Wednesday, August 31, 2005

foot fetish

Every now and again I get naff flights of fancy, which is annoying as it shows that I'm more 'Chardonnay' from 'Footballers' Slappers' than 'Virginia Woolf' from 'the Hours' (joke).

Anyway, the whole navel gazing reached its peak during what I affectionately remember as the poetically dark days of teenagedom. Aw, the bitter pleasure I took from forensically examining my reflection. Many the self-portrait was drawn during these days, and depending on the curve of the wave of my manic-depression they tended to a spectrum from dashingly flattering to cruelly mean to deep angry scribbles - á la The Ring. Perhaps followed by a poem or three about how fat I was or else futility or possibly both. 'Futility' was probably my favourite word at the time. And then a twix and some Dave Fanning, interspersed with a walk seven times around the housing estate with a friend. Aw, how great it was to be hideously depressed.

Of course, that is well behind me, and I can smirk fondly at my narcissism thinking I don't spend much time on how I look now. But that's pure bull, I'm not outdoorsy, I don't breeze about in fleeces. I still get the odd slight fixation - such as:

a. 'Oh, blah. I'm bored. What will I do. My, maybe I should put on a face-pack' (annual fixation)
b. 'Flabberly flubberly, bingo wings ahoy! I need to get fit' (maybe twice a year)
c. 'AAAAAAGH I HATE LIFE, WORK, THE UNIVERSE. I NEED MEANING! where are my scented candles, joss sticks, oil stuff, I'm going to sit on my bed cross legged and maybe that will help' (déja vu - reverting to those earlier days. I should chill weekly... bi-monthly in reality)
c. 'My eyebrows are a bit apeish, where's the tweezers' (monthly I think - probably should be more)

and so (predictably) on. Anyway, at the moment I've noticed my feet and have spent euros galore on lotions and potions and soaks and pumice-scrub thingys. This is giving me all manner of pleasure. It's just funny really as I've stopped wearing my sandals this week (weather - come on Dublin, give me a break), and have taken to using them as slippers.

Tonight for example - could have gone pinting, could have gone to the cinema, but no. In the bathroom I oohed and awed over my footsies. I'm like a neglectful mother to them really. Twenty seven years of nothing, and there I am dragging my mate into Boots at lunchtime to get one of those 'Sanctury' three pack of foot things. And the dreadful thing is, like most things, I know that 'this too shall pass'... so sorry in advance my precious feet.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Blue Saturday

Good-bye the Boys in Blue for another year. Dublin were knocked out of the Championship by the sadly, better than us, Tyrone.

Thanks to the Dublin team for an exciting, knee-knocking, roller-coaster ride of a few months. I've shouted myself hoarse, dressed head to toe in blue, prayed, held my breath, laughed, almost cried, and it is finally over. All credit to them, they worked their little shorts off, and most admirably of all, it was for the county, rather than for money.

And so little of Dublin is about anything other than money. 'Empty as a vacant lot' - Bono's words, but this is how I see my Dublin at the moment. Maybe I'm missing something, this could just be me taking my current experience and seeing it everywhere - in the trees, traffic, queues, angry crowd, shops, advertising, faces of my friends and family.

They offer us 100% mortgages now, invisible debt to buy ever dearer houses. We're told we look old in our twenties, that we need ever more drastic face-creams to still our sagging skin. Noone I know wants to have babies, that would be too adult by far. The few that have are seen as socially irksome, needing to get the last bus home.

Friends faces that plead at me, reflecting my own angst about credit card debt we don't know how to pay off. SUVs crowd the roads, full of angry women and men, why are they so angry?

Children so sophisticated they can't hold a conversation where each sentence resounds in 'I'. Little girls with oceans of dolls, too many to name, 'that doesn't matter silly'.

