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My younger daughter Liv celebrates her birthday at the end of July. The downside of this is that her friends are often away on summer holidays. The upside is that the weather is usually good and she can do something cool outdoors. This year she turned twelve and decreed that we would celebrate her birthday with a camping trip: I love camping so that was fine with me.
“We’re going for at least three nights,” she said.
“That’s a lot,” said her dad. “If the weather isn’t great we should maybe consider cutting it a bit shorter.”
Birthdays can turn the mildest of us into divas, and there followed much stamping, wailing and weeping.
The camping trip approached and the logistics of keeping three teenage kids happy started to become troublesome. Paddy is nearly fifteen and will join in anything with great enthusiasm. Honor, the eldest, is sixteen, and has different priorities in her life right now.
“There’s no way I’m going camping with you lot!” she said, except she didn’t say “you lot”. “Besides, I’m going camping with my friends on Sunday, so I can’t.” None of my pleading for reason made any difference, and it was all I could do to persuade her to join us for one night, never mind three. So I came up with a crazy plan – we’d drive west for an hour and a half to the beautiful Roundstone in Connemara the first night, then drive back south, past our house in Kilcolgan where I would drop her off, then motor on another hour down to Co. Clare, to the gorgeous Fanore beach, and spend a night or two there. I was banking on Roundstone to win her over.
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