Usually I use this blog for my work but from time to time I do post more personal things. I just took a short break, visiting my good friends Paul and Avi who live in a small village in Co Westmeath in Ireland and I travelled by car. That’s something I’ve never done before so I thought I’d write it up and make a “vlog”.
I’ve known Paul for many years and I have other good friends in Ireland. So I used to visit quite often and always flew to Dublin. Now, partly because of covid and partly because of the environmental crisis, I’m keen to avoid flying. To be honest, all the security at airports means that there’s little pleasure (and much stress) in flying.
And then Paul moved to the country to renovate and live in the family home that he had inherited. Suddenly a flight from Edinburgh to Dublin would mean travel at both ends, so I started to think about driving down and taking the ferry.
Earlier this year I bought a new car – a Honda e, which is a fully electric vehicle (EV). That meant that my journey would be even more “green” – but also presented me with new questions. How easy would it be to charge outwith Scotland? I’ve grown accustomed to charging here in Dundee and it’s become part of my routine. But on a long journey? And in different countries? And how would I cope with suddenly going from miles per hour to kilometres?
Well, last week I set off and drove from Dundee down to Cairnryan. Then across in the ferry to Larne. I could have gone straight down to my friend in Westmeath but I had decided to make a bit of a road trip of the whole experience so I stayed overnight in Larne then drove along the beautiful Antrim coast.
Overall it was a really interesting experience. The car performed extremely well and charging it mostly wasn’t an issue – it was just something I factored in with stops I planned to make anyway. The philosophy I adopted was “don’t stop when you need to charge… charge when you need to stop”. The people at ESB and EasyGo Ireland were very helpful in getting me set up to charge in Ireland – including in the north.
I had a chance to catch up with Paul and Avi and to explore some bits of Ireland (and Scotland) that I didn’t know, most memorably, the Hill of Uisneach in the very heart of the country. And I adapted very quickly to Irish road signs and speed limits (and it’s really easy to switch the car’s instruments from one system to the other).
Plus this was an opportunity to learn a bit about basic filming with a phone. This brings me back to my work. Online ceremonial work can involve making recordings of people’s tributes and then weaving them into the ceremony. My skills in making and editing video are still very basic so I wanted to gain some more experience.
Here are the two little YouTube video – please let me know what you think.
Michael Hannah, 19 September 2021, Dundee