Scary stories from a lovely place
We’re still enjoying fine, balmy weather here in Dublin. Today was warm, but gusty and, at times grey. Yesterday saw some of the most glorious weather I’ve experienced in ages. It was sunny and hot, but devoid of humidity. The sky was bright and every colour Dublin displayed was illuminated.
In the early afternoon I was given a reprieve from my duties as a mother and quickly hopped on a bus bound for the city. While waiting at the stop a stranger told me the history of the anti-Apartheid movement in Ireland, and her involvement in it. It was fascinating. I was totally ready for major solo time – Stephen’s iPod was primed with U2, I had a choice of books and lots to look at out the window. But as my new friend and I boarded the empty bus she ushered me into a seat next to her and continued the tale. In the 1980’s she was a high school teacher. During this time Amnesty International gave her the addresses of families in South Africa who were under house arrest. She set her politics students to writing letters to these families to tell them that people in Ireland were thinking of them. She got off the bus about ten minutes into the trip, and although I was longing for singularity, I was pretty disappointed when she disembarked.
Once I arrived at Dame Street, my stop, I plunged into the city to take in as much as I could.
I walked, watched and enjoyed the blasting sunshine. I crossed the Liffey on as many bridges as I could manage. I watched the Socialist Party garnering support in Henry Street, outside some of Dublin’s major deparment stores. I retreated to Temple Bar to experience alternative Dublin – with about 5000 other hipsters. I loved it all. The cobbled walkways, the alleys and bars, the Luas train and the river.
Finally I settled in a pub called Farrington’s in Temple Bar. In Virginia Woolf style, I sought a little nook, that wasn’t too dark, that I could sit in, read, watch the street and drink some beer. I haven’t yet enjoyed a Guinness since being in Ireland. Shameful, I know. But yesterday didn’t seem like the right time. My skin was too warm and tingly. Guinness is a hearty winter beer – a meal almost. So I settled for a Peroni and an Irish cheeseboard. It was replete with brie, blue, goat’s and cheddar, garnished with crackers, grapes and mint. This proved to be an amazing accompaniment to the sour goat’s cheese. The beer was long and very cold.
I wiled the afternoon away with my book, watching the street. Eventually I dragged myself back to the bus stop, enjoyed another ride home, this time complete with U2, arrived home to happy children and worn out grandparents and stepped back into my role of responisiblity.
It was a lovely, sunny Saturday in Dublin.