There were hints of festive joy and tales of romance aboard the 215 to Mahon this week.
College students Colin O’Grady and Isolde Greaney were heading to Cork On Ice in Mahon Point, for some ice skating.
Colin said it was the first time he had gone in a long time.
“I never skate, I very rarely do it, but it will be nice to get into the Christmas vibe.”
Colin, who is studying Economics as UCC has the day off and Isolde, who is studying Computer Science finished all her lectures this morning.
Colin said college is going well at the moment, although it is crunch time, with exams around the corner.
“We are both in second year and it is going well, but there is a lot of study involved.”
As well as studying economics, Colin works weekends out at Fota Resort in the accommodation sector of the hotel. “I like it, it is a good job.”
Isolde said she will be spending her weekend, working on assignments.
Music teacher Nicholas O’Halloran was also on the bus, heading home after a day of work at the School of Music.
Nicholas and his wife are both piano teachers at the school. They met, many years ago, through the School of Music.
Nicholas’s wife used to be one of his students.
“I have been teaching music for the past 35 years. It is a great passion of mine.”
Nicholas also has two children, 12-year-old Cathy and seven-year-old Ferdinand who both play the piano.
“We have a grand piano at home, but the two also take lessons at the School of Music, not from either of their parents though!”
Nicholas, who is a classical musician, runs the lunchtime concerts in the Crawford Gallery when he is not busy working at the School of Music.
“I teach mostly degree students and master students, so they have an idea of what they are at.
“Strictly speaking I teach all the way from juniors all the way up to masters, but mostly I deal with degree students.”
Hui and Maya Kaae were just heading out to Mahon Point to go to the community centre.
“Maya had just finished school and was heading to the community centre at Mahon Point to attend a class of dancing and singing.
Maya, who is four and a half, was on the bus playing a game that teaches Chinese and English.
After the class, the pair said they are going to walk home. They live on Jacob's Island, like living there, saying it is handy with the bus.
Hui has been living in Cork with her Danish husband Khristopher for the past five years She has spent 13 years in Ireland.
“It is my second home, I came here when I was 18. The people are very nice.”
Looking ahead to the festive period, Hui said she and her family would be spending Christmas in Cork.
“We will be in Cork for Christmas this year. We normally go to Denmark.
Maya doesn’t know what she is getting from Santa yet but she is confident she will get something as she said she has been very good.
“Last year, Maya got a puzzle book, which she loved.”
A newcomer to Cork Salvador Delacruz, who is from Spain, was heading into town to go to work.
Salvador has been in Cork just two months. Although he is a qualified engineer, he works as a kitchen porter in order to learn English.
“I want to stay in Ireland. I like the weather here, I enjoy rainy days and the green scenery.
“I also like the people, they are very nice and I like my job, it is well paid, better than in Spain and my colleagues are sound.”
Finally, Kenneth Jones was on the bus heading home from his first day of work in his new job.
“I just started and I am sorting out the paperwork, I am delighted.
Kenneth, who is a Cork man born and bred, said he is very passionate about Cork.
“It is a very cultural city.” As well as working in Mahon, Kenneth is also studying to be a professional counsellor.
“I have always wanted to help people. Issues with suicide are becoming more prevalent in recent years and I want to help.”