The Dublin matches were light entertainment, a moment of unity with my fellow Dubliner, something to talk about in work, that wasn't cars, houses or work based. Maybe next year, who knows? Won't be here myself - off on my big voyage next June - but maybe next year we'll get the 'Sam', as my good friend Faraday said - 'this city needs it'.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wilde about Oscar

Just seen 'The Importance of Being Earnest' and have realised that

  1. men in skirts are funny
  2. my terrible english teacher was right, I should have enjoyed it
  3. that was impossible at the time, as twenty four random randy boys and girls with varying degrees of skanger accents and boredom shouldn't ever be let loose on any play
  4. going to the theatre isn't always a sort of efforty thing (which, I secretly have felt it is heretofore, despite going along to any play anyone would join me at, and saying I had fun afterwards even if I didn't really)

I'm so glad I went as

  1. if I hadn't I would have continued drinking more and more wine as work is such a head wreck at the moment that survival (aka not throwing a hissy fit or having a breakdown in the office) is a choice between sleeping and alcohol, and as I was in the pub rather than bed when the ticket was handed to me by my mate, wine was the panacea to end all ills tonight
  2. they actually put Wilde in the play which worked well (apart from a pathetic attempt at an American accent by an otherwise capable actor) and made me think about context and creativity and my current constipation with regard to writing (not on this blog obviously, were tonight I'm experiencing the opposite of constipation with regard to my typing)
  3. I laughed and laughed

If you get the chance why not go - it was cheap as expensive chips (€10 a ticket, although we were in the front row, which was great until I laughed outloud at a moment of - funny - silent pause and the actors did skip a beat and I felt so bold, like a bold child. I suppose I forgot I wasn't in the International bar watching comedy where you're encouraged to laugh riotiously, and if you snort or giggle at the wrong moment, they pause to ridicule you. Which sucks and makes you feel special all at once.

Wilde had such a unique perspective his quotes are pure legend - from the Importance of Being Earnest:

'All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his. '

'I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy. '
'No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.'
He was born on the same day as me or me on the same day as he, albeit he was 123 years older, which means we may have astrological karma or something.
Anyway, enough spouting about Wilde whilst squiffy on wine, I'm off to sleep, aw bed...zzzz

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dream Catcher

Richard fancied himself a peacock, but he had none of the pea about him.

At times a buffoon, at others shrewd, his real character trait was paranoia.

Although he told a good joke, he was constantly gauging others around him, liking to surround himself only with loyal disciples, preferably a little dim or easily influenced.

His weakness was laziness, but he inspired devotion or at the least tacit approval in his disciples, who all feared his disapproval.

Noone who worked with him, wanted to do so for long.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Freddie was a spoilt child, by anyone's standards.

At least that's what people would say.

'Oh Freddie, you're so spoilt, what is it like to have all that attention?'

Freddie didn't quite know how to reply. He was seven years old, and he had no idea what they meant.

Later, when he grew up, he acknowledged that they may have been right. He certainly did get more annoyed and vexed than other people seemed to, when things didn't quite go his way.

Like today in work, when the office erupted in panic as the server stopped connecting and the printer broke down, 'I was the only one who left, they all stayed around and tried to make it work' he thought.

Still, he didn't miss it, all that nonsense of being a child. His mother worrying all the time and his father trying to explain the notion of infinity to him, and him having to nod in agreement, always afraid that he would disappoint.

If anything, he missed the dinners that were served each night, and the fact that his clothes were ready for him every morning.

And he sometimes found himself, late at night, aimlessly flicking through endless television, as though waiting to be told to go to bed.

'I should probably settle down', he thought, 'get a woman and all that shite'. Although the idea of having children of his own filled him with terror.

But he was content enough as long at the TV was good, or the book he was reading was absorbing.

'In fact', he thought, 'I'd never bother buying a book if I was a character in it, I'm far too dull, unless I played a bit part and killed myself'. He smiled.

'So', he thought, as he took another handful of nachos, and changed the channel, 'so what if I'm spoilt, its not like I'm hurting anyone'.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Drawing is a good pastime

Baby balloon loves to go to bed with his mummy and daddy. But he's getting very big.

Daddy balloon says 'baby balloon, it's time for you to start going to bed in your own little bedroom and to leave mummy and daddy to go asleep on their own'.

That night, Baby balloon goes to bed in his own room, while Mummy and Daddy go into their bed.

In the middle of the night, it is very dark, and Baby balloon wakes up a little scared.

Baby balloon decides to go into Mummy and Daddy balloon's room. When he gets there, he sees them sleeping peacefully, and he begins to feel tired. So he tries to squeeze into the bed between them, but there isn't very much room.

He's getting very tired, and he really wants to get into the comfy bed with them, so he lets a little bit of air out of Mummy balloon and a little bit out of Daddy balloon, but there still isn't room, so he lets a little bit out of himself and soon there is lots of space in the bed, so he jumps in quietly and soon all three are blissfully asleep.

Daddy balloon wakes up and gets very angry.

'Baby Balloon' he says, 'I'm very angry at you'

Baby balloon gets very sad. 'Why are you angry Daddy Balloon?'

'Well, Baby, you haven't just let yourself down, you've let me and Mummy balloon down too!'

A big thanks to the Tyrone Fan who told me that joke - I was amazed to learn that despite the fact we had a last minute draw (some may say a lucky escape), there was humour and fun to be had with the Tyrone fans in Dublin last Saturday evening.

I did however notice at the match one young enthusiastic supporter (he was apopletic with love for his team - indeed he was spotted kissing the crest of his jersey) who needs to work on his chanting. When the excitement got too much for him, he threw himself out on the aisle shrieking:


I tell no lie. I was confused at his referencing an early eighties, slightly naf band, until it was pointed out to me that his jaw, slackened by the excitement of the game, had turned his probably mild accent into a sort of beast like yell. He had to be physically restrained by an eighty seven year old fellow Tyrone man, who himself was seen leaping, like a leaping nun, when they scored their cool goal. The handsome (not), much tattooed Eoin Mulligan, otherwise to be known as 'that scourge that befell Dublin on Saturday 13th Augusty 2005' placed an ace goal in our net, and had I been an eighty seven year old Tyrone man, I may have leapt too.

Oh well, not to be outdone, the Dubs came back in some style, with Mossy Quinn getting us even stevens. Another match in two weeks time.

I don't think I can take much more of this. I may have to retire (as did my Mother and Aunts before me) to the pub. Nah. The Championship is in full flight again, and I just hope I can get tickets to the next match. Hill Sixteen La La La - forget your 'Come On, Come On, Come On, Come On, ComeOnComeOn - Tyrone' -I'll be singing 'Come On You Boys in Blue (ibid, ibid, ibid, ibid, ibid).

To anyone who doesn't understand, don't worry, this madness will pass come mid-September (or if our previous performance is to be repeated, even sooner!)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Come on the Boy's in Blue

Does it mean that I'm a romantic, wear my heart on my sleeve, if I secretly hope all my shouting won't be in vain next Saturday? I'm serious.

I love the Championship. Last year, I had to almost fight back tears as we succumbed so easily to defeat time and again until we were gone (and although I was the only girl in the company, I wasn't alone). The mood was sombre in the pub afterwards and the witty banter was nil.

I didn't even have the will to exert passion when we discussed why Tommy Lyons' time had come and we needed a new manager.

Now with Piller Caffrey, the change is palpable. I just hope the boys in blue are able to succeed like they want to next Saturday. If you don't believe me, go along, or just watch it in the Pub or at home. The Dubs really want to do well. It's great.

You see, I'm no pundit, but I think what is important, is what is described as 'the hunger'.

For me, watching Dublin is like a Shakespearian Play. All the men and some of the ladies I know who follow the game are analytical and watch the team formation, making astute remarks about how they need to change their play.

But my analysis is always driven by the personalities I see on the pitch. I judge the game on their moods, and am happiest when (even if they're losing) they are trying their best. My father says they are always trying their best and points out that certain players are being marked harder, but I find that hard to see at the time though.

The game for me is a story with villans (particularly when we play Meath or Kildare, although Meath were mellow enough this year) and heroes (always the Dubs - often people such as Shane Ryan, Alan Brogan and of course Tomás Quinn last time). There are the showmen, who have talent to burn (Sherlock), and the journeymen, who can act as rocks in time of great need (Senan, Dessie). Or the surprisers, who sometimes play great and other times seem to disappear (Barry Cahill, Mark Vaughan).

