Missing books

I totally don't regret not doing teacher training, as my parents wanted me to do, because I'm having a great time in Dublin and I like my minimum-wage job at the restaurant. Hopefully, I'll move on to Greater Things one of these days but for now I'm doing just fine.

I do miss books though, and the way I used to have all the time in the world to read, and had to read, loads of great books because I was studying literature. In Dublin, they hype up the great writers to the max, but there really is a sense of the importance of literature here that's totally real, and it's very cool to be able to walk into a pub and know that James Joyce at some point probably sat right where you are, enjoying a pint.

This year, Dublin was made a UNESCO city of literature. Now, that's something. There are lots of literary events here all the time. I'm going to see Seamus Heaney soon, and then there's a festival of literature in Dun Laoighire. Hyped up it may be, but Dublin's love of literature is also very, very real.

season of mist and mellow fruitfulness

So, fall is just around the corner and if you look carefully, you can see the leaves on the trees beginning to turn. I'm not complaining; one of the unsung pleasures of Dublin is walking through the residential areas on a sunny fall day, kicking your way through the piles of leaves on the ground. One windy night can knock a lot of leaves off, and it takes the city workers a while to get through them -- the upside is that all the children, and this blogger, have a lot of fun stomping through the crunchy piles!

Seriously, though, Dublin is great in the fall. The students are all back in college, so there are lots of young people everywhere, including all the wide-eyed first years from small towns and villages, loose in the city for the first time. You gotta love 'em. There's lots to do and, let's face it, the Irish look their best in the more muted colours of fall/winter wear. They're always very eager to strip down to their smalls when the sun shines, but they look somehow unconvinced in their caribbean colours. For my money, there's nothing more handsome than a pale-skinned Galway man with dark hair and a granddad shirt. Maybe that's not a trendy look, but it's a good one.

Here in Ireland, Heritage Week is underway. Work has prevented me from seeing much yet, but things are a bit less hectic for the next few days and I'm hoping to attend some events. Apparently, it's great. There was a big queue on Grafton Street for a lecture about the history of Dublin, so there must be a lot of interest out there. Saturday's the last day of my babysitting job, because I'm getting more horus in the restaurant, so I'm looking for something to take the kids to as a goodbye. So there's my plans for the weekend!

Vikings on the loose

Many people don't realise that Dublin was founded by Vikings, which I guess is kind of understandable, because the Irish are very proud of their Celtic heritage, and most of Dublin was actually built by the British! But all the downtown area was once a Viking town including, I suppose, the part where I live. So far as I can gather, the Vikings used to be viewed in these parts as general bad guys, because of the whole pillaging-and-looting business, but have undergone a sort of posthumous improvement, as having been the founders of the capital city. Which I presume also means that there are wild Viking genes in at least some of the citizens of Dublin. Hmmm... explains a lot!!

The Dublin Viking festival has just been celebrated, and it's on every year, so I guess the Vikings are being taken on board a bit more! I think it's a good thing. The Irish culture has absorbed loads of influences over the years, and I'm sure it will continue to do that for the foreseeable future!

Well, that's my two cents for the day. I'm off to work!

city deals!!

Apparently, City Deals have been around for a while, but I've only just heard of 'em, probably because I'm working so much these days that I haven't have much time to be on Facebook, which is where most people seem to have encountered them for the first time. Anyway, they're great!! I think it's not just a Dublin thing but, basically, you sign up and then every day you get sent the possibility to buy a thing or service super-cheap. I suppose the idea is so that you can try it and then go back.

The latest one in my in-box is an invitation to a very cheap spray-tan, which isn't really my bag. What serious Bram Stoker fanatic would go bronzed when she could stay pallid and interesting? But there are lots of other things.  A friend of mine took me out to dinner at a restaurant called Darwin's, on Aungier Street. The decor is very professional, and also a bit odd; they have pictures of humans at various stages of evolution all over the walls. The food was amazing, though -- and I say this as someone with several months of restaurant work under her belt. My buddy paid for most of our meal with the vouches he brought on City Deal, making it nearly as cheap as going out for a kebab and chips. No that there's anything wrong with a kebab (au contraire) but sometimes it's nice to be a bit fancy for a change.

Anyways, flushed with the success of our night out, I think City Deal rocks and hope it lasts.