• Bernice Cooke

The Adventures of a 40yr old Candlemaker.

May and June have been two extremely busy months, therefore I have been very quiet on the blogging scene. My eldest daughter has just finished her leaving certificate exam and I have just turned 40.

It has been a very exciting and game changing adventure in our house since May. I took my daughter to her college interview at the end of May and I discovered that the College offer full time courses to mature students, was I too mature!!! nope, so the next round of applications opened up last week and...... I applied to college, with the hope of studying Art and Fashion, I know, the fashion side is completely not what I am doing now, but feck it, life begins at 40, its time for a new challenge and a new outlook on life. My daughter encouraged me to apply and I thought why not, watch this space for the next step, I have to organise my portfolio for the interview stage.

To celebrate my 40th birthday I decided to head to London with my sister for a bit of an adventure, and what an adventure it was, from the 40 minute delay at the airport to standing on a train for another 40

minutes to London city and to catching a nice heavy cold when I arrived for the weekend, sure it was only going to get better.

We enjoyed being tourists for 4 days, the weather was overcast and humid and we were lucky to catch a few rays of sunshine in Kensington park each day.

But I just could not get over how expensive it was, food, drink, transport, excursions etc. Now I'm not saying its a complete write off, there are some free activities and lunch and breakfast can be eaten from you lap from a nice bench in the parks.

The Victoria and Albert museum is free, except for certain exhibitions, walking, running and sitting in the lovely green parks are free, and when the sun shines and you have a good book its worth it. Using the underground is an experience, we eventually got used to the busy stops and we walked to local places, the humidity in the tube stations is something else.

We visited Clink prison at 7.50 pounds per person it was a good option, its the oldest prison in London and it has years and years of history, the atmosphere was overpowering as in my previous blog old stone buildings do trap memories.

We also signed up for a Jack the Ripper walking tour and that was by far the best 10 pounds we ever spent, over two hours of history of the crimes of Jack the Ripper from a very knowledgeable and lovely tour guide, the weather stayed dry and we met some lovely people on the tour. Walking to each location is like stepping back in time to the 1800's, some of the original buildings are fab, with house prices fetching over 3.5 million sterling, a bit out of my pocket!!

We did manage to squeeze in a trip to Kensington Palace, it is worth booking for and paying online for a discount and when you pick your time slot there is no hanging around outside. Then it was time to pack up and head home, there is some difference between the overcrowded Stansted airport and the quiet of Shannon airport our nearest airport and a pleasure to use.

But it is good to be back home, to the peace and quiet of country living, you can't take the country girl outta of me and stick her in a city, no thanks.

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Killadulisk, Killimor, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway