That nagging feeling that I needed to get on with editing my novel never left me despite an enjoyable few days away in Dublin.
‘Can I carry my laptop?’ I pleaded with my other half.
‘No. It’s a break. It will do you good. You’ve got your phone.’
‘You know I don’t do anything beyond texting and calling on my phone.’
‘That’s because your phone can’t do anything beyond that. A blessing in this case.’
What started off as a plan, on a whim, to take advantage of a £2 each-way crossing to Rosslare from Fishguard ended up becoming a flight to Dublin via Bristol- you know how it is- you go out to get a pint of milk and come back with a washing machine? In this case, we went in to get a bicycle and came out with a car. Full marks for not going off topic, I suppose.
In the past I would have been fully prepared for such trips, researching where to go what to do. My other half sorted out the flight and accommodation (Airbnb), all I had to do was detach my umbilical cord from the socket in the computer and off we went.
The Long Room Trinity College, Dublin.
Well, need I say more? Other half and I are allergic to touristy queues, (despite the fact that we were indeed, tourists) but I couldn’t throw away the opportunity. He amused himself while I played the waiting game, but not for too long. We were first guided into the main exhibition displaying beautiful manuscripts of the early Irish language, Ogham, which preceded Latin. Then onto exhibits from The Book of Kells, which is one of four medieval manuscripts, written in Latin, telling the story of Christ through the Gospels. It is a lavish and exquisite display. After this, you are guided into The Long Room. And this is breathtaking. My rubbish Camera does not give it credit. What is missing, though, is that special energy created by some of the most exciting minds that thousands of visitors each year, including me, could never produce. I imagine that the talks and events that they put on in the Long Room periodically must create an atmosphere that is highly charged and wonderfully stimulating to be in.
The Science Gallery Dublin
https://dublin.sciencegallery.com/ is where science and art collide. The gallery holds exhibitions that are inspired by not only scientists but by researchers and students, artists and designers, entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and inventors. Programmes that are exhibited, allow the visitors to participate as much as possible. I was amused to learn about a pig farmers attempts to relieve her pigs from debilitating boredom, creating positive consequences for the future of animal welfare http://www.playingwithpigs.nl/ I was offered a sample taste of a liquid that seems to be spearheading the post food future. Software engineer, Rob Rhinehart has created a drink that looks like and has the texture of milk and contains all the nutrients required to function as a healthy human being. With Global food security at risk- we have to produce 50% more food by 2050 to feed 9 billion, this is more serious than our fleeting comments about not being able to exchange staple foods for this liquid.
Another drink, Lullaby Milk, http://www.lullabymilk.com/contains high levels of naturally produced melatonin because the cows are milked at night when their melatonin secretion levels are higher, aiding a restful nights sleep for those who drink it.
And then there’s Mycotecture Brick Walls, which are bricks that are grown out of a living fungus that can be grown into building components. There was so much going on in this gallery, I have only touched the tip. I would love to go back. Exhibits change regularly.
We ate at Brother Hubbard’s café http://brotherhubbard.ie/ (a must!), drank at Kehoe’s (a mahogany time machine) and Neary’s, (old school Victorian). I dribbled and drooled in Dublin’s shopping districts on things way out of my budget and out of town, Malahide’s coastal village is full of little boutiques and great places to eat and drink, (Gibney’s). We hired a car on the last day and drove out to the Curragh which has ancestral ties with my other half. Getting into the spirit, I read a couple of James Joyce’s short stories, (who by the way, didn’t go to Trinity but to UCD), Eveline and A painful Case. In Eveline, Joyce mentions Howth, a fishing village we were staying very close to. Both stories I found peculiar, without closure, which I sort of liked because of the refreshing un-ending ness of it all , but didn’t like because I yearned to make sense of it all, so felt a little bereft, like the characters in the stories- which is possibly what he wanted readers to feel?
Dublin’s a warm city. Without a doubt. Its cosmopolitan embrace of the EU is apparent. As a tourist, people are more than happy to help here and I feel like Dubliners carry a collective positive energy, generally. I heard a girl, who must have been in her mid-teens, getting off the DART (Irish transport) train at the same time as us, say to a slightly officious member of the transport staff, in a melodic, Dublin lilt, “For Gods sake, crack us a smile, will ya?”
So that’s the prerequisite. Go fully dressed and you can’t go wrong.
…Now, back to my novel…