When a crisis hits at home and you are 3, 700 miles away, differing time zones magnify each bump. Our small family steps up and carries on. Decisions are made while you sleep or you don’t sleep then try to fully engage with the business that has brought you to a foreign place.

Having dinner with a circle of newly made writer friends, in a traditional Irish pub at the top of a very steep hill, brings a time of peace. Two musicians play the sweetest Irish music on flutes, string instruments and a bodhrán. On the telly a mindless reality show featuring former celebrities trying to ice dance sparks conversations where we bond over similar opinions about men in sequined tank tops and women with shellacked hair. A young couple with an adorable Irish lassie babe share their evening. The pink-cheeked little one bounces in time to the music, smiles for pictures and claps for anyone who takes a few seconds to engage her attention. For ninety minutes there is nothing else in the world outside. This is exactly what you came here to experience.

In the morning the news will be better or not. The shower will generously spill out hot and cold water in an unpredictable way. Breakfast will feature spectacular fresh fish, brown bread, locally made cheeses and jams and endless tea. Work will continue. For the morning, the family sleeps at home. In the late afternoon there will be text messages and emails or not.

The one thing a connected world has not been able to design is a trans-Atlantic hug for when a crisis hits at home and you are 3, 700 miles away.


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