Each time, I become charged with emotion and opinion.

Each time, I swear I'll keep my feelings in check. 'It's only a game' I'll think, 'there's no need to get so excited about it'.

'Take your points!' I'll begin, 'mark your players'. Later it will begin to get personal, 'come on Cahill, stick with it'. Eventually it descends into chaotic chanting or wailing shouts of belief 'come on Dublin, come on Dublin, come on'.

Some people don't like GAA. I don't know what to say, it's easy for me, I've been going since the days when I was lifted over the turn-stile. Seeing Barney Rock doing his shopping in the Superquinn in Finglas was my first encounter with celebrity culture.

It must be the county thing - maybe it is one of the only opportunities I have to be proud or even to feel as though I'm of Dublin (lets face it the skangers and puke make this mongrel city hard to like at the best of times).

The pints and the banter are nice, meeting up with the boys in the family is always special on match day. But the real glory is the feeling, like when we won the Leinster, that these men, who you've watched playing for years, almost almost let it go, and then shake their heads and seem to say, 'wait a minute. We're the Boys in Blue. And that's the Hill, and it is screaming for us, and we're magnificent, we are the chosen few, so you're not going to beat us'.

Then, they seem to (always at the last minute - just to prolong the suspense), turn, raise their heads up high and turn it around. We're in the stands, crossing our fingers, shouting until we're hoarse.

And then maybe, just maybe. Like last time. The Boy's in Blue get a victory and I feel so proud and so happy to be from Dublin.

I don't know if everyone gets the chance to feel that - of course if you support London you never seem to - but when people say they don't like GAA, I just wish that someday they get that feeling - the roar of their crowd, chanting their county's chants, the witty banter, the sun on your face - and best of all, that sweet feeling of owning even a thimbleful of the victory, because they're your boys in blue (or orange, or green, or whatever).

Friday, August 05, 2005

Rebellious Encounter with the Law

People are surprised to learn that I have penalty points.

Possibly due to:

a) the fact that no-one actually confesses to having them (although, I have learnt that if you confess first, people are eager to try to out penalty-point story you)

b) the fact that it took me until the age of 24 to learn how to drive, and while I love Betsy (sad I know, but red ford fiesta just doesn't cut it), she isn't the most glamorous gal in the car-park

But a few weeks ago, driving home early after a late night in Enfield - which was a sort-of sleepover come boozy ladies chat into the wee hours - I was in love with the world. I don't know why exactly, but the birds were tweeting, one of those nerdy shows I adore was on Radio One and I didn't have anyone else in the car to impress with my taste in music, so I could listen away, it was early, there was no traffic and the day seemed like a glorious adventure waiting to unfold. I think I may have even sung.

Flash. On the Lucan Road, the speed-camera takes no prisoners.

Plop. Letter through the door with my €80 fine and a nice picture of my reg plate.

Oh well, I fought the law (gently) and the law won.

The weird thing is, I seem to have a counter-magnetic attraction to the place on Capel Street where I'm supposed to pay the fine. I'm not sure why it is (perhaps the Hindus out there may put it down to me having been a devilishly charming crook in a past life), but I have a strangely negative reaction to close contact with the Gardaí. So, I was delighted when work got busy at lunch-time today. Work was pleasantly delighted that I embraced the shackles with such vigour. Still though, I'm going to have to go tomorrow...

My other encounters with the Gardaí include:

a) myself and my friend drinking from a can (each) in the afternoon before the Red Hot Chili Peppers played Landsdowne Road a few years ago. We were so unthreatening. In fact, I believe I had a meeting that day and was all neat and tidy. We were having a pleasant time watching young rowdies romping around, when Mister I'm afraid of my shadow, but not those two twentysomethings Garda strolls up to us.

