27 September 2011

When Jane came to visit Clive and Murray .....

Clive and Murray had a very exciting weekend with a very special visitor over from New York!  Petey's Mom - Jane was visiting us and we took her to lots of our favourite places!  Straight off the plane and we wasted no time in taking Jane to Powerscourt House and Gardens.
The gardens at Powerscourt are some of the finest in Ireland - both in design and location - at the foot of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.  The house and gardens were commissioned in the 1730's by Richard Wingfield, 1st Viscount Powescourt.  The house was gutted by fire in 1974 but now there is a lovely restaurant and some great shops there.  One of our favourite places in the Gardens is the Pet Cemetery so Murray and Clive were thrilled to be able to share this spot with Jane ....
The Pet's Cemetery contains the graves of the Wingfield family dogs, horses and even some very special cows!
Eugenie was a very special cow who died aged 17 years after having 17 calves and producing over 100,000 gallons of milk!
Murray and Clive really love walking through the gardens at Powerscourt.  We always really appreciate how welcoming and accommodating the staff at Powerscourt are to service dogs.  Murray and Clive did not have to pay in to the gardens and their Mom was offered free admission too!  Clive is always offered a water bowl and there is always someone ready to help carry a tray or help us to our table if we have food in the restaurant.  It is one of most relaxing places we can go to with Clive and Murray and we've been visiting for the past five years since we got Clive.  After showing Jane around all the fabulous gardens we took lots more photos .....
Saturday saw us visiting the Guinness Storehouse- the day after Arthur's Day!  The Guinness Storehouse is another great 'service dog' friendly place to visit and we really appreciated the barman who brought Clive over a bowl of water in the Gravity Bar.
Guinness is a black beer known as 'stout' and has been brewed at St James's Gate for over 250 years.  It is the largest brewery in Europe and exports to more than 120 countries.  The Storehouse is in the original brewery and is spread over six floors built around a huge pint glass atrium.  Jane enjoyed a glass of Guinness in the Gravity Bar at the end of the tour before we headed down Grafton Street to visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells ....
On Grafton Street we were stopped by some of David Norris's supporters for a photo!  David Norris may well be the next President of Ireland - if his nomination works out this week - so Clive was very pleased to meet him and offer his support.  One of David's team was also called Clive so Clive and Clive posed for a photo!!
Sunday morning we were at Glendalough and Jane got to experience a 'soft day' - it was raining!!  We took shelter under the umbrella though between downpours and enjoyed the monastic site nonetheless.  St Kevin established Glendalough in the 6th century and the monastery flourished for over 600 years despite being sacked time and time again by the Vikings!
St Kevin was born in 498 and there are lots of legends about him.  One of our favourites is that one day while St Kevin was at prayer, a blackbird laid an egg in his outstretched hand and St Kevin remained in the same position until the egg hatched.  We walked up to the Upper Lake and Clive had a wonderful time chasing rabbits and getting very wet!
Sunday afternoon after the rain blew off we took Jane back into the city centre to visit the Natural History Museum (not quite as impressive as our visit with Jane to the Natural History Museum in New York last year) but we wanted to share our 'famous dead zoo' with Jane.  We then took her to the National Gallery and to view one of it's most famous paintings - Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ.  This was rediscovered in the Jesuit's House in Dublin in 1990 - it had hung unrecognised in their dining room for over 60 years having been gifted to them and is now on permanent loan to the museum.

Across the road from the National Gallery we visited Merrion Square and the statue of Oscar Wilde.  This is opposite the house when Oscar Wilde was born at No.1 Merrion Square.  One of our favourite artists Pete Hogan was sketching just at the railings across from Oscar Wilde's house and we were delighted to discover that Jane enjoyed his artwork just as much as we do!  Pete depicts the houses of Georgian Dublin in fantastic detail.
Yesterday morning we went up to Killiney Hill to show Jane some final views of Dublin and Wicklow before she left for London.  We had a wonderful weekend showing Jane around Dublin and we hope we shared a little of our enthusiasm and pride in our capital city with her.  She certainly got a feeling for how 'popular' Clive is .... it took a lot of time to get from one place to another as people stopped to ask about Clive or take photos!

We wish Jane safe travels over the next week and hope it's not too long before she comes back to Dublin to visit us again. There's a lot more to experience .....

- Clive and Murray

22 September 2011

Happy Arthur's Day from Clive & Co .....



Happy Arthur's Day 2011

- Clive & Co




At exactly 17.59 this evening pubs all around the country will be full of drinkers lifting their glasses to raise a toast to Arthur Guinness!  We'll be celebrating too and hope you'll join us in this worldwide celebration of 'Arthur Guinness' ....

