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Home for the weekend to Dublin – see resolution re keeping in touch with people in Ireland, below (though I don’t think people really like being thought of as resolutions, so I’m going to keep quiet about that). And very nice too. Dublin has been having water shortages – the pipes all froze during the snow and now they’ve burst. My sister-in-law’s brother has had no water for 3 weeks. Luckily the parental home was unscathed.

The most exciting part of the weekend was a plan for a family dinner at my brother’s that morphed into an ongoing negotiating situation of UN-type complexity, with alternative plans of ever-more fiendish complexity being rolled out. I’ll spare you the details but they involved unlimited changes of place and venue, all members of the immediate family, the two girls down our road who I used to babysit, and 12 people sleeping in our (4-bedroom) house. I cut the Gordian knot by saying I had made plans for Friday, and could we keep it Saturday. And that is what we did, and it was very nice. My sister-in-law makes Yorkshire puddings, which I find quite exotic, and we played with their new(ish) cat who shows remarkable tolerance for being manhandled and generally pushed and pulled around. A good quality for any family member, I would say.

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