Garda: (Smiles) Ladies, you're not allowed to drink on the roadside.
Us: (politely by wall) Sorry?
Garda: Can you throw those away please, you're not allowed to drink on the roadside
Rowdies: (Blah, puke, heinous anti cop / anarchic behaviour / having fun)
Us: These? Em, ok. There's no where to put them though
Garda: You could put them over there (gestures general direction of persons garden)
Me: (Thinking) Is that not worse, littering? Should I say something. Best not, might get arrested
Us: Ok. (begin walking slowly to persons garden. turn. cop still looking. gently place cans on wall)

The guilt, the controversy.

b) Outside Croke Park at some country team vs country team match (note: did not use term culchie, how enlightened) I got tickets to last year. The craic and the crowd were massive, and despite a pint or two Jones' Road was freakishly full of people - we had to wait five minutes to get out of the tunnel and mums / dads / kids were in quite a dangerous squash (no movement at all / people saying they couldn't breathe / fear palpable). Eventually the crowd moved slightly and we got through.

Being Civic minded, I felt that I should tell the little cackles of Gardaí having a good chat 200 metres away that there was a need for, oh I don't know, them to manage the crowd?

Me: Hello, sorry to disturb you, I've just come from further up Jones' Road - the crowd situation is quite dangerous there at the moment - people pushing / getting scared. There are a lot of children there. I think it would be reassuring if you could have a look at it.
Bean Garda: (not looking at me) Right. (does nothing. silent pause)
Me: (walk away slowly)
Bean Garda: (does nothing)

Five minutes pass (ok. maybe three minutes pass). Nothing happens, except that she continues with the banter she's having with a colleague.

Me: (righteous indignation - I'm going back in!)
Me: Hi - about that crowd situation... Are you going to do anything?
Bean Garda: (doesn't look at me) That's fine
Me: Sorry? It's not fine - there are people scared up there - you should really have a look at it, the crowd is too thick.

Bean Garda: (doesn't look at me) Right.

I walk away and stand looking at her from a distance. She does nothing. So I stand there, fuming and angry and annoyed and belittled. All of which I express in a flood of glorious metaphors and adjectives to my GAA man, who ums and aws, and agrees at the appropriate dams in the flow.

Of course these are but two encounters, maybe they are lovely fluffy creatures of protection and care. The time I was mugged three of them arrived out an hour after the call and took notes in their notepads. They were fine I guess.

Pity they didn't catch the muggers though.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Conversing with a Taxi Driver

'Shit' I thought, 'I'm late - better ring a taxi'.

A beautiful day for walking, but I had to finish putting together some ideas before my meeting this afternoon.

I lie and paint too nice a picture of myself - lets face it, I had left things to the last minute and hadn't done anything until this morning, and I couldn't face the thought of sitting through a meeting like a kid who hasn't done their homework.

Getting a taxi in Dublin can be russian roulette, without the bullets, but with awkward and often downright weird conversations. Once, a few years ago, I was late to collect my little brother from school, so I got a taxi, with an utter freak.

Me: 'Not too busy this afternoon?'
MadEye: 'Fair to middling. Do you know anyone who will kill someone, you know, like for money'.

Me: 'Sorry, what? You mean, a contract killer, is it? No, I don't' (laughs nervously) Weather isn't too bad'
MadEye: 'Oh, it's easy enough to come by one in Dublin, you know'

Me: 'Really? I haven't em, had the call to try, it just hasn't really come up, you know'
MadEye: 'Sometimes though, it can be an easy solution'

Me: 'Well, I would prefer just to try to talk things out, or maybe ignore someone if they're really annoying me'.
MadEye: 'That doesn't always work. It's not so expensive like'

Me: 'Oh, well, I don't know, I would have thought it would be, but, I have never needed one so what would I know'
MadEye: 'I reckon I could get it for as little as a hundred you know, if I, or anyone I knew needed one'

Me: 'Ha ha...'
MadEye: 'I could you know'

Me: 'Aw well that will never happen, sure that would be terrible, aw no, lets hope that never happens'
MadEye: 'But if it did, you know, and if you, you know'

Me: 'Aw, here we are - this is perfect, you can drop me here. Perfect, thanks a lot, take it easy'
MadEye: (slows car down) 'No problem-o. There you go then, sure and if you ever need...'