Remember to enjoy drink sensibly though!

ps-we have a really important visitor from New York arriving tomorrow!!  If we said 'Petey' - would you guess whose coming to stay with us!  She may be a day late for Arthur's Day - but she'll certainly be trying some Guinness tomorrow night here in Dublin!

19 September 2011

Clive and Murray still celebrating Dublin winning the All Ireland Final .....


The Boys are Back in Town ....

The day after the match and Murray and Clive are still celebrating!!

It has been some celebration!  16 long years and finally 'Sam' has come back to Dublin!

Murray and Clive were featured in an article in the Evening Herald last Thursday prior to the match ..... Sorcha and Mom were in the photo too but neither was too happy with that!  Murray however was thrilled to see himself and Clive in the paper again!  If you click on the link above - you can read the article without the photos!!! (thankfully!)

Yesterday in Croke Park the atmosphere was electric ..... 82,300 fans there to watch the match!

and when the final whistle blew and Dublin had won - the celebrations really started!!

Half-time had music and a tribute to the members of the Fire Department of New York in rememberance of 9/11.  The New York firefighters who came unto the pitch got a great reception.

The Dublin team celebrate .....

Dublin parade the 'Sam Maguire' trophy around the pitch ....


Tonight Murray's Dad was in town for the Dubs homecoming ....
40,000 people turned up tonight to welcome 'Sam' back to Dublin!

It's a great to be a DUBS fan!

We'll be back with lots of upcoming fundraising events for Irish Guide Dogs over the next few days but for the moment we are just still enjoying DUBLIN winning the ALL IRELAND FINAL 2011!

- Clive and Murray

ps-our photos are not great - camera phone taken by Sorcha who refused to take any of the family!  We think she feels 'enough is enough' with the photos!  Opps!! Hopefully she'll come around again in a little while!

18 September 2011

Clive and Murray celebrating Dublin winning the All Ireland Final .....



Today Dublin won the All Ireland Football Final for the first time in 16 years!

It was a day of huge celebration for the Dubs!

Murray and Clive are SO HAPPY tonight!

They are celebrating big time!!!

Tomorrow, we will be back with a longer post celebrating Dublin's great win but tonight we are just all enjoying celebrating Dublin as All Ireland Champions 2011!

UP THE DUBS!!

14 September 2011

On the road to Croker with Clive and Murray ....

It's been a long road to Croker for Clive and Murray ....

As Dublin celebrate being in the All Ireland Final this coming weekend we look back over the past five years since we got Clive and how in that time we have been able to go to so many football matches and move Murray on from the days when he could hardly cope with going to the local GAA pitch to watch his sister Sorcha play a match to now being able to sit in Croke Park amongst tens of thousands of fans and cheer on his 'Boys in Blue' and well as the Dublin Ladies and his sister with the Dublin Ladies U-14's! It's been a remarkable journey for Murray and Clive .....
Murray now goes to Croke Park at every opportunity - he's been to the matches - he's done the tours - he's taken Clive with him everywhere.  They've learnt the songs - not easy for Murray - it took him a long time to pick up the words but he can sing with the best of the Hill now!

They've been to matches all over the place .... they've also supported the Dublin Senior Ladies around the country ....

For the past five years in rain or shine in local parks or Croker - they've been there!

They've supported the Dublin Ladies U-14's around the country too!  They've celebrated with the girls when they've won .....

They've congratulated each and every one .....

Clive's watched over Murray in Croker ...
He's sampled the food too ....
He's made sure Murray is safe and happy when the final whistle blows!
and more importantly Clive's been there to comfort and help on the days when Dublin haven't won! Those are the very hard days for Murray to accept! Those are the days when Clive is truly special  ....
There's been the great days in Croker when his sister picked up trophies with the Dublin U-12's ...
and then there's been the days when his Dublin Senior Ladies lost ...
Those are days where Murray is lucky to have Clive by his side!  Those are the days that make the winning all the more special .....

Because winning is great ....
Winning makes up for the days we leave Croker in despair ....
Clive and Murray are proud Dublin supporters wherever they go ....
This weekend they'll be together singing loudly C'mon You Boys in Blue ....
The boys have come a long way on their journey over the past five years - they've seen Dublin win four Leinster Championships in the last five years but never make it to the All Ireland Final ....
They've moved on from those early days in Croker with Clive when Murray wasn't sure about all the noise and crowds and still only wore his 'yellow' t-shirts ...
They've moved on from the days when Murray first got Clive and began his 'Dublin football' journey by watching his sister Sorcha play with Foxrock-Cabinteely U-9's!
Those early days were difficult when Murray really struggled ....
But that struggle is long since a distant memory.  Five years of having Clive has been the difference! The boys are well up for any Dublin match these days!



