We never planned a holiday for this year.

The reason of course was that we didn’t know what the situation was about Sandy.  Somehow, when your Best Dog is dying, holidays don’t seem so important.

A couple of days ago I came across mention of a ferry company that sails from Ireland to France.  I had never heard of them before and had always assumed that the only route was either by Irish Ferries from Rosslare or Brittany Ferries from Cork.  As I never fancied the long trip to Cork just to catch a ferry, Irish Ferries seemed like the only option.

But then I came across Celtic Link.

Out of bored curiosity I did a simulated booking just to see what their prices are like.  A sample return trip with the car and dog was around the €214 mark.  I banged in the same conditions into Irish Ferries and they quoted me €426.  Two yoyos more and they would have been exactly double!  That would be one hell of a saving.

I did some research and a few people bitched about Celtic Link.  They moaned that there was only one bar, but how many fucking bars can you drink in at a time?  Or do people do pub-crawls on ferries?  They said the staff weren’t as friendly.  Seeing as all the staff [bar the captain?] on Irish Ferries are Eastern European you can’t tell whether they are being friendly or not.  They said the food wasn’t that good on Celtic Link, but then they can’t have eaten on Irish Ferries.

The bottom line seemed to be that Celtic Link were the Ryanair equivalent to Irish Ferries’ Aer Lingus.  That’s fair enough.  When I’m going to France I don’t want a fucking luxury cruise, I just want to get there.

All this has given me the hankering for a trip.  The weather here is a fairly typical summer – lukewarm days with black ominous clouds.  If it isn’t raining it’s because it’s just about to.  The decision each evening is whether to fire up the central heating or not.   I have started daydreaming about blue skies and warmth.  I dream of sitting outside a cafe, supping mugs of the stuff and puffing on the pipe while trying to work out what everyone around me is saying.  I dream of driving through beautiful countryside with the sunroof open.

It’s too late to go to France now, and anyway I’m not abandoning the dog and her only just settling in.

It looks like I may have to make do with a wet few days in the West to escape a wet few days in the East. 

Or there again I may not bother my arse.

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I can but dream — 14 Comments

  1. Come on over !
    Weather fine and warm.   The new dog will be even more attaced to you on your retirn.
    If you find your way to South Deux-Sevres, I will buy you a pint (or to be more accurate, a demi)   or even two.

  2. tt – Too many reasons why it’s too late.  For a start, most places will probably be booked, not to mention the ferries.  As for the dog – she has had enough for the moment of being abandoned.  I wouldn’t have the heart to throw her into kennels when she is only here a wet Monday.  You may be a heartless old bollix, but I’m not!

    A Grandad – South Deux-Sevres?  I thought you were in Poitiers?  There again, I don’t know where I got that idea.  Have you got a gite you are going to kindly lend to a broke old pensioner and his missus?

  3. South Deux-Sevres is 75 km south of Poitiers.   
    Sorry, I do not have a gite, only a small ancient farmhouse.

  4. It’s never too late to go to France.

    We went at Halloween one year, and it was as pleasant as ever.

    The only problem with a Ryanair equivalent on the high seas is that you might land some distance from your imagined destination, like France (Jersey) or France (Spain) ports.

  5. Ian – They only travel to Cherbourg so they probably don’t have charts for anywhere else.  Anyhow I wouldn’t mind Jersey or even Spain.

    Ashley – Welcome!  So you are coming over here huh?  Normally there are two periods of fine weather a year here – during the Leaving Cert [final school exams] in June, and the first two weeks in September [after the schools have gone back].  The June one was a washout this year so I can’t guarantee anything for September.  Bring a warm coat and wellingtons anyway.

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