Me: 'Thanks again, ha ha, thanks for that, take it easy, goodbye, see you now'

I left in a state of palpable panic.

Now, I know he was probably only 'Buzzing off me head' as some people from hereparts may put it, or having a joke at my expense as others might, but at the time, it was funny (strange) the way I reacted - initial thoughts were along the lines of

'did I mention anything about me, my brother, anyone I know, did I say anything about being annoyed I was running late, is he a hit-man, is this candid camera, should I have taken his disk-plate, has someone put a contract out on me, do I look like a really angry person out for revenge, what was he talking about, did that really happen, who am I, what's happening?'

Aw Dublin, my beautiful city. Anyway the reason I mentioned this was just to totally counter it with my wonderful taxi journey today. We had a great chat about:

a. That lady who won the €115m (is that right? what's a million here, or a million there I guess) - our lives as millionaires, how great it would be, how it might suck a little that all our friends would leave us and that we may have to pay out protection money (this was news to me), although, we would be great charitable types and I would found an Aoife Library (much in the fashion of the Chester Beatty Library).

(please note we had to drive past the National Lottery building, where the hoards of journalists there since yesterday were basking in the sun on deck-chairs - I kid you not - awaiting the lady's arrival)

I also learnt the following lottery related rumours:

1. The lady apparently asked the Gardaí to keep her winning ticket, but they wouldn't, so she had to give it to a bank manager to mind.
2. There is a lady pensioner living in a Corpo flat in Dublin who has €83 million in her bank account. Reliable sources inform me that she won around €3m in the Irish lottery, then fulfilled her life-long dream of visiting her sister in England where she coincidentally won wads on the UK lottery.

b. We chatted about travelling, he told me about his adventures abroad, and again I thought outloud about how I should really travel rather than just talk about it all the time... We talked about how boring it is the way much conversation in Dublin revolves around houses, wages, cars and all that blah. We talked about how silly it is to spend your life working so you have a little house in the leafy 'burbs, when there are adventures to be had, and how it isn't always good to be a slave to a mortgage, just because your mates are into postal codes.

Yes, the problems of the world were lightened and twenty minutes later, dispatched ten minutes early to my meeting I was relaxed and happy.

When a taxi journey is good, and you have a nice friendly interesting driver, it can be better than counselling or taking the bus. (Although as I may have alluded to earlier, when it is bad it is horrid, so beware!).

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Excellent Day (Last Thursday)

Let me try to make you wish I was you, I mean wish you were me last Thursday.

Wake up and it's raining, incessently, laying a gentle gray mist on Dublin. This isn't a great start, but I don't care, I'm off work, we're celebrating his birthday, and there is a day of fun to be had.

Rolling, gently, out of bed, I put on my clothes. Jeans and a funky t-shirt. Purrrrfect. And then a jumper. Sucky, but practical.

Into town in my car (affectionately known as Betsy), it's just too wet to walk unless totally necessary. Yes, I know, the environment. It's hardly as though Dublin is suffering from global warming though.

Park and rush in (guilt free and dry) under an umbrella to Café Metro, which is normally teeming with people, but then I don't get to go there at 10:30am on a Tuesday very often.

'Would you like to look at the menu?' the lovely waitress lady asks.

'No' we chime, 'we know what we want - two metro special breakfasts and cappa-chim chims all round'

Have you had the Metro Special? It's two pancakes with butter, light fluffy scrambled eggs, skinny bacon (continental type as opposed to streaky), maple syrup(!!!!), tomato relish (their tomato relish is to dine for), all on a gently warmed plate. Mmmmm. Savoury and sweet - perfection!

So, as you do, I eat. Then I finish, and we have more coffee and watch the world rush by through the rain. The waitress comes over and tells us about the illustrations on the wall, which are by the illustrator who does the food reviews for one of the English papers on Saturday (sorry, I buy the Guardian and smugly ignore all other English Saturday papers, so I can't remember). There is schmaltzy music playing in the background, but even Bacharach sounds groovy today.

