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.

Came here via Blog Explosion. Enjoyed your site, keep it up...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).
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