round and round we go

Just the other day I noticed an unfamiliar sight on the riverside; a giant ferris wheel. After excitedly exclaiming about it to a few people, I found out that everyone but me already knew about it. It's Dublin's latest thing, a giant Ferris wheel that, well, goes round and road on Dublin's docklands. Apparently, the deal is that you get huge views across the city to the mountains and the sea and so forth!

It's down near the Point market, so I might check it out one of these days. Although I am kind of scared of heights. I've never been on a Ferris wheel before. Seriously. I get vertigo if I stand on a kitchen chair, so it's not exactly my sort of thing. But hey, I'm prepared to take a chance once in a while, and apparently it's as smooth as an elevator.

Anyway, I'm starting to plan for my friend Vicki's visit. She's coming in October so she'll miss the Fringe Festival but she'll make it in time for the Theatre Festival. I just hope she doesn't mind knocking around on her own a bit, because I'm going to be working, obviously, and I mostly work in the evening, because that's when the restaurant is at its busiest. I haven't told my flatmate yet that we'll be having a visitor and, honestly, although we work together (well, technically, he's one of my bosses), we don't actually communicate that much these days because we're working so hard. It's a question of getting home and falling into bed, exhausted. Bepe's due some time off soon and I'm hoping it'll coincide with Vicki's visit so that there'll be room in the apartment for her. Otherwise, it'll be the sofa!!

Well, here's hoping for a good weekend. I'd so love to have a barbecue!


I don't understand Irish people who don't like trad music. Sure, I don't think there are many of them, but honestly... for me, one of the great things here is the music, and the way you can love tradtional music, rock, goth, whatever, all at the same time.

Another great thing about Irish music and dancing is that the dancing is great exercise and, as a result, male Irish dancers are generally really, really fit and, because they often are from the West of Ireland where everyone is good-looking, very, very handsome. Trust me, ladies; it's the voice of experience. The girls are pretty too, OK?

Anyway, all of this is a prelude to mentioning that this weekend there's going to be a mini-festival this weekend in Temple Bar with, among others, the fantastic band Kila. I love those guys, I mean, I'm a really crap dancer, and even I get up and dance when I hear them. Electrifying!

Of course, I'm going to be working most of the weekend, but as the restaurant isn't far away, hopefully I'll be able to pop over at some point. It does look like a whole lot of fun, so check it out.

In other news, what's going on with all the cupcakes in Dublin? All of a sudden, there seem to be cupcake vendors all over the place. How many cupcakes can people eat?

clothes, clothes, clothes

I've never been what you'd call a shopaholic, mostly because I've never had a whole lot of money, and it's shown in my clothes. They come in every colour, so long as it's black, and my hems have often been held up my safety pins. But I'm in my mid-20s now, and have a job, and it's definitely time to smarten up a bit.

Since coming to Ireland, I've been buying my clothes in Penneys and in the great charity shops and flea markets all over the city.

But I've just had a nice surprise. Despite the fact that I'm working in a restaurant and eating loads, I've actually got quite a bit thinner, I guess because I'm running around all the time instead of sitting over a book or a computer. So, I've had to go buy some new clothes. Well, truth be told, I didn't HAVE to buy them, but with a couple of hundred Euros in my bank account for a change, I thought, what the heck.

There are some great clothes shops in the city centre. It's hard to put a finger on Dublin style and define it exactly, but it's definitely there. People don't dress the same as they do in other places. It's very much a street look, with lots of elements thrown together -- and here you can see that I'm not really used to talking about clothes and don't have the vocabulary for it! Anyway, I've been lurking around this one particular shop, Retro, ever since I got here, and for the first time I've actually been able to buy something there. What I needed were some casual pants and tops to wear to work and stuff, but what I actually BOUGHT was a sort of rockabilly dress with a fitted top and a big skirt. Who the heck knows where I'm going to wear it. Of course, with a dress like that you've gotta have the right shoes, so that's my next challenge. Then I'll have to find a man to go out with when I've got it on 'cause, again, a dress like that calls for a bit of an occasion.

Along a totally different line, I have a yearning for a coat from the Blarney Woolen Mills shop. Not sure where they fit on the cool-o-meter, but I like them anyway. Winter's not up for a while yet, so I guess there's time to save...

Oh, and an old friend of mine (we grew up together) is coming over soon. Totally psyched about that, and hoping she'll be here in September or Autumn when there's so much on!

Going Dutch

Well, here I am (almost) fresh back from my super-short trip to Amsterdam. Because I was on a budget (euphemism for a lack of funds) we stayed in the cheapest place I could find, and I'm pretty sure that those lumps on my legs and arms are fleabites!!!

Fleas aside, Amsterdam was great, and it's fun to go away for a short trip. Europeans are spoilt, with all the cheap flights they have to choose from. Now it's another day back at work, as if nothing had happened, and all I've got to show for my weekend away is a bunch of wooden tulips, a possibly ill-advised small tattoo and dark circles under my eyes.

I had a nice surprise, though: I got onto this blog and found an invitation to the launch of the Fringe Festival next week, which is going to be held in the National Boxing Stadium on the South Circular Road. I've never been in the stadium before, but I have eaten at the little diner on the mosque nearby (delicious). Not many people realise that that diner is open to the public, but the food's really good, and very cheap.

Anyway, the Fringe Festival launch! How exciting is that! The festival is one of the most important events in Ireland's cultural calendar. Last year, I met an elderly Canadian guy who is actually spending his retirement travelling from one Fringe Festival to another, all aroud the world. He told me that the Dublin one is up there with the best, and you gotta believe it.

I'm on a break from work right now. Heh. It's actually a "smoking" break. I don't smoke but because the chef does, he gives people all sorts of breaks so that they can have a cigarette and leaves us non-smokers to pick up the slack. I picked up a pretend smoking habit pretty quickly but so's not to bust my cover I have to sneak away from the other smokers on one pretext or another.

Life is complicated.  But, work is going surprisingly well. Thinking of buying my own bicycle instead of relying on the city bikes. Does that mean I'm putting down roots  You know, your own bike, it's a big commitment!