So I did it ... passed the ‘haven’t driven in 7 long years’ test.
There was the flight from Brussels to Dublin, with the politest airline I’ve ever been on ... Aer Lingus. So polite, so sensible, so amusing.
Boarding order was strictly enforced. Really. Then, so sensibly, they had the people at the back of the plane board first ... so we didn’t have to wait while those at the front of the plane faffed about with their overhead lockers.
I laughed, thinking ‘they’re teaching us manners’, as they enforced the order of boarding ... with charm. A first over here, I have to confess. It was so like New Zealand's way of being that I could only smile.
My first drive in 7 years was only a Peugeot 308.
A 2011 Peugeot 308!!!
I think the Hertz guy almost smiled (and he didn’t seem like a big smiler) when he asked if that was okay. I was surely a little bit sparkly and enthusiastic.
It’s a diesel, with 14,000kms on the clock. It handles like a dream. I thought I might just stay in the slow lane and sit around 90kms for the 200km trip across Ireland, from Dublin to Gallway and beyond but ummm no ... it handled well at the speed limit of 120kms.
Along the way, we stopped at Athlone for a little food but made sure we picked up a Christy Moore cd. He was just the perfect traveling companion, up loud as we drove.
We arrived, found Rob and Angie’s, met Gus and Jessie - their big beautiful dogs, had a lovely glass of red wine handed to me and we sat down to chat some of the night away.
This morning, I made myself get out of bed just before 8am ... groaning a little, as the bed is one of those ones that are good to just kind of stay in but there’s talk of a bit of a sail today, out on the water here where we are, after we’ve walked the dogs in the forest. This New Zealander is just beside herself with excitement over it all.
Sadly, I did forget that Ireland is an hour behind Belgium, well, it’s on GMT actually. And it may be that my 7.45am, ‘feet on the floor, Di’ was really a 6.45am start. Oh well, it gave me time to write here before I go off and harass Rob for some coffee.
So, good morning, and I’ll let you know how it goes.