It’s what, Thursday? My, how time stretches out comfortably when there’s no set routine to the day. I am having a lovely week of almost total idleness. So far I have:
- Done the all important getting lost walk, where I’m ready to be back at my hotel at least an hour before I can find it again. On this occasion, it was because I tried to walk back on the other side of the river, only to find out that I’d run out of bridges and had to detour across the canal, through a dodgy estate, a park, and over the toll bridge.
- Discovered that the hotel bar does a very good Malbec and a cracking cheese plate.
- Spent my birthday at Dun Laoghaire. I didn’t have any champagne, but I did have a soft whip ice cream cornet with a flake, which I ate while battling the wind along the East Pier. It was bloody marvellous. I also had afternoon tea at the Royal Marine Hotel, where I sat and finished re-reading Jane Eyre while eating my chocolate-dipped strawberries. (Ladies, I think it’s time we upped the stakes and demanded chocolate dipped strawberries instead of bonbons to accompany all those afternoons on our respective chaise longues.)
- Become a redhead again. What grey hair? If only the bags under the eyes were so easily concealed…
- Read, in addition to JE: Faithful Place by Tana French; Cyrano de Bergerac (transl Anthony Burgess); Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb; and am halfway through The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien.
- Bought Molly Fox’s Birthday, by Deirdre Madden for when I run out of O’Brien.
- Seen Penelope, by Enda Walsh. By the skin of my teeth, because I got the train going the wrong way and by the time I got to the theatre I was only just allowed in.
- Bought new grey suede, slouchy boots, with 2 inch block heels and studs. They are awesome. I am considering this skirt to go with them.
- Not bought these boots (but I’d be lying if I said they weren’t calling to me).
- Enjoyed the Gabriel Metsu exhibition at the National Gallery, and discovered that ‘poultry, hares and fresh produce were commonly understood sexual symbols when handled by young women’. Thus an hilarious painting in which an old woman is apparently asking a younger one about her sex life; in reply, the young woman holds up a plucked chicken ‘to signify her poor luck with men. Perhaps she is stuck with the older man next to her.’ I laughed out loud, but fortunately everyone else in the gallery was listening to the audio tour, so no one noticed.
- Drunk my complimentary pint of Guinness in Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse. Anyone who works in marketing should go on this tour, because it’s a masterpiece of brand reinforcement. The whole thing is a giant, multimedia, three-dimensional advert, and it’s extremely well done. I could care less about Guinness, and I damn near bought a t-shirt. (The Guinness does taste better in Dublin, you know ;).)
- Been asked for directions three times. Not sure why.
Random Dublin shots