Our adventures together – Part 7

#FirstDate #FirstDates #FirstDatesIRL #Dating #Kilkenny #CountyDublin #CountyWicklow #AllIrelands #AppleCrumble #Recipe #LEGO

“July please,
I’m on my knees…”

To me, July has always meant BBQ’s, Summer Vacations, and Apple Pie. So, this post will be about a BBQ we went to, some of our Summer excursions, and an Apple Crumble Recipe. But July also is the month that I became a widower, and I have not forgotten Jean or the impact she continues to have on my life.

We used Billy the campervan several times in July. A friend invited us to a “festival” in their field. So, we parked Billy in back among the tents.

Then we spent the afternoon with friends, eating BBQ and having a drink or five. The summers in Ireland are amazing. It can stay light until midnight and beyond! And you definitely need to take advantage of the long, sunny days when you can.

Although I’m here in Kilkenny, it’s Thanksgiving Day in the US.  And it is very cold here for this Southern Californian. Despite the cold, I have an awful lot to be thankful for this year. The constants remain – I’m thankful for friends and family. I’m thankful for moving to Ireland and having that work out pretty well. But this year, I’m definitely thankful to have Jeanne in my life. The last four years have been good for a lot of reasons, but they have also been difficult too. The challenges of starting a new life in a new country were made all that much harder with COVID. And struggling to find love caused me to question my decision to move away from everything that was familiar to me. Finally finding a woman that was right for me in so many ways has removed those doubts from my mind completely. I am where I want to be.

And I am certainly thankful for summers in Ireland! I really can’t emphasize it enough. They almost make up for the dark, cold and wet months. And looking back on these pictures puts a smile on my face, I hope it does for you as well. And not just because it showcases two happy people in love. It also shows off this beautiful country.

When I started this blog, I decided that I was going to take pictures of all of my First Dates as LEGO minifigures in the actual location of those First Dates. And Jeanne was instrumental in driving me to many of those locations. She helped me document 54 First Dates with other women – have I mentioned how amazing she is recently?

The next two pictures are from our trip to Wicklow. We started off by going all of the way to Dublin so I could take some shots for this blog. Then we drove by the Hellfire Club, into the Wicklow Mountains, through Sally’s Gap 😍! Um, I mean through Sally Gap in County Wicklow.

We continued on through Glendalough and ended up in Redcross. There was a nice place to camp called River Valley Holiday Park. They had great facilities available, and they kept the campers with young families away from the campers without kids. I highly recommend.

We had so much fun camping this summer that I decided we needed to commemorate Billy in LEGO form. Jeanne and I built this Volkswagen T2 Camper Van (Set 10279) together. Building LEGO together is another good idea for a date.

On July 17, we went to Christy’s Bar in the Village. Kilkenny was taking on Limerick in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. To most people in Kilkenny, Hurling is the only sport that matters. I am by no means an expert, but I do love watching it. So, we put on our Black and Amber gear and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, Limerick continued to be the dominant team for the last three years. Tough luck for the Cats, as they say.

Jeanne continued to accompany me to Game Night on Wednesdays in The Front Room. Here we are with an Irish fella and a couple from South Africa playing Ticket to Ride. If you ever have a free Wednesday Night, I encourage you to come play some games with us.

As good as July 2022 was, it would be negligent of me not to mention that it has been five years since my beloved Jean passed away on 29 July, 2017. Despite her absence, I still feel her presence. And I wouldn’t even be in Ireland if not for her. It was Jean’s idea for me to get an Irish passport so that we could someday move to Ireland. A dream that was formed in the summer of 2015. In April of 2018, I made that dream a reality.

I started off this entry by talking about what July means to me. July 4th – Independence Day in the United States is something that always comes to mind. And you can’t get any more American than Apple Pie. But since I like using my slow cooker, I make Apple Crumble:


For the filling

  • 800g Bramley apple (4 large apples), peeled, cored and sliced to 1 cm thick
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the crumble

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 125g dairy-free spread
  • 70g Flahavan’s oats


  1. Prepare the apples by coring, peeling and slicing, and place them in the slow cooker.
  2. Make the crumble in the usual way; sift the flour into a bowl, rub in the butter, stir in the sugar and oats. Add the cinnamon.
  3. Tip in the sugar for the fruit over the chopped apple, and give it a stir. Spray the sides of the slow cooker bowl where the crumble will be with some cooking spray or oil, to prevent sticking.
  4. Finally, tip the crumble mixture over the fruit and press it down lightly.
  5. Now switch the slow cooker on to high, place a clean tea towel under the lid to stop water dripping onto the crumble, and cook on high for 3 hours.
  6. After two and a half hours, place the lid ajar and cook for another 30 mins to an hour until the crumble firms up and starts to go crispy around the edges.