Groundhog day!

So, I heard the groundhog predicted an early spring… not sure if that’s just in the US, or everywhere? ha ha. I’m hoping it’s here! The weather has been back to some of the crazy winds again here. We have FINALLY got the apartment back to normal after throwing the big party last weekend. Part of the problem was that our dishwasher is not working properly, so I’ve been having to wash everything by hand :(. I haven’t been able to get a hold of our landlords yet, because they live in Northern Ireland, and when I went to look back through our lease, there was only an address, no phone number or email listed. So looks like I’ll get really good at hand-washing dishes for awhile! ha ha.

Other than that, nothing much has happened this week, just playing catch up. The RBS Six Nations tournament started here today, which is a big rugby tournament between Ireland, Wales, England, Scotland, France, and Italy. Today Ireland beat Wales, who won the whole tournament last year. I’ve learned quite a bit about rugby this past year. It’s a lot like football, but without pads. There was an AMAZING part where one of the guys on the Ireland team almost missed the pass but tossed it to himself by flipping the ball with his foot, see the video below for the clip, especially at 0:30.

Some basic rules and info (or at least what I’ve figured out so far).

  • You can pass to your teammates, but you can only pass backwards
  • When you score a “try” (basically a touchdown) you get 5 points
  • After you get a try, you get to kick to the goal, for which you get 2 points
  • All other team members must be behind the person who is carrying the ball, or it’s offsides
  • The “ball” looks pretty much like a football
  • When someone is trying to score, they are tackled, just like in American Football
  • When the ball carrier is tackled, they must release the ball, but they can do that however they want (usually by popping it backwards or setting it on the ground).
  • If after being tackled, the ball is placed on the ground, a “ruck” forms. 
  • Until the ruck is formed, the ball is fair game, so usually someone on the same team tries to get it pretty quickly and either run it up field or pass it along.
  • The lightest rugby player is usually around 180lbs, and the largest player is usually close to 300lbs (basically, they are BIG boys!)
  • A player can kick the ball at any time
  • When there is a penalty (and I think maybe even an injury) game time doesn’t stop, they keep playing.

There’s MANY more, but basically it’s pretty similar to American Football without pads (at least in my opinion), and it’s very entertaining to watch. You can read more about the rules HERE or watch a video about it HERE.

After the Ireland match, we were both craving wings and bangers and mash, so we tried out the Temple bar location of the Porterhouse (MOST AMAZING RESTAURANT EVER!!!)

I guess another big “debacle” here lately has been that a new  investigation found that the frozen beef burgers at Tesco (our local grocery store) had traces of horse meat in it. Also, I recently found a neat video of Dublin (which I also posted on my facebook) which was really neat. It gives a nice view of some main points within the city center.

ALSO, something I thought was a bit crazy, in one of the counties of Ireland, they approved a “drinking and driving permit.” However, it’s only for people in rural areas. The idea was that small pub owners were losing business due to the economy and having to shut down, so to boost their income, they approved a drink driving permit where you can drink up to a moderate level of alcohol and still drive. Their other argument was that to avoid the strict penalties here on drunk driving, people in the county were becoming social isolated and depressed. They added the argument, “what are you going to hit out in the country?” It’s caused quite a bit of controversy…. because others are stating it shouldn’t be allowed as it promotes irresponsible drinking, and adding that there is a clear link between drinking and suicide rates. Either way, I’m not driving… ha ha.


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