Farewell to Bandon

Well. Its been a big week. I’ve been meaning to post for a while, but I’ve had so much to do, mainly because on Thursday and Friday I packed up all my stuff and I moved them over to Kinsale. Friday was my last night in Bandon, and on Saturday morning I was picked up by my new host family and taken to Kinsale.
It was all very sad. I got very emotional, which I really hadn’t expected. The Little One didn’t understand at all, she kept calling out, ‘I’ll pick you up later!’ Which almost broke my heart. Sitting here, looking over my new charge, Baby Brother, I do miss her a great deal, I feel quite sad thinking about her. I’m glad to have made the change, it was time for a change, I love Kinsale and the kids are great, but I am still very sad to leave Bandon.
One of the people I haven’t mentioned yet, and one of the reasons I’ll be sorry to leave is Gerry O’Hara, who owns one of the local pubs. Gerry really deserves his own blog post, but I’ve so little time at the moment, that he’ll just have to be rolled into this one. O’Hara’s was the au pairs’ local pub, and it was full of charm and fun and character. There was a front bar which was all of open fireplaces, nooks and hallway coat hangers. It has ye olde Irishe photos and pictures on the walls. There was also a picture of Gerry and his wife, Mary-Anne with the Irish actor, Liam Cunningham (he used to come in during the shooting of ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’, which was filmed around Bandon), who is gorgeous and talented, so that always made me happy to see.
So, that’s the front bar. But, if you walk down either of the two corridors, you would get to the back bar, and this is where we always hung out. The back bar was kind of like and old-school ‘youth’ hangout, with snooker and pool tables, dart boards, a juke box (!!) and a little verhanda to go and smoke (not that I did that, you understand, but some of the other au pairs did). This was where we spent many Wednesday nights and many more Saturday nights for the past 7 months, taking over the jukebox, screaming and laughing and generally making fools of ourselves. Gerry and Mary-Anne were always welcoming and kind, never getting irritated at us, even when the jukebox had been hijacked by EVEN MORE Adele (and believe me, I was getting annoyed by that, so good on them for keeping their cool), when the au pairs were walking behind the bar and making nuisances of themselves, or when we were having dramatic arguments involving thrown water and beer (very European). 
Gerry even made us a farewell chocolate cake and gave us farewell gifts last week when many of the au pairs were moved on. I got a little plastic leprechaun and a drawn picture of O’Hara’s, which is now in pride of place on my desk and I’m looking at it now, as I type. If you ever get to Bandon, call into O’Hara’s for a pint, and tell him Jenny, the aussie au pair sent you. Actually, best to say ‘the oldest au pair, the sensible au pair, or the au pair who always went home early and never got in any trouble with any of the boys.’
Anyway, so, I’m now in Kinsale with the new family. Not only have I had to say good-bye to Bandon and my old family, I’ve also had to say good-bye to a lot of my old au pair friends, as many have gone home in the last week or so. So, all in all, its been a bit of a sad week. I’m more homesick than I have been in a while, and not in a sudden flash kind of way, like I was in the holidays, meeting up with friends and then saying good-bye to them again (I always had another friend to meet with, so it wasn’t too hard to say good-bye), its more a dull, constant ache. I’m scheming of how I can get home in February, rather than go straight to the UK. I may need to do this anyway to get my visa, and it will be kind of expensive, but at the same time, at the moment, I feel like I really want to go home. Just for a little while.
I’ll probably get over it, once things in Kinsale settle down. I’m going to be very busy. I’ve got Little Man, who is 3, and then there is Baby Brother, who was born in March. So, a big change from the girls. I already have spit up all over me. I still can’t get over how gross it is. I mean, Baby Brother is GORGEOUS, all big blue eyes and chubby cheeks, and he smells AMAZING (that’s such a cliche, isn’t it, but its true, all the Hollywood movies have said the truth for once – babies smell AMAZING), but I can’t get over the spit up and saliva. I’m wearing my oldest, yuckiest clothes every day, but I’m still so icked out by the stuff. The minute its on me I’m running for a towel. I’m going to have to get over it, I know.
Baby Brother is now on my lap, and I’m typing with one hand. He’s more demanding of me than his parents, not nearly as settled. I suppose that’s to be expected and he’s just getting used to me. Either that, or he can smell the fear off the newbie and knows that one squeal out of him and he’s up, out of his chair, cot, bed and into my arms, with all new things to play with, like my hair, jumper, and laptop. Cheeky bugger.
It must be pretty amazing being a baby – everything is new, you’re not sure where anything goes, ‘Do I put this in my hand, or mouth? Or should I roll on top of it? Or should I put it in my eye?’ All the amazing adventures and excitement you can have, just with the string on a hoody.

Alright, best go. New adventure for Baby Brother at the moment is attempting to push himself backwards, out of my arms and flip over the sofa like some sort of Russian gymnast. As his trainer, I feel he hasn’t quite got himself warmed up and ready yet.


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