THIS IS WEEKEND THAT CLIVE AND MURRAY WANT TO SEE THEIR 'BOYS IN BLUE' LIFT THE SAM MAGUIRE AFTER A LONG, LONG WAIT!



UP THE DUBS!!!!

Best of luck to the Dublin minors as well against Tipperary!

11 September 2011

Murray and Clive remember 9/11 ....



Today we are remembering 9/11 ....

Murray was three years old on 9/11.  He was living in Brussels on that fateful day.  His Mom had just turned on the television at lunch-time when suddenly the horror of that day unfolded before her eyes.  She held Murray close and cried ....

Last year we took Murray and Clive to visit Ground Zero while we were in New York.  It was very hard to explain to Murray what happened and for him to understand.  It scares him because he doesn't understand about terrorism and why people would kill other people.   But we had to try and explain ....




Today at home in Dublin 10 years later - we talked about 9/11 again with Murray.  We talked about all the people who lost their lives and waited for a moment to see what questions Murray might ask ....

His only comment was "I don't know Mom, I don't know why ...."

Well, we don't understand either why people do things like this to other people.

We were at a funeral mass recently for a dear friend - we really liked this poem that was read out :-


I give you this one thought to keep - I am with you still - I do not sleep. 

I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. 

When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. 

I am the soft stars that shine at night. 

Do not think of me as gone - I am with you still.



- Clive and Murray

09 September 2011

Clive and Murray making movies together ......


Well, okay Murray has decided that Clive is going to be in the movies (his own home produced movies!).  Murray loves Marley and watching Marley & Me (which he's been watching a lot since meeting the 'real' Marley) .....

Having discovered an app iMotion HD on his Mom's new iPad and he's become a film director overnight!  This is only the first video - we decided to just upload the first one until the director and cast members (yes, Tinkerbell is getting screamed at from the director as well) get a bit more used to this 'film' business ....

and now a VERY IMPORTANT message - PETEY

Our friend Petey has really through the wars this week - we're sure most of you have been reading about it on his blog but if you haven't caught up with the news yet - make sure you drop over to Petey's blog and leave a message for Petey and Jane!  They have had a very difficult week.


Have a good Friday everyone

- Clive and Murray

05 September 2011

Dolphins, Whales and finally back to Clive .....

Murray loved SeaWorld - he could feed the sealions ....
 
and then watch their show! One of them was called Clyde - which Murray thought was 'Clive' and so he got very excited everytime 'Clyde's name was mentioned!
 
Murray then watched the manatees for a long time ....
 
But longer still he took at the dolphins .... they truly captivated him!
 
He enjoyed their show too and loved how the audience got splashed.  He thought that very funny and squealed with joy each time he got splashed!
The flying acrobatics were brillant too .....
and then more jumping and splashing ......
Murray has loved dolphins for years - they were the first sea mammal he really responded to ....
When it came to feeding the stingrays - Murray was the first to try!  He loved placing the shrimp between his fingers and letting the stingray snatch it from his fingers ....
 But the highlight of our visit to SeaWorld was the One Ocean - All new Shamu Show - Murray was so excited to see these magnificent creatures.
He made us sit in the splash zone again but luckily we didn't get TOO wet!
The whales were beautiful and the show was amazing ....
 
Murray's uncle is very involved with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group here so he wasn't too happy about us going but we have to say that the 'humans' performed more than the animals and there were no silly tricks.  Conservation was mentioned non-stop so no-one went away not knowing how important it is to protect our oceans.

The dolphins at Hilton Head may have thrilled Murray more but we did enjoy our time at SeaWorld.

So that is it - that was Murray's vacation ....

.... as Murray would say "that's all there is, there isn't anymore"  (- in fact he's watching Madeline as we finish this blog post).

We very much appreciate that we were very lucky to have had such a wonderful vacation and we want to thank again everyone involved in making it so memorable ...

Jane and Petey (for the 2nd year in a row!!)

Patrick (in Sawgrass Marriott), Lisa (Black Marlin) and all the wonderful people we met in Hilton Head ....

Barney, Mrs Peekaboo, Susan, Scooby Doo and all the staff and characters are Universal Studios who made Murray's Birthday so special ....

and finally Murray's Dad (we better mention him!!) - he works very hard all year round so Murray and his family can have vacations like that!  He's a great DAD!!

and very specially we want to finish with a HUGE thank you to Auntie Anne and our great friend Anne who both minded and took care of Clive while we were away! They did such a great job that Clive gave Murray's Mom the 'cold shoulder' last week for the first few days when we came back!  Thanks to both Anne's for the constant updates while we were away, the photos of Clive and the re-assurances that he was enjoying his own 'holiday'!

Murray and all the gang

(Back tomorrow with lots of 'Clive' photos - he's been getting jealous of Murray's excitment over all the photos from the previous few posts!!)