I was up at 7ish and made my way to the ablutions. For some strange reason the toilets, showers and washroom at the end of our corrridor were labelled as being for females only; those for chaps being on the floor below (well, not on the floor exactly, but in ceramic utensils close to the floor!). I wondered whether some humourist had been swapping the labels around and toyed with the idea of putting them back in the right place, but couldn’t be bothered. It being Ireland, the hot water came from taps labelled C, which must be the initial of Coire meaning ‘boiler’. I delved into my washbag and found the rubber washplug that I had purchased after my first visit to Gormanston back in 2000.
After ablutions, I put my phone on charge using the dormitory’s sole plug hole concealed behind a bed adjacent the end wall. I had tried to use the phone but could get no signal. In order to break ice, I wore a T shirt bearing the slogan ‘Chris Slade Beekeeper’ and also a badge I had made up reading: ‘I know your face but……’ as I am hopeless at remembering names.
I still had to book in and get a label to hang around my neck or I would get no breakfast, so I headed for the office to greet the effervescent Mary Ryan. As I had sent a cheque in sterling to cover the fee in euros, I had 30 euros change to come, which I had thought would be handy for beer money; however I still had enough in my pocket for that and so left it as a deposit for next year.
As I was early, there wasn’t much of a queue for breakfast, surprisingly not the usual Irish fry-up, and I had time to study the programme and decide which lecture or workshop to attend first. The choice was between a microscopy demonstration; Keith Pierce on the topic ‘Autumn to Spring’; Gerald Williams on ‘Time to take stock’ and Philip McCabe on ‘Getting started’.
I chose ‘Autumn to Spring’ and shall write about that next, but first I have gardening that needs my attention. We had 28mm of rain yesterday, mostly when I was marooned in the polytunnel on my allotment. It was sorely needed as crops were suffering from drought as we had had only 10mm so far this month. I expect I shall need to go on a slug hunt though. Before the rain, my allotment bees were gorging themselves on my borage. At least 2 species of bumbles were on my globe thistle which is just coming into bloom and I saw three ladybirds, more than all year so far. They were 6 spotted.