This week my parents came to visit us in Mullingar. They brought over some belongings for us, including my notebooks and a lovely new jumper, as well as the last documents I will need to apply for a Yakkan Shoumei import certificate for Japan. Having my parents with us meant Dillon and I had a chance to explore Mullingar in more depth by having some meals out: first at a family-run Italian restaurant (where I forgot that penne is pasta), then at Mekong, an excellent Asian street food restaurant, and finally at an American diner. We went to the Ulysses Pub to watch Arsenal get flattened by Bayern Munich, but even that defeat couldn’t take away from the beautiful aesthetic of the pub: dark, warm, cosy, soft leather, low ceilings, dark wood, lit by candles – it was perfect.
After visiting St. Peter and Paul’s, another incredible Catholic church, similar to the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar, we went to the Luan Gallery in Athlone, where there was an incredible part of the exhibition that didn’t show up well on my camera: a spectrum of colour that changed from visible to invisible as the sunlight travelled across the room. In Athlone we also visited the old castle, and learnt about the role of the town during the Civil War.
Separately, we visited Belvedere House and Gardens outside of Mullingar. I really love visiting places that have expansive grounds to walk around and explore, especially if there are large bodies of water included in that! The water in the lake was perfectly clear and the sound of the little waves lapping against the shoreline was incredibly peaceful. I filmed a short video on my phone with the sound of the water and the seabirds in the distance to listen to when I meditate.
It was so lovely to see my parents, and it makes me sad to think that these days go so quickly. However, I know I’m lucky that they were able to travel over to Ireland to visit us before we leave. Next week, Dillon’s parents are also visiting, and it will be great to see them too.