This and That

Summer vacation has seemed to have sucked away some of my brain cells.

It may be because of the lack of summerness that I’m used to.  You know, hot days, sunshine, warmth.  Irish summers aren’t known for their fantastic weather, but this year has been worse because of some jet stream shooting over us, dumping more rain and clouds than usually.  Bastard jet stream.

We did get a holiday over to England.  Drove through Wales (and want to go back there because it was gorgeous even as it rained on us the moment we crossed the border.).  We did Legoland (highly recommend it!).  We got our henge on at Stonehenge. Grandma came and brought lots of American candy and s’mores fixings and Crest toothpaste.  We dragged kids to the Giants Causeway, and to the beach with wetsuits and made them watch too much Olympic coverage (they thoroughly enjoyed the Monty Python portion of the closing ceremony.).

It was interesting watching the Olympics from a different country’s point of view.  Interesting in good and bad ways.  The worst was the coverage (I can hear Americans thinking “But NBC sucked!” ).  See, BBC had great coverage…if your cable system supported the Red Button.  Press the Red Button and you could watch ANYTHING.

We had no red button coverage.  So we got lots of handball and hockey (or as we call it, field hockey).  Lots and lots of sailing (understandable) and weight lifting (which was odd that this sport was so thoroughly covered.)  Tons of boxing as well.

What we didn’t get to see most of?  Beach volleyball – didn’t get to see much of that.  Or the soccer games, which was really odd.  And the gymnastics coverage was spotty during the men’s rounds – we saw everything the Germans did, but hardly any Americans – to the point that I didn’t even realize there were Americans in the one semi-final.

I understood we’d see lots of Team GB.  I mean, they’re broadcasting to Great Britain, of course we’d see more of them.  That they advertised the gold medal women’s football match between USA and Japan, the touted “revenge match” of sorts…and then instead show us Team GB’s mens hockey semi-final…that they lost 9-2….THAT was annoying.  I mean, Gold Medal Match people!  Come on!  All we got to see was a five minute highlight reel.  sigh.  They did show the mens football gold medal match – good job Mexico!

And there was the snark of the commentators.  During the Opening Ceremonies, the US team came out and the commentator was all “Yeah, but will they do as well this year?  I don’t know…”  Little digs like that.  It was annoying until I realized they also did it to their own players – “Oh, there’s John Smith for Team GB…sad he doesn’t have a chance in hell…”  I stopped taking the digs so personally after that.

Just as we were getting okay with the coverage…they showed us the whole dang 3 hours and 40-some minute speed walking final.  On two channels.  Even with an Irishman in contention, we couldn’t do it.  I switched to mountain biking, to which Mim said “Oh good something interesting!”

But now, summer’s winding down.  Olympics are over.  Holidaying is done.  Back to school shopping has begun.  Just over two weeks left until children start going back to school.

And then maybe, I can once again get my brain working.