last day

Shopping in Dublin

Today's the last time I'm going to do any work until after Christmas. I've been busy and I think I deserve some time off. Plus, this is my first time being the host to my parents in my place and I want to do it properly.

Today I'm taking my parents down to see St Patricks and the Marsh Library. They will be blown away to see books that are older than just about any building in North America.

St Patrick's

My mom is going to want to go to Mass. She's not that religious but it comes to the fore around this time of year and I think she'd like somewhere with music. As I have not been to Mass since I got here I went to consult my greengrocer (the oracle) and he advised me to take her to the "moving crib". Do I have to go to Mass too, or can I bring her to the church and then admire the crib outside for half an hour? That's the question!

This weekend I was thinking we'd maybe go have some coastal walks near Sandymount or Dun Laoighaire, followed by a nice hot whiskey!

I still have to deal with the vexing question of whether or not to introduce my Boyfriend to them, despite the fact that he's not "ready" for me to meet his family. I'd like to but... also, Mom and Dad are going to be here until the New Year! I can't not see him all that time. We're meeting for lunch in an hour or so so perhaps I'll suggest he meet up with us at the weekend "just as a friend". Also, I've got to spend some time with him on my own. Really. I do - there's no question about it! So I'm thinking, got to get them some tickets to a few shows so that we can grab some time together for at least a few evenings over the Christmas period.

The whirlwind!

Well, I thought my folks would be exhausted when they got here yesterday but no sooner had we gotten back to the apartment than Dad threw his suitcase down and said, "So are we going out for a drink or what?" and out we went. They didn't even stay for long enough to take their coats off!!! Dad had done some research too, so although I made some suggestions about where to go he brought us all to a place called "Mulligans" where, he had been told, they are supposed to serve the best Guinness. Mulligans is in a rather grotty looking street but as soon as you walk in, the atmosphere hits you in the face. Does that sound odd? I mean it in a good way. I love the sound of a hundred people in conversation. We had a pint of Guinness each and then went for some dinner in the Porter House pub. All the way from Mulligans to the Porter House, Mom's going: "Dublin's so big! We're going to get lost! Look at all these people!"

We're from a very small community and while I've gotten used to being in bigger places, I guess the city takes some getting used to. She will get her head around it soon. Today, I went into college late after getting some groceries with Mom and of course we went to my favourite greengrocer. That guy is hilarious.

"This must be your sister," he says when we walk in. Well, of course Mom thought that was great. They got to talking and next thing you know, we're all invited to his place to have a drink with him and his wife on Stephen's Day!

"I'm so glad I brought some of my partridge berry jam," Mom says when we walk out of the shop, "because I wouldn't feel right going to someone's house without bringing something.

Mom brought two suitcases. One is full of clothes and the other is full of food!! I'm pretty sure she wasn't supposed to carry all that stuff into Ireland but I'm not complaining. She'd even sneaked in some frozen cod tongues in a special bag...and they were still frozen!

"I'm not going back with an empty suitcase," she says, "so you'd better take me shopping."

Not having seen them for a while I guess I'd started to forget how energetic and sociable Mom and Dad are. I think that I'll be the one who gets tired, not them!!!

Now I have to go -- I'm meeting them outside the gates of Trinity so's to show them around college and introduce them to some of my friends (not my boyfriend though -- still not sure what to do about that." And Dad, of course, wants me to take him to the college bar!

on my way...

I'm so excited! Mom and Dad are arriving soon.

Running out the door to catch the 16A to Dublin Airport. It is so cool that there's a bus from O'Connell Street all the way there, almost door-to-door! Wow! I hope Mom and Dad won't be too tired. I had planned to let them rest but I'd love to take them out for a proper Irish pint tonight. Surely they'll be able to manage a little one?

You know, I think this is a real rite of passage; the first time I have my parents in my house as my guests instead of the other way around! I have tidied Bepe's room. I bought flowers.

Flowers on Moore Street -- cheaper at the end of the day but just as pretty.

OK. Gotta run!


My parents are arriving tomorrow. I can't quite believe it. Since they told me they were coming over, I've had at the back of my mind "I must do that with Mom and Dad when they are over" every so often -- and now they will actually be here! So funny. And I think it's really quite a big deal for them. They are not genealogy freaks, but we are still very much of Irish descent so I guess coming to the land of their forefathers and mothers has got to mean something. It has for me, I think, although not in a sappy sort of way. It just seems so cool to be studying 19th century literature in a city that saw so much of it being created.

I will still have some work to do for the rest of this week, so after they've recovered from the trip (it's only a 3.5 hour time difference so no major jet lag) I'm hoping that Mom and Dad will be kept busy with the city cards Dublin Tourism gave me. But as soon as Saturday rolls around, I want to hit the town with them big time. I've been trying to spend as little money as possible lately and I know they won't mind paying for meals and things.

Xmas lights

Someone read this blog and sent in a suggestion for a pub on Leeson Street, Hartigans. Dude, good tip. It feels like the kind of place that must've been the same for centuries and had one of the features of some of the best pubs in Dublin; you go in and there's trendy young guys and old men in cloth caps and old ladies with glasses of port and they are all talking about politics. Or music. Or something. The point is, they are having fun together, and the age difference and difference in outlook doesn't matter. Some pubs have it, and some don't. If you could bottle "it" you'd make a fortune.

I've found a cool Xmas market in the Docklands, where I have rarely been although it's a fun kind of area, with shiny modern apartments around the water and good looking people walking around with fancy groceries. I picked up some top-end playing cards for Bepe and I think he liked them although he did seem more impressed with the bottled moose which he brought with him when he left yesterday.

On the boyfriend issue, I've kind of decided that if he's not ready for me to meet his folks, then maybe he shouldn't meet mine either, except maybe as "just a friend". Not a tit-for-tat thing -- I just figure perhaps he's right, perhaps it is too soon for introductions. But it does seem a shame.