, but you have to stand within about two feet of the thing to feel any benefit. It does look lovely, however, so I still use it occasionally for ambiance.

Back to decking the halls…as with most everything else I own, my Christmas decorations are in storage, so I’ve picked up a few little things to tide me over. My cute little wreath that I bought at the Galway Christmas Market hangs on the inside as the outer door isn’t designed for a wreath hanger. I suppose I could put a large nail in the door, but that would require another trip to the DIY store to purchase nails and a hammer. My apartment is somewhat secluded, being on the end, so few people would see it anyway, so I’ll just enjoy it from the inside.

The German-style Christmas Market has been up in Eyre Square since I returned from the US and they have a nice array of crafts as well as plenty of food items, including one stall sure to have sugar plums dancing in the heads (and stomachs) of children throughout the season.

The main streets have assorted lighted garland or holiday sculptures hanging between buildings and many shops have Christmas trees stuck to their facades. To coin a phrase from the movie The Grinch, “It’s joyful and triumphant.”

One thing I haven’t seen are the myriad of Christmas shows on television. I like the old fashioned cartoons for Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, etc. (my DVDs are in storage, too). There’s no ABC Family channel on cable to provide a constant stream of Christmas favorites. Maybe they just don’t have them this early – we’ll have to wait and see.

Next stop – Baile Átha Cliath (aka Dublin)

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