The day that we drove down to Galway, the sun was splitting the stones for the duration of the journey. It was the first time me and He Who Only... had undertaken a journey of this kind, with him driving and me directing, with two dogs and a fist full of CDs, and the hire car insured against everything from theft to chips in the windscreen and the potential for disaster and adventure equally high. I had made a lot of fuss and noise about the beauty of the last part of the journey through Connemara, and also much bleeting about the poor quality of the Irish road networks, the randomness of sheep on the road, and the ugliness of rural towns, and how they began to echo each other with the bleak outlooks and repetitive layout. I had mentioned a lot before we set off how often we'd need to stop for the sake of the dogs, how it was possible we could get completely lost and end up in Limerick, how I shouldn't be trusted with directions or advice, and how it was very important that I should be allowed to DJ for the duration, just so that I would have as an important a job as the driver (and the balance of power in our relationship would remain on an even level).
Before we set off, my Mum supervised the packing of the car, and she insisted we a cool bag filled with drinks for us, water for the dogs, a small carton of milk and some eggs. She made up a little box in the back seat of the car, lined it with a dog blanket and said that Kesh would be happy to settle in there while Bobby could lie on the floor at my feet in the front of the car. In the end, Kesh spent the entire eight hour journey on my knee. Unwisely, I wore a skirt thanks to the unexpected presence of the sun, and two weeks later I still have the bruises from every time Kesh got up to stretch her legs and dig her nails into my thighs. The Bobster, top dog that he is, hardly moved a muscle for the duration, occassionally sitting up only to nibble on my hand before lying back down again (he and He Who Only... are really very alike).
The journey was surprisingly fun. I'm a terrible passenger, as I'm absolutely terrified of dying in a car crash, and any time I undertake any kind of significant journey (i.e. anything that will involve me being in a car for more than 1 minute) I am convinced that this time I might not return. However, it turns out that, given two dogs, sunshine, Bell X1 on the stereo and He Who Only... muttering about how many miles there are in a kilometre, I can be quite calm under pressure.
We arrived at the cottage just in time for the final burst of sun, and we were both left completely breathless at the views around us. I insisted that we run straight down to the coral beach that is virtually at the foot of the garden, and Kesh and Bobby lead the way, having already stayed there with my parents and also my brother on two occasions this year alone. As we got to the beach, Bobby hurled himself into the water, Kesh wandered off across the bogs to immerse herself in bog water (all the better later on to spread across the white throws on the sofa) and I started dancing up and down on the beach and giggling. You really couldn't get any further away from Hackney.