Over the stable door: Fulfilling promising plans

Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Country Week columnist Jo Foster. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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When I have time on my hands I start planning new ventures. Ideas which germinate in the dark cupboards of my scatterbrain mind suddenly flourish in the sunlight that is spare time and I throw any spare energy into making them happen.

This week my journey saw me fulfil some of those plans. On Tuesday I flew to Ireland and visited a few yards, mainly to look at racehorses. I saw a couple I liked but ended up buying a super Connemara by chance, something I had spent the last eight months looking for. He jumps like a dream, my son can ride him and the staff will love hunting him.

My Irish pal, Paddy, was driver for the day and was returning on the same flight later that evening to Leeds. After a busy day travelling around Co. Wicklow yards we headed back in to Dublin early to grab some food before the flight home at 9pm. One of Paddy’s owners has a great pub in the city, O’Donoghues, so we dropped in for a quick Guinness – which turned in to three.

I could have stayed all night but we had to arranged to meet another owner of his for a bite to eat. We drove to the restaurant and met Carole, a super lady who works in the city and whips in to the East Wicklow Hounds on her days off. We got on immediately. Paddy had to drag me out an hour later after Carole and I had exchanged numbers. We left and immediately hit the Dublin rush hour.

We pulled in to the short stay airport car park a feasible 50 minutes before our Leeds flight. “Jes… 55 euros for the night,’ squawked Paddy about to pull out the ticket. “Have we time to get to a long stay I wonder?”, he looked at me already reversing the jeep. “I’d say we have,” he replied ignoring my questioning look. As we sped out of the airport past concrete fields of shiny cars I watched the minutes tick by. “45 minutes to go,” I declared as he ran another red. He didn’t answer.

What seemed like an eternity later we pulled in to a packed long stay car park and squeezed in to a space fit for a Mini. It would do he told me. I climbed out of the boot as the door wouldn’t open. We jumped on to a waiting transfer bus. 41 minutes to go.

The empty bus sat and waited in the darkness for non-existent passengers to appear as the seconds ticked. Paddy started to sweat. Saving 40 euros on parking might prove expensive he had decided.

Finally, the bus crawled off. Our driver declared, as we pulled up at yet another red light, we had absolutely no chance of catching our flight. “Sure we will,” Paddy declared as sweat dripped from his brow…

To be continued...