Posts filed under ‘Dublin’

One Weekend in Dublin.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

A small warning on today’s post; not necessarily one you want to share with your children with some ‘flowery’ language and viewpoints that you may consider extreme. My words today represent the opinions and words of others, my opinions don’t really figure. This is about my weekend in Dublin and I hope you persevere to the end, this one has character(s), a few powered by the black stuff.

The old man and I were celebrating a few decades of marriage and decided to take a relaxing weekend in Dublin. No queuing for flights, just a relaxing train ride watching the world go by. I should have known what kind of a weekend it would be before we actually boarded the train. The two young girls in front of us were going home and with their shopping. As we neared the platform, tickets in hand, we had a Primark avalanche in front of us, not once but twice. Much giggling and stuffing many small tops into random bags and we were able to board. So far so good, you need an eclectic bunch to make travel interesting. The train journey was uneventful except for the lady who came through our carriage twice. She may have been lurching slightly and not because of the train. Bless her, she was a tad confused, she tried twice to open a cupboard that wasn’t actually there before my husband helped her locate the loo, a relief from the smile on her face afterwards.

Friday night was reasonable uneventful. We went to O’Donoghue’s Bar, an old and famous establishment where live traditional music is often a feature.

Thanks to http://www.odonoghues.ie/index.htm for the Pic!

It is always a thumping place to visit, people of all ages having a great time. This included the girl who, as the old man passed by on the way to use the facilities, disappeared from view. OH was wearing his shining armour that night and helped her up with the recommendation to ‘make sure you place your ass *on* the stool next time pet’. Such charm and panache….

However, the most excitement came from Saturday. It was Gay Pride in Dublin and we watched the parade down O’Connell Street. There was a huge buzz with much dancing and laughing, it was great craic. I am full of admiration to those who wore little clothing as it was a brisk enough day. I applaud those transgender ladies who carry off high, high heels with aplomb, they do it much better than most.

There is always time for a gossip!

By then it was Saturday afternoon but there was one problem, my feet. Miles (I am sure there was more than one of them anyway) had been walked and my comfy boots were suddenly not comfy any more. I had packed light and didn’t bring any other shoes with me. Many women may be disgusted that a female goes on a weekend away with only one set of footwear but there was an upside, I bought new shoes. I bought Compeed plasters too but that wasn’t fun. I limped back to the hotel to sort myself out and himself went to the pub to wait for me.

And this is where Saturday starts to get really interesting – three characters you could not make up!

I joined himself at the pub. He was sitting quietly at the bar with a pint of Guinness and ordered me a coffee. We were browsing the papers when the man next to us started talking to me. I will relay as much of the conversation as possible. He had a pint in his hand and it was evident that it wasn’t his first. He wasn’t in bad shape, just a little loose round the edges. The conversation went like this – ‘Are you in here often?’. I replied that we were just down for the weekend. The reply to this was ‘I haven’t been here in about four years. I’m from England and when I moved here about eight years ago I was a regular. I did I hit it hard at first but I don’t do that any more, I stay conscious these days’.

At this point I was glad I have the ability to keep a straight face. The man then looked at the other half and then back to me. ‘You two are married?’. I confirmed that we had been married for thirty years that day. He looked at the OH again and stated ‘You don’t look like you are together but you obviously are’. He then asked OH ‘Did you look like this when you met?’. I said that he was greyer but wasn’t that different. He then looked at me closely and asked if I drink, I replied yes. Our new friend nodded and said the the OH ‘I would have said she looks the healthy one of the pair, you look more like a pisshead’. To be fair, my old man looked much better than our new pal. He also maintained a pleasant expression, I may have been laughing at this point.

The conversation then meandered on. It transpired that our new friend was a poet. That rang true for me; he moved to Dublin to be amongst the writers and poets, he just seemed to be taking more of a Brendan Behan route. He added that he didn’t take drugs but had been out with the young ‘uns the night before so dropped a tab. Because of this he had taken a lady he did not know for his estranged sister. The tale wandered a little further and finally petered out. This allowed us to move on and wish him well, it seemed the best thing to do.

It was then early Saturday evening so we headed back to the centre of Dublin and stopped at the Palace Bar to finish reading our papers in a quieter manner. The sun was shining so I sat outside with yet more coffee. A very spruce gentleman was sitting near me and started to chat. He looked very dapper so I honestly wasn’t expecting any more surprises, shows how little I know…..

The gentleman, we will call him P, was slowly sipping on one half of Guinness and we talked about the lovely weather, a very safe topic. What happened next is down to me, I mentioned that OH and I had watched the Gay Pride Parade as a few participants danced past. P said, ‘Who would have thought we would have this in Dublin even ten years ago. It is great to see the power of the Church going away, isn’t it great, the b**tards and the nuns weren’t any better the feckers’. I was thankful again for my skill at keeping my face strictly neutral. P then happily told me that he would be 70 this week and had been educated by the Christian Brothers, I think this may have influenced his views. I did respond that many people find a lot of  comfort in their religion but P wasn’t having any of that and was most insistent that he knew there was no heaven but that he hoped that those involved in  his childhood were burning in hell. He then moved the discussion to the ‘historic’ handshake between HM Elizabeth II and Martin McGuinness where he felt that Mr McGuinness had gone too far. I disagreed with him politely and we had a short and mannered debate on the two sides of the ‘Irish’ argument After that unburdening, his wished the politest of goodbyes and went homewards.

I thought I would be safer inside the bar at this point and went inside. It was almost 7pm and I asked himself if he would get me a glass of wine as we would shortly head for dinner. The only room in the lovely Palace Bar was at the bar so people were ordering their drinks around us. I promise we were finishing off the papers, minding our own business when Mr M approached us. I think this was Dublin’s way of telling us that you will always meet just one more interesting person. Mr M started chatting and, hearing our Norn Iron accents, shared with us that he was a Mason and proudly loyal to the Crown. He actually chatted at length about his Masonic roots and his loyalty to the Crown while we smiled and nodded politely, just as we had smiled and nodded politely to P.

I am happy to report that our dinner was delicious and the Comedy Club we went to in the International Bar was certainly worth the 2 hours of standing. I have to single out the last act but the noise was such that I didn’t hear what they were called. A double act, two blokes, one guitar and laughs that almost bought the roof down. Thanks to the pisshead that is my OH, I now know they are called Totally Wired, @totallyW on the twitter. Thanks lads, you were awesome!

Before you assume that my weekends in Dublin consist only of bars and their characters I will add in one more thing. Having previously visited most of the art galleries we wanted to visit the National Museum of Ireland, specifically the Decorative Arts and History exhibition. The best bit for me was the permanent exhibition for Eileen Gray, a 20th Century designer and architect. I have seen works by Frank Lloyd-Wright and Rennie Mackintosh and her work was very reminiscent of both for me. An amazing mind shown well in this Museum, well worth a visit if you find yourself in Dub.

So, this is my account of one weekend in Dublin. You should visit, you might get even better than me! 🙂

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

July 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm 4 comments


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