Cloudy skies are back! And just before the weekend, too! However, I'm choosing to see this as a good thing; I've got loads of work to do in the final stretch of my masters degree plus, even if the sun doesn't decide to break through this weekend, there's actually a lot going on. Anyway, it's been so nice and sunny lately, there's really nothing to complain about.

Now that summer's coming, I'm hoping to spend a little more time in the Wicklow Mountains and maybe the Mournes. It's so beautiful there. But this weekend I'm staying right in the city. I went on camping trip last summer, and it was fantastic!

This weekend, though, I'm staying right here. There are posters up all over the city centre advertising a festival in "SoGo" -- the South Great George's Street area. That's one of the main areas where I go out anyway, so I think it'll be fun moseying about over there. Also, and I feel a little shy mentioning this, I've started writing some poetry. Although literature is my subject, I'd never been a big poetry person. Maybe it's being here that's got me started, but I've written a few things. I bet they're actually awful, but there's a pub in Wicklow Street that has a poetry evening on Mondays and I was going to try and get some courage together and check it out.

So far as picking up work, any work, to keep me here a bit longer when I've finished my MA goes, I've got some inside information re. my flatmate Bepe's restaurant. There's going to be an opening for an assistant chef in a couple of months as one of the boys is going back to Italy. When Bepe told me that, my reaction was "But I can't cook." It's true; all I really know how to make is soup. So he's teaching me all the basics of Italian cooking one recipe at a time!! Last night we did carbonara, and I burned it, so fingers crossed that tonight's puttanesca works out better. Even if I don't get the job, at least I'll have learned a few recipes.

puppet photos

I thought it would be fun to put up some shots of the puppet festival last weekend. They're just shots from my mobile so maybe not the best quality, but I think they give a bit of an impression of the life and vibrancy on the streets a few days ago!

Have a look!

The first one, the "puppet ballerina" actually was mesmerising in real life. This photo doesn't really do the show justice.

These other guys are puppets "waiting in the wings." The one with the beard is looking very patient!

Interesting times

Almost despite myself, I'm actually getting quite fond of the little urchins I've been taking care of on Saturdays. I'd never go into child care professionally, and the jury's still out on whether I'd ever actually want a rugrat of my own but, like moss, these two grow on you. And that's not all. This weekend the annual national puppet festival was on. Now, I'd almost certainly never have gone to anything (maybe one of the adult shows, but maybe not) in this, because I'm not so much the demographic they're going for. But wow! Puppet shows are fun! It's amazing how easy it is for us to suspend our disbelief. I mean, we go to the cinema and watch things in 3D and yet, although we know there's a man behind the curtain with his hand inside the puppet, we find ourselves caring about the characters. I went to a "paid" show with the kids, but there were also a lot of free shows. Sweetest scene of the weekend -- two very menacing looking teenage boys with scary hair and scowls breaking into enraptured smiles as they watched an Italian puppetteer. At the end they sloped off telling each other, "That was f****g brilliant!" "Yeah, f*****g deadly, man!"

Maybe they weren't the demographic the puppet show was going for either, but, aw, they loved it.

If you're coming next year, check it out.

On a completely different note, once I'd given the kids back to their Mom, I met my New Friend and went to the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar. Despite the great location, this place is quite discreet about what it does, but it shouldn't be. Once, for college, I had to read Susan Sontag on photography. Seeing the current exhibition, which is about the Irish Civil War . Seeing images of actual people makes it all so different than just reading about it.

Today, I'm telling my folks that I'm not coming back to Newfoundland or even Canada when I'm done with this course. I just don't feel ready to go. It's as though there's something that's keeping me here and I'm going to have to stay until I find out what it is.