I got an email this morning from the lady who posts my blog on the Dublin Tourism website asking me to mention that they have some new videos on there about upcoming festivals in the city. It's a good idea -- festivals are back-t0-back throughout the year in Dublin and it can be all too easy to let one slip by.

Case in point: The Dublin Soul Festival has just ended, and I hardly got to anything. At least now that I've decided to stay on, there's always next year. Anyway, check out the videos of festivals. There's one on this very weekend, the Maritime Festival in the docklands! I'll be babysitting Saturday and I'm going to ring the Mom tonight to see if she'd like me to take the kids. They're nice kids, but they're the sort you have to keep exercising, like dogs, or they get wound up and start to make a lot of noise.

It's crazy, but I sometimes forget Dublin's on the sea, despite the fact that I can see the tidal Liffey river from my apartment window, and the seagulls that are always wheeling over the buildings. But it is, and just a couple of bus stops or a brisk walk from the city centre, there are beaches and people swimming and dogs chasing sticks on the sand. If the weather's good this weekend, and it's supposed to be, I'm off to the sea. I might even swim. Some folks claim the water's too cold, but not for me -- I'm from Newfoundland! It's practically a bath here compared to our water.

Under my bed, I found the cheap tent I bought last year from Lidl. Know what I'm thinking? If I can get someone to come with me, I just might go camping on Sunday!

More good news!

It's clearly fate: Since I decided to stay here, at least for another year or so, things have been falling into place. I've been writing blog for over a year now, and it's a non-paying gig -- I get free tickets to things sometimes, but that's it. But now, Dublin Tourism has offered me a little work as a "meeter and greeter", at least over the summer. As I've already got 25 hours a week in a restaurant and a babysitting job on Saturdays, I think I'm doing OK! At first I thought it was a little odd to hire a foreigner but then -- who better? I've seen and done things in Dublin that most of my local friends haven't, and I think I know the city pretty well now.


Flower power

Well, that's it; my college days are over. All bar the results. I feel strangely numb. I guess it's a rite of passage of sorts but in the end it wasn't really celebrated. Different people wandered off at different times so that's it, here we are. I have a few days off and then I'm starting my new job. My instinct is to just sleep until I've got my head around the new circumstances, but life is intervening to keep me busy.

My friend Saoirse's gone away on a vacation so her Mom has roped me in to attend a big garden festival in Phoenix Park with her. It's called "Bloom". I don't know if the overtones of Joyce's Ulysses are deliberate or not!

I can't say I know anything about gardening but I'll be sure to take some photographs. Back home, my grandfather used to use fish for fertiliser to grow potatoes for the family. However, I think this is more along the lines of gardening as art than survival! It's been lovely and sunny of late, so hopefully it'll be good. Sometimes I think I get along with Saoirse's Mom better than she does. I guess there's always a little tension between parents and their adult kids. Anyway, as I'm so far away from my own family, it's nice to have someone older to talk to sometimes. Anyway, I guess I'll take her out to lunch to say thanks for the day out. There's going to be a big food market up there. I wonder what the herds of deer in Phoenix Park will think of all the people coming and going? I guess they must be used to it by now, but I've never gotten used to the idea of a huge flock of deer living wild in the middle of the city. I tell everyone to go to Phoenix Park -- honestly, I think it's one of the nicest things about Dublin in the summer.

My housemate, Bepe, is expecting another visit from his family soon, which will make our place seem really small. I remember dreading them coming the last time, but then really liking them -- plus his Mom kept cooking up delicious meals for everyone, so a little chaos is a small price to pay. It's funny; when I came to Dublin I didn't really like him all that much and now, I don't know, we're like brother and sister, or cousins or something. It's a very easy place to live and I think I feel more at home in this tiny apartment than I did for the last couple of years I spent with mom and dad. I have to remind myself sometimes that it's not really ours and one of these days one or both of us will have to move out. He hasn't had a girlfriend for a while, which makes it easier -- there really isn't room here for more than two people for more than a few days.

Ooh -- I just Googled Phoenix Park and found out that they are now doing Segway Tours! Wow, that does sound like fun. I wonder if anyone would like to come with me?

I'm just about due a visit from someone from home, I think. I love having visitors. It's too easy to get in a rut and not do stuff when you're on your own. A friend to show around would be a lot of fun right now. I'll have to see if I can persuade someone to take a trip...