I've managed to survive two weeks in what has been the coldest winter in Ireland since the early 1960s . . .
Despite attempts to convince my George Mason study abroad students prior to leaving that Ireland's winters rarely approach the worst in the U.S., we managed to land in the midst of fairly horrific ice in the west and considerable snow in the east. This picture, taken at Dunguaire castle near Kinvarra, Co. Galway gives some taste of how thick the frost had become by the end of the first week. Luckily, there was a bit of a thaw about five days ago and by the end of our trip it was back above freezing with just the usual bouts of rain. Although the cold wreaked absolute havoc with the roads (many closed) and with water supplies (I heard a few people mention that relatives had been without water since Christmas), if there was any bright side to the situation it was the absolutely stunning views of the snow-capped mountains of Connemara:
Aside from adventures abroad, I must also excuse my inattention to the site in past months due to a newly hectic schedule--I will take up a new post this January with the history department at Virginia Commonwealth University. With any luck, I'll be able to make some small contributions a few weeks down the road.