From Moet to Guinness and a game of Gaelic football!

Leaving the warm sun and ambiance of Paris to cross the sea to the green hills and the cold water of the Liffey I was so excited to arrive in the country of my ancestors, Listons, Loneys and Murphys (in addition to Brennans, Kellys and any other Irish name you can mention). I must admit I was shocked to find a clear sky, light breeze and a temperature in the high teens, in fact the first two days I added to my English and Parisian tan! I began to wonder what everyone was going on about. The old saying that it rains 70% of the time and the other 30% it drips off the trees must be a furphy, I thought. The Irish have made it up to discourage ancestor searching antipodeans from migrating back "home". I wandered around Dublin in a teeshirt (oh, don't get excited, I had jeans on too!). I sat at outside cafes sipping on Aussie sav blanc and reading the paper...........all very civilised! No pelting rain, no bone chilling wind, no black SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) inducing clouds, in fact kids were swimming in the canal and we had an outside barbie for dinner two nights in a row!

I must say though, I did find the first couple of long days a bit disorientating. It's bizarre to be sitting outside having a coffee at 10pm with the sun only just starting to descend behind the U2 factory across the water. It just doesn't start to get dark till about 11pm.........wonderful if you're on holidays, but a bit of a trap when you have to work the next day!

I will tell you about the wonderful visits I had with Michael and his teams at Drogheda and Cavan in my next installment, but before you pack your bags ready to immigrate to Ireland, I'll tell you about my first Saturday in Dublin.

We headed off into town to have brunch and do some shopping. After a great "feed" I left Michael and Craig to go to the barber and headed down Grafton Street, to have a 'shop' and then 'get me some cultcha' by visiting Trinity College. I saw the "Book of Kells" (amazingly I got to stand in front of the book for a good five minutes before being elbowed out of the way by a rather 'large' American lady). I saw the harp of Brian Boru and even found out that Oscar Wilde lived in "Botany Bay" (not the one in Sydney, but an area in Trinity where the old Botany building used to be).......all very inspiring, but the weather...........

It started to spit rain early in the morning, but by the time I got to Trinity it was raining "cats and dogs", blowing a gale and FREEZING cold (mind you the locals were all saying it was a 'soft' day after a week that was 'roastin'). I tell you, give me 'roastin' any day!

On my walk home I passed rubbish bin after rubbish bin filled with umbrellas that had been blown inside out, others were lying against bridges and fences where they had ended up after being torn from some poor freezing person's hand and blowing down the road. I don't think I've ever been so cold, wet and educated all in a single day!

The next day was just as cold, wet and miserable, and in good Melbourne fashion......I went to the footy! My first Gaelic football game, preceded by an incredibly violent game of 'hurling'. Both codes fielded Dublin teams, "The Dubs", so of course, given I was staying in Dublin, I barracked for them (even though their colors were dark and light blue, not black and white). "The Dubs" won both games and I'm not sure if this is because they're just a good team or because of the eager cheering of a little fella sitting in front of me, clothed in the two blue's and constantly yelling "Cum en Dubelyn, cum en ye good boys" OR because they KNEW that every time I go to the footy at home, I come away disappointed by "the Maggies" and they didn't want to let me down too!

Either way, Dublin won and everyone was happy (except of course their opponents) and then it was time to go across to the pub (with the other 78,000 people who were at the footy) and stand in a que for 1/2 hour to get a brandy, hoping that it would thaw out my hands and return the circulation to my 'nether regions' as I hadn't been able to feel my bottom since half time! All in all a grand day and to finish it off beautifully, as I stood in the beer garden with Michael, Craig and a whole crew of their mates, the sun came out, the wind dropped, the rain had long stopped and I thought........"This weather isn't too bad, actually it's a bit like Melbourne!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so wish we were there miss you both 3 more days to go then your back home to boring cold melbourne and a feral obese cat xxx