Perks of the job

I had a nice surprise today. A lady from the Kildare Village outlet got in touch to offer me free tickets down there, to the National Stud and for lunch at the restaurant. All I have to do is somehow find a day when I'm not working!

I have been to the National Stud before, and it's certainly very interesting. I've never been to Kildare Village, I guess because I'm not the biggest shopper in the world. This does mean, however, that any review I give is going to be totally unbiased!! Anything, this will be a bit of a treat.

I've been examining their fancy website and apparently the deal is that there are lots of boutiques that sell designer clothes and you can spend the whole day there, and even eat at a restaurant (which this lucky girl will be doing for free!) All in the name of research, you understand!

This weekend I'll mostly be working and luxuriating in having my own space at the apartment, now that Vicki's gone back home, but I've also been invited by my friend Saoirse's Mom to a concert in the National Concert Hall. Classical music is usually not so much my thing but this does look great and the pianist is absolutely gorgeous. Last time I went to the Concert Hall, I was surprised to see the performers having drinks in the bar along with everyone else afterwards. Hopefully this will also be the case on Sunday ;-)

I'm loving the fall vibe. There's been a bit of wind the last couple of days and there are crunchy leaves all over lots of the streets. I know it's extra work for the city sweepers and all, but there's just something super-satisifying about stomping through the piles of leaves and kicking them aside.

Speaking of which, it's time for me to get to work, so I'd better start pounding the pavement on my way!

Back to work tomorrow

Well, Vicki's in the living room packing her bags for the big trip back to Newfoundland tomorrow, and I'm back to work at the restaurant. We've done so much this week that it'll seem like more of a break working in the kitchen than anything else!

I'm glad she had such a great time, but I'm also not sorry that she's leaving now because this apartment is really tiny and after a while it's hard for everyone when somebody's sleeping in the living room!

I thought I would add a few pictures from my recent trip to the Botanic Gardens. There are times in any city when you just need a bit of a nature fix, and fortunately Dublin does well in this area, with the Botanic Gardens possibly the number one best place to visit.

The first picture is of some fall gourds that were heaped up in the walled garden, where they grow fruits and vegetables.

These are just some flowers that I thought were kind of pretty:

And this is a crazy sculpture installation called The Onlookers. If you look closely, you'll see that everyone has a moment phone in their hand!

Anyways, for Vicki's last night, we're going to do something unashamedly touristy and go to the Irish House Party. I've heard great things about it and of course the quality of traditional music is always high in Dublin! There's nothing like finishing off a vacation with a bang!

two days left

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm almost looking forward to when my friend Vicki leaves! I've had a fantastic week, and she's here for two more days, but she's totally got the hots for my flatmate and it is making me very uncomfortable! I feel like I can't even leave them alone in the living room together in case she jumps his bones! Sorry for being so direct but it's just freaking me out!!!

Anyway, it HAS been a great week. Because I haven't been working, I've been able to do all the touristy things, the Guinness Storehouse, a Viking Splash tour, a Wild Wicklow tour and I've seen all the museums. I never do get tired of the Bronze Age gold and the squished mummy people at the National Museum. We've eaten out every day. (I've gained two kiloes). We've been to Dalkey Island courtesy of friends-of-a-friend and their lovely boat. It's been a wonderful week in many ways. But something that's been making me a little sad is that I think there's a new distance between me and my oldest friend, and that's quite apart from the whole flirting-with-my-flatmate issue. Maybe we'll find ourselves back in the same space at some time in the future, but right now it's like we're singing from different hymn sheets. It's very strange for me, because we'd always been so close. It's probably me, more than her. I've been away from home for quite a long time now, and I guess I've changed more than I thought. Living in a big city is very different to living in a small community like the place we grew up, and it's even different to living in a small city, like where we went to college straight after school.

Well, never mind, I still have a couple of days to try and get our vibe back. I hope it will work. Tonight is my treat, and we are going to Taste of Emilia, which really couldn't be any closer to my place, and then out for drinks. Bepe should be out training, so hopefully I'll have Vicki all to myself for once and we'll get to connect. I'm sure a few glasses of wine won't hurt any, either!