another weekend commmminnnnngggg up!!

I feel pleased with myself. I've worked very hard this week and I think that that entitles me to a seriously good weekend.

So here's the plan: I'm going out tonight and Saturday and Sunday, I'm gonna do healthy things. I tend to put on a few pounds in the winter, so I'm trying to get into a bit of an exercise routine for the weekends as, living in town, the walk to TCD is not really enough. Saoirse has a similar idea so hopefully we'll be able to get together.

There are various options and most are not expensive -- but the final choice will come down to the weather. I could rent a bike in Phoenix Park if it's sunny. I looked it up. Or, I might head out to the 'burbs and go for a walk up Killiney Hill where I've never been.

If it's raining, I'll go for a swim.

Now that I think about it, isn't it kinda odd to go for a swim to avoid getting wet?? Ha ha...

In other news! Tonight is a big night. A huge bunch postgrads from the fair land of Canada have arranged to go out en masse as a sort of get-to-know you event. Honestly, I usually prefer to go out with Irish friends, but because we are foreigners here, we can do things that most Dubliners maybe don't, like go to one of those joints where they put on an Irish dancing show for the tourists. However, being from Newfoundland I pleaded that I am already quite familiar with Celtic Music so instead we are going on the Dublin Pub Crawl.

It is, ahem, true that I have already seen the inside of a great many pubs around Dublin, but this is a LITERARY pub tour with actors who read to you from Great Works and I am a LITERATURE student so, really, I should be commended for attending to my studies while also "going for a pint" or four ;-)

Also. Haven't seen Bepe's MOT for a while so I must discreetly try to find on what's happening there!

OK! I've got to go put on some glad rags and get ready for this night of

Free bikes

I usually eat in college (cheap food and not bad) but today I made myself a sandwich at home and took some time to try out the new bicycle scheme they've got going. I had noticed these heavy, solid looking bikes around the city. Apparently, Dublin is the latest in a series of European cities to have them. It's kind of a cool idea and I enjoyed cycling around though i was a little nervous because I'm not that used to cycling in the city and the double decker buses can be a little unnerving. I stuck to the places with cycle tracks and made it down the river to the Garden of Remembrance where I had a quick snack and then went back.

Could this be the start of a new, healthier me?

The more mean-spirited among you might point out that the Garden of remembrance is ooooh about .3 of a kilometre away from Trinity College, but that's not the point. It was the first time I'd been cycling for a while, so I was practicing. Nice spot, though. I don't usually like these war-memorial thingies but this one doesn't have unknown soldiers or anything but a very beautiful sculpture of the Children of Lir, which refers to (thank you Wikipedia)an ancient Irish story about three children who were turned to swans by their evil stepmother. Gorgeous. The statue is abut the moment when they were turning back into people after hundreds of years.

Well, I sat there with my rather soggy sandwich (no butter, trying to lose weight) and just looked at all the people coming and going. Some old folks resting their legs, an African mom plaiting her kid's hair and talking to the old folks, a couple of Irish moms with red-haired toddlers, a guilty-looking teen who I guess should've been at school, a business man furtively reading a Danielle Steele novel and a few students with books. All in all, not a bad sampler of Dublin life and it's nice to have a little oasis of calm in the middle of the city. Although it was very Irish there was also a bit of a Japanese-garden vibe to the whole thing.

Munch, munch, munch

Back at work, so there's not a lot of news to report. Despite my efforts, I haven't managed to bump into the gorgeous PhD student...

I am gonna have to have my nose to the grindstone for the next little while so hopefully that won't curtail going out too much. I did manage to pop out at lunchtime today to a show at the National Art Gallery. It's of know, the guy who painted Scream? He's so famous, even I had heard of him.

While the show was great, I can't say it was a pick-me-up. Buddy must've had some pretty serious issues going on in his head. I traipsed back to college (just 5 minutes away; TCD can't be beat for location) thoughtfully and a bit miserably. Just in the right mood, in fact, for some serious studying of 19th century literature.

I've got to go to the gallery more often. While this was a paid show, the main collection is free to see and it's a lovely, quiet, contemplative space. I don't know a lot about art but I like the atmosphere.

Sometimes I miss my mom...

...but right now it's in a good way.

Yesterday, I hung out with Saoirse and her Mom, who is supernice. Almost as nice as my own. She took us to the Botanic Gardens . I'd been happy enough to go but had suspected it wouldn't really be my sorta thing but, I have to say, they were gorgeous. I had not expected those huge glasshouses of tropical and desert plants. I have a soft spot for carnivorous plants (the provincial plant of Newfoundland and Labrador is an insect eater)and there was even a section of those.

But what was really cool was that there was a big exhibition on, Sculpture in Context. So hidden among the plants, inside and outside, were all these amazing works of art.

After the gardens and the Casino Marino I thought that the day was over, but Wonderful Saoirse's Mom took us both out to eat in town. She insisted on paying for everything. She said, "You'll be able to pay for me when you graduate and get a job." Well, hopefully!

Anyway, she took us to this place that I would NEVER be able to afford myself, not even on a good month but that maybe I can persuade my folks to take me to when they are over for Xmas. The Pigs Ear. Check it out. It's actually not that expensive, as restaurants go, but I ate SO MUCH that I ended up feeling a bit embarrassed about my part of the bill :-p

Gosh, she is one nice lady. She's like an older, softer version of Saoirse and I guess maybe kinda like Saoirse will be when she's middle aged. Not that she's OLD old as she was only 22 when S was born.

It all made me realise how much I miss hanging out with my Mom, although we don't do it enough, and how much I am looking forward to seeing her at Christmas [sniff]