Ragged skies

Well, the sun is back, although there's clearly a lot of wind up high somewhere, as the clouds are being dragged around in the skies over Dublin. It's beautiful, really.

And I'm glad that things are looking up, weatherwise, because this weekend is my daytrip to Wales, and I am really hoping to be able to take some pictures of Dublin Bay from the water. Also, I'm childishly excited at the prospect of travelling "across the water" (how the Irish traditionally refer to Britain), even if I'm only going to be there for a couple of hours. It's a whole 'nother country! The Irish and Brits are lucky, despite their fractious history, to have each other so nearby. They can just hop to each other's countries and have the whole "going overseas" experience without having to worry about a language barrier. So much more exciting to have to take a ship than just driving across a border. Watch this space for photos and news from an Irish Ferry.

I'm not working with those kids this weekend, but I've been forwarded some interesting news by a friend. There's an arts collective in Temple Bar called Exchange Dublin and they are organising workships for kids. Which looks like a great way for me to take them there (love Exchange Dublin) and have someone else watch them while I drink coffee...
More exciting news as it happens!


My Mom always says that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but here in Ireland this year it's really done the opposite. It snowed yesterday! Only briefly. But still -- exciting!

I've been asking around about Easter traditions here and it seems that the main one involves eating a lot of chocolate, just like back home, which is fine by me. I'm just sorry that no one is likely to give me an egg this year! Looks like I'll probably have to buy my own! Oh well!

Purely for research purposes, I have sacrificed myself and conducted some careful research into the chocolate situation here in Dublin, and here's what I found out:

Dotted around the city there are various Butlers Chocolates outlets. Although I should probably save money and have the cheap coffee at college, I sometimes go to the one on Wicklow Street for a Cappucino and an itsy bitsy truffle. Coffee and chocolate make for a killer combination.

Then, there's the Lily O'Brien's range. Also very good! And Lir Cafe. And I'm pretty sure there's more. There does (and you have NO idea how much painstaking effort went into this analysis) see to be a common trend among the Irish chocolatiers, however. I would say that Irish chocolate, in general, tends to the baroque, with flavour heaped on flavour, and ooooohhh... sticky toffee praline.

I'm going to have to cut this short now because, to be perfectly frank, all this talk of chocolate is making me hungry. I've seen some local street vendors flogging Jedward Easter eggs on the cheap so again, purely for research, you understand, I might go and investigate what the cheaper end of the market has to offer.

two curious items of Dublin trivia

1) The great philosopher, Wittgenstein, used to live in Dublin! He spent time in Galways and in Dublin and while in the city was apparently a great fan of the Botanic Garden. There's a totally sweet sign on a step in one of their (fabulous) hothouses, saying something like "Ludwig Wittgenstein used to sit here and think".

It's easy to imagine a cold, chilly philosopher living in a boarding house or something enjoying the steamy tropical heat!

2) Near the top of O'Connell Street, there's a curious signpost indicating the grave of a certain Matt Talbot.

"Who is this Matt Talbot?" I asked myself. The answer (thank you, Wikipedia) is that he was "an Irish ascetic who is revered by many Catholics for his piety, charity and mortification of the flesh."

Gosh, it's a sad little story.

I'll be back soon with more tales from the enigma that is Dublin...