This is final editorial for the year. On Thursday I drive to Brisbane and catch up with friends on the weekend before a big trip to Ireland flying out on Monday.
It’s been seven years since I’ve last been back to Ireland so it is a significant trip for me.
I can’t call it “home” – Australia is home – but the south-eastern city of Waterford, being the place where my father live and where my sister and her family lives, is still very special.
My brother and his wife are bringing their two young sons over from Sydney (the youngest of whom I have not yet met) and both my daughters are coming too so it will be a big Barry family reunion for Christmas.
I’m not sure how I’ll cope with the Irish Christmas weather which can best be described as cold, dark, wet and miserable.
I was talking to my sister on Sunday and she was telling me they had snow overnight, which is highly unusual despite it being in the middle of winter.
A white Christmas would be special but I doubt if it on the cards.
The Atlantic Gulf Stream keeps the weather surprisingly mild in Irish wintertime, with rain being much more likely to be on the agenda.
But it will still be a shock to the system coming from the 40 degree temperatures of Mount Isa to a place where where it is unlikely to to get to 40 in the old Fahrenheit scale.
Never mind the air conditioner, it will be the central heating switch I’ll be reaching for.
Two days in Dubai will help with the jetlag and break up the journey on the way over but its desert heat won’t help much with the acclimitisation.
Not of that will matter when I get there as most activity in Ireland is indoors – whatever the weather!
I’m looking forward to drinking a decent pint of Guinness and eating 50 shades of potatoes.
I’ll be back on deck in Mount Isa on Tuesday, January 9, full of tales from the Emerald Isle.
Until then. all the best.
I wish all our readers a merry and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year – Derek Barry