north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. It is separated from the neighbouring island of Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometres (14 mi) at its narrowest point. To the west is the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, in France. Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi) - this is an introduction for those of you who mightn't be familiar with the sodden lovely island.
A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail) in County Kerry, which rises to 1,038 m (3,406 ft) above sea level. Western areas can be mountainous and rocky with green panoramic vistas.
The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes. This is a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the South-Western Atlantic.
However, we've had GUBU weather recently, horrendous storms battering almost every single costal region... causing havoc. Big big waves, crazily intense storms and the like.
This talk about weather serves to bring me to the topic of this post, the Comortas Páidi O'Sé. We're flying out THIS VERY EVENING.
Paidí O'Sé tournament is like the GAA Olympics or a cross between a normal tournament and the Hunger Games. Only the fittest survive. It's a real honour to have been invited to play and an even greater one to be invited back!
As yet, we have no pitches to play on (still TBC) but will trust in Fent/Timmy to bring us around Kerry to play the matches we have over the next two days. Last year, we were delighted to be invited to play for the first time, and the ladies made it to the final. The picture above Paidí is testament to the wild fun to be had in February in Kerry, with one very enthusiastic Dublin footballer showing his appreciation and love for the game, without clothes, on a rooftop. As, of course, you do.
This year we're travelling in even greater numbers and will update you in due course on the Twitterbox and Facespace to let you know how we all get on....
Please cross your fingers for us, we'll see you back in Brussels on Monday.
Jelena, our favourite Serbian Ultimate GAA secretary, is attending the GAA Convention in Croke Park, bringing down the average age by a good few years - good luck with everything there.