Later, we buy a spanish guitar for his birthday. It's what he wanted. The grumpy man (with a heart of gold I'm sure) in Walton's seems straight out of High Fidelity, and I stifle a grin as his hair tangles on a drum kit, he is not amused. Mr Birthday asks why a guitar is on sale and he snaps, 'How would I know, I haven't a clue what's wrong with it!' He is face is turning red with annoyance, but when we go to pay, he's really, really nice. Maybe that's part of the guitar/music shop sales pitch - be really angry with your customers and they'll buy products. Worked with us. I thought he was hilarious.

Guitar in car, we trundle over to IMMA in Kilmainham, where I get to see the White Stag collection - these are a collective of (okay ish - they're no Picasso) artists based in Dublin before/during the WWII. Their art is very interesting, if a little muddled in terms of the references (oh dear, what am I like - I'll leave it there, I'm no art buff - what I really mean to say is that I enjoyed the pretty pictures!).

And the coffee and cake most of all. That's my favourite part of museum going. Sitting down and drinking warm drinks and eating home-made cakes or buns. Especially IMMA, where the café is under the ground in this cellar-type affair.

So we dropped the car home, and got the reliable bus (which actually was - I told you this was a perfect day, and buses always arrive on perfect days) into town just in time to grab a pint in the International Bar before going to see one of David O'Doherty's warm-up gigs for Edinburgh.

The crowd jammed in upstairs, and they didn't open the bar, which added to the feeling of being at something special. David was trying things out. Some of it was hilarious and all of it was funny. I really like him and his brother Mark, they do these side-splitters of songs - a classic being 'Teach Irish through Porno Films'. It was really deadly getting to see him do new material, he's a funny bastard. I'd say he'll do great in Edinburgh.

After that, we headed up to Le Guilleton (I hope I spelt that right), which is a lovely french ish restaurant on Fade Street. A few months ago, myself and a few rather fabulous mates of mine (not that my other friends aren't fabulous, but these are particularly fabulous... i.e. cool looking) were told outright (nicely, but firmly) that there was no table, so last Thursday, putting our names down two hours in advance seemed positively inviting.

He hadn't been to the Market Bar, and much as I loathe it (sorry, but I just don't like it - too big, too many pseudo posh Dublin accents, too much of a meat market, no music, no soul, why, why, why - okay, enough said), I like when people get to try new things, so in we went (through my gritted teeth).

Bored of the place before my arse was on the bar stool, I decided to try drinking new drinks, so as I had been meaning to since staying on the Lido in Venice, where you're greeted with a large neon glowing sign that reads 'CAMPARI', so I did*.

Not so nice. Also makes me drunk, apparently. I thought I was charming. Needless to say, the two hours flew, and then our stomachs lead us across the road to the restaurant where we had (please note - I paraphrase the menu):

Me: Rich French onion soup with posh tasty cheese lid. Ray (the fish, not a man) with an egg (that's what I thought, but it was very nice indeed) salad, asparagus, beans and some creamy delish sauce.

Him: (Get this!) Black pudding and apple tarte tatin. Fragrant lamb stew which had lots of cumin and other pungent spicy things in it. Strawberry cake with some custardy type affair (and a candle, au naturallement)

All washed down with a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc (I'm not a wine buff either).

Tummies heavier and wallets lighter, we made our way out into the still soggy night. There were plans to go to this really class sounding club in the 'Hub' in Temple Bar, but tragically we were just too stuffed and made our ways home.

I had a great night, but I really really wanted to go to the club - apparently one of the DJs really likes the Cure, which is a coincidence, because I do to.

*Just got The Life Aquatic on dvd this w/end and noticed that Zizzou makes the Intern get him a Campari. No reason to put this anecdote, except to refer to the fact that I got me a cool dvd. And also, since you asked, I bought Rushmore and La Haine. I imagine the new Laser DVD store off Suffolk Street is to me, what Jimmy Choo is to most brainless shoe wearing girls. God, I'm nasty.

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