number 29

Well, I didn't expect to see them again, but my old high school teacher and her friend invited me to meet them for a tour of Number 29, an old 18th century house not far from College. I actually hadn't been before, so I took them up on the offer.

You hear people complaining about the lifestyles of the rich 'n' famous nowadays, but I'm glad I don't live in the eighteenth century. The house is absolutely beautiful, and perfectly restored and no doubt live was fun for the folks with the money, but the exhibition has some sobering aspects, too. Like, governesses often had to go and live in homes for the destitute when they got too old to work, and the life expectancy of poor people in Dublin in the 18th century was just awful. Meanwhile, the wealthy were eating meat something like five times a day. Well, it's enough to bring out the socialist in anyone. But it's also really very interesting seeing inside one of Dublin's Georgian houses. Outside, they are all very similar, and that uniformity gives the various squares and Georgian streets their distinctive look, but behind the doors each house seems to be different and it's interesting seeing how the plaster people (not sure of the technical name) used the ceilings and cornices and stuff (as you can see, I'm not a big expert on architecture) as a backdrop for some really great work. My impression is that in the past the Irish didn't really present much of the history of the rich to tourists, because of historical reasons, but that now people realise that this is all part of the common heritage.

Anyway, back to the grindstone. Nearly there, nearly there... but I've read so much nineteenth century literature by now, I'm liable to have a fit of the vapours any day... :-)


Did you ever notice that people who believe in reincarnation always think they used to be the rich ones and never the servants?


Post a Comment