As always, it's great being in Ireland. Obviously the weather is brutal but that never gets to me -- it's to be expected! I am able to get lot of Ph.D work done and spend quality time with friends and family while at home, which I love.
A nice thing happened to me last week, I was in Dublin shopping for my bridesmaid dress with my soon to be sister-in-law Fionnuala (she and my brother are to marry next month). We were shopping in Debenhams store in Blanchardstown shopping center when I heard a man say "Are you Elaine Ní Bhraonáin?" I turned around and introduced myself. His name was John McKenna and he told me that he had has been living in the United States for the past 20 years. He currently lives in Delaware and was in Ireland on holidays visiting his family. He told me that heis a regular reader of my column and that he thoroughly enjoys it. He son Patrick was with him and so was his nephew. Both lads were wearing Dublin GAA jerseys. It was so nice to meet them and it inspires me to keep writing, which I also love.
Another thing that made me happy was the fact that John as still a true Dub, even though he's been in the U.S.for 20 years, he still has a strong Dublin accent. I adore Dublin and I believe that the Dubs will win this year's All Ireland Football Championship. The GAA is such an important part of an Irish person's life. I played camogie (ladies huring) when I was younger but I was too weak and too skinny to be any good! I am a great supporter though and always go to a game at Croke Park when I am in Ireland. If Dublin are not playing then I support Wexford in the hurling and Mayo in the football as Mum is from Wexford and Dad from Mayo.
I was in Mayo recently visiting my Nana in her house in Ballina. It's unbelievable that she is still with us and that she will turn 104 this October (fingers crossed). She is in good health, her short term memory is a little fuzzy but she knows who I am and is still well able to tell a good yarn (story). The first thing she asked me was how the Ph.D and the love life were going, I replied that they were both going O.K., but that there are a few complications in both.
Something that puts my mind at ease regarding my Nana is that she still enjoys life and she has many visitors to her house each week. She still has her pride and dignity, can be quite stubborn at times and she still has a whiskey each night. I would love to be just like her at 103.
I'm off now to have a cup of Barry's Irish Tea. Until the next time - Bye!
Tá sé chomh maith bheith in Éirinn. Ár ndóigh tá an aimsir uafásach ach ní chuireann sé isteach nó amach orm. Táim in ann neart oibre Ph D a dhéanamh agus am a chaitheamh le mo chlann agus cairde. Tharla rud iontach dom an lá faoi cheana. Bhí mé i mBaile Átha Cliath ag ceannach mo ghúna bridesmaid le mo dheirfiúr céile Fionnuala, (tá sí féin agus mo dheartháir Cóilín ag pósadh an mhí seo chugainn).
Bhí mé ag siopadóireacht i mBlanchardstown sa siopa Debenhams ag breathnú ar gúnaí agus chuala mé fear ag rá "An tusa Elaine Ní Bhraonáin?" Chas mé timpeall agus chuir mé méféin in aithne don fear. John McKenna ab ainmdó agus d'inis sé dom go bhfuil cónaí air sna Stáit Aontaithe le fiche bliain anuas. Tá cónaí air i Delaware faoi láthair. Bhí sé in Éirinn lena mhuintir ar saoire. Dúirt sé liom go mbíonn sé ag léamh mo cholún go rialta, go bhfuil sé á léamh le cúpla bliain anuas agus go dtaitníonn sé leis. Bhí a mac Patrick leis chomh maith agus a nia agus geansaí peile Baile Átha Cliath á chaitheamh ag na beirt laids. Bhí sé chomh deas casadh leo agus tugann sé spreagadh dom. Rud eile a raibh mé sásta faoi nár gur Dubs ceart iad, tá blas Bláth Cliathach ag John fiú agus é ina cónaí i Meirceá le fada an lá. Tá mé an-tógtha le BÁC agus i mo thuairim beidh an bua ag foireann BÁC sa pheil i gCraobh na hÉireann i mbliana. Is aoibhinn liom CLG ags gach a ghabhann leis. Is cuid fíor thabhachtach é de bheith i d'Éireannach. D'imir mé camogie nuair a bhíos óg ach bhí mé i bhfad ró-thanaí agus lag! Anois téim chuig Páirc an Chrocaigh aon uair a bhíom in Éirinn le linn an tSamhraidh. Muna mbíonn Baile Átha Cliath ag imirt, bíonn mé ag leanúint Loch Garman sa iománaíocht agus Maigh Eo sa pheil mar is as Loch Garman do mo mhamaí agus is as Maigh Eo mo Dhadaí.
Bhí mé i Maigh Eo le deanaí. Thug mé cuairt ar mo Nana ina teach i mBéal an Átha an tseachtain seo caite. Tá sé dochredithe go maireann sí fós agus í 104 an Deireadh Fómhair seo chugainn (le cúnamh Dé). Tá an tsláinte fós go maith aici, a haigne gearrthéarmach imithe beagánín ach fios aici go maith cé mé féin agus lán ábalta scéal mhaith ainsint. An chéad rud a d'iarr sí orm ná conas mar a bhfuil cúrsaí Ph D agus cúsaí grá. D'fhreagair mé í ag rá go bhfuil an dhá ceann maith go leor ach le fadhbanna beaga sna dhá cinn. An rud a chuireann gliondar i mo chroi ná go mbaineann sí sult as an saol fós. Tagann neart duine ar cuairt aici gach seachtain, tá bród fós aici inti féin agus bíonndeoch fuisce aici gach aon oíche! Ba bhreá liom bheith ar nós í agus mé 103!
Tá mé le cupán tae Barry's a bheith agam anois. Go dtí an chéad uair eile. Slán!