A series of depressions

Until about 5 days ago, the weather's been amazing: sunshine and sunbather and just absolutely gorgeous.

Well, that's not the case any more. It's raining, the skies are grey and it's all a bit like Fall, which is a shame, because it's only July.

On the other hand, this also means that it's now OK again to do indoors things. In Ireland, the weather's so unpredictable that when it goes all Mediterranean on you, you just feel honour bound to spend as much time out-of-doors as possible, because you never know when it's going to change back again. I'm off tonight so for the first time in ages, I'm going to go to the cinema. And then, maybe, the pub. There's a festival on in Temple Bar this weekend so fingers crossed the weather picks up, also because I'm doing my babysitting gig tomorrow and I don't really like taking care of those kids in the house as it seems to involve a massive amount of following them around and picking up the various bit and pieces of detritus they leave behind them everywhere they go. It's actually a lot easier to bring them downtown or to the park and their Mom thinks that I'm great when I do!

On Saturday night, after work, I'm, ahem going to go for a drink with the head chef of the restaurant where I work. I initially thought I wouldn't because I have to work for him and I'm just a lowly kitchen porter type person and it seemed inappropriate, but in the end I thought "What the hey?" So we'll see how that goes. My flatmate, Bepe, who is ONE of the top chefs in the place but not THE top chef is really, really disapproving, but it's not a DATE date, just a drink! But we're going to the Stag's Head which is lovely but not really a date venue.

We'll see...

Highway bandits

So, I picked up a leaflet the other day for what looks like a phone exhibit: nineteenth century "Wanted" notices! It's on at the Glasneven museum, which I have to say I didn't even know existed until now.

My Saturday job taking care of the kids involves "taking them out of the house and broadening their minds" so I try to think of fun things to do. I guess kids would like that, right? I mean, who doesn't love a bandit. Think dashing men on horses with bandanas!

Anyways, the museum site is here. I might go and check it out. I love the monumental cemetery and the Botanic Garden, which are both up there, and Glasnevin is a great neighbourhood.

Here's today's little story from my meet'n'greet job at Dublin Tourism. The job's a very simple one, but I like it, because I get to meet all sorts of people and they are usually so psyched about being on holiday that they tell you their life story.

This guy was in a wheelchair and must've been in his 80s, at least. His two daughters had brought him to Ireland for the first time in his life. He said that his Dad had left Ireland many years ago, but that when he was a young man, he'd played hurley for the Dublin team. The kids had been taught how to hurl, but because they lived in an area without a big Irish population, and their Mom was Italian, the family tradition had died out. Then, about two years ago, this old guy had a dream and in the dream his Dad told him that he HAD to go to Ireland to see a hurley match before he died. So he pestered and pestered his daughters until they agreed to take him. It's a sort of pilgrimage. They'd picked up their tickets and were getting ready to go to something-or-other in Croke Park.

Isn't that an amazing story? I hope I have enough moxy when I am that age to just do something like that, because of a dream!

Other news: one of the waitresses in the restaurant where I work part-time is going back to Italy, and she's sold me her bike for a really cheap price. So this girl's got wheels! I've used the Dublin City rental bikes and they're great but it's also kind of cool to have my own transportation. It totally makes the city seem so much smaller.

A little story about visitors to Dublin

Today I was doing my meet 'n' greet job at Dublin Tourism. Everyone was in a very good mood for some reason, although this was the first day that the sun hasn't shone for weeks. Anyway, there were loads of people from the south of Europe today -- Italy, Spain and Portugal. All the Italians were kitted out in rain gear although it wasn't raining, which seems to be something that they like to do.

Anyway, I met the cutest couple, in Dublin on their honeymoon. This is a lovely story. He was Spanish and she was Italian and they met when they were just fifteen at one of the English language schools in the city. They stayed in touch by email and met again when they were 20, sparks flew and now they are married and came back to Dublin for their honeymoon because it's where they first met!

It's enough to make you all misty-eyed. They said that they'd been to all their old haunts, and of course now that they're in their mid-twenties they can actually go to all the bars and clubs that wouldn't have let them in years ago. And get this: Because they are both from different countries, they are actually thinking of maybe coming here to Ireland to live, if they can find work!

I really warmed to these people so I tried to make some romantic suggestions for them, because it was their honeymoon after all. They're staying in a little hotel near the city centre, so I suggested the Bar with No Name and, when the sun comes back, a picnic on the grass in the parks, maybe the Iveagh Garden or Merrion Square. I actually gave them my mobile no. so maybe they'll be in touch.

I'd better finish this up 'cause I'm due in the restaurant for work and I don't want to be late since I turned the head chef down for a date!