speaking of...

...great Irish literary giants, the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is on in early next month. I actually attended some events in this festival last year and, I have to say, it's gay in both senses of the word. It's really a fantastic event, and while there's obviously an underlying theme it's definitely not "for gays only."

Oscar Wilde, Ireland's most famous gay man of all times, seems to be the unofficial sort of patron of the event. If you're planning a trip to Dublin soon, I'd definitely recommend it. Check out their website here.

As a hot-blooded heterosexual gal, I love this festival, but it's also bittersweet because Dublin fills up with loads of really nice-looking men who have absolutely no interest in me!!!

Definitely on a diet

Well, Easter is over and it's time to put away the chocolate for a while. Not that I haven't been ---- putting away the chocolate, that is. The diet starts today.
Yep, there's no way I'm NOT starting that diet.

I've just got a couple of creme eggs to finish, and then that's it!
I had a fantastic weekend.
On Saturday, I went to Wales!
I took loads of pictures on my mobile: here are some for you to enjoy!

Misty skies from the ship;
fancy offerings in the bar!

I'd been given a couple of free tickets by the nice people at Irish Ferries so's to be able to write about the trip and, honestly, they won me over completely. The ferry trip itself was really more like a short cruise. We were given access to the first class lounge (for free, admittedly, but it actually costs very little extra) where you can eat and drink all you want from a menu that includes hot chocolate, wine, cheese platters and salmon bruschettas and pastries. So, if you're a person with a healthy appetite (ahem) you can easily get your investment back! :-)
I went with a friend of mine, and we actually bumped into two guys we slightly know, friends of my flatmate Bepe's. That's Andrea up there, looking moody against a green wall. So the four of us hung out for the trip over; they were spending a night in Wales and we just went along for a day trip. Andrea's another Italian, and he's a student at UCD.
Because Europe is full of airlines offering cheap flights here and there, I hadn't really thought that much about ferries, except to assume that they were rivals with the airlines. But I think that the reality is that it's a very different sort of experience, less about getting you to where you are going than about having a nice time on the way. As I said, the whole experience was really very cruise-like. There was a cinema on board (I'd already seen the film but if I had been travelling on my own I'd have gone away), several restaurants (looked great, but I had free food in the first class lounge :-)), a games room, bar... I really enjoyed it. I feel a bit apologetic to Wales, as I only spent a couple of hours there in the end and I'd eaten so many pastries on the way over I didn't even spend any money there, but I think I'll go another time, maybe when I have a visitor from home and especially if we have a car, as I think it might be fun to get to know Wales a little, as it's so close to Ireland and all.
One particularly nice touch was that the ship we travelled on was called Ulysses, after James Joyce's novel and here and there it was decorated with Joyce paraphernalia. For a first-time visitor to Ireland, this would be a fun way to be introduced to the Dublin obsession with literature in general, and local writers in particular. I did see people stopping and looking at/reading things about Joyce, so that was fun.
Most of all, though, I think that travelling by ship, even just for a short journey like Saturday's, has a sort of romance that you don't find at the airport. There's the wind in your face when you go on deck, the sea birds whirling overhead, and the view of the sea stretching out on either side all the way across to another land...can't beat it.