At Narita airport waiting to fly to Dublin via Amsterdam.
A beautiful book I found in Brown Thomas, Dublin.
This year was extra special because my eldest cousin Michael got married on the 29th of December. He is the first of our generation to get married and gave us all a great excuse to experience the wild beauty of the west of Ireland. Who will be next to walk down the aisle? Maybe me....!
The Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin.
Manicure by Fifth Avenue Nails, Dublin.
My brother gave my mother and I an early Christmas present of a manicure. On December 23rd we went to Fifth Avenue Nails in Dublin city centre. It was really special because we were together and we were treated by my brother...unfortunately it was a real disappointment. The staff were foreign and their level of English was so poor. Of course I understand how hard it is to live and work abroad. But I also know how little it takes to smile. Instead my mother and I were treated brusquely, handled roughly and the girl doing my nails actually cut me and I bled! What's even worse is that she didn't admit her mistake and thought she could get away without me noticing it. Fifth Avenue Nail Salon Dublin - don't bother.
Whenever I arrive home from Japan, the jet-lag always makes me wake up around 5 or 6am. Usually I just stay in bed until everyone else gets up but sometimes the hunger wins. See above, a classic Christmas breakfast of Diet Coke and a mince pie.
Stockpile under our Christmas tree.
Christmas lights at Dundrum shopping centre.
As for presents and shopping, of course there was lots. Plenty of hauls and gets to post. But for the first post of the new year, there you have a general catch-up. I'll arrive back in Japan next Sunday and it's straight back to work on Monday morning. But with only 7 months to go, the end is in sight.
Here's to 2013!