In the worst tradition of livejournal, this one's just a list of names. Surviving the last ten days has been a feat of complex scheduling and, apart from one occasion where -- I swear this is true -- I forgot to eat chips, everything worked out precisely as planned. Advanced scheduling techniques employed included: harnessing the power of jetlag to get up early, using buses and trains to sit quietly on my own and recharge my introvert-brain, eating before I got hungry, and being generally lucky about things. I imagine this will be the dullest post you skim past today, but I'll feel accomplished for recording this stuff.
I arrived in Shannon on the 19th and was met at the airport by my sister Aishling and her friend Peter. In Galway I met his boyfriend JP, and another friend, Eileen. Aishling's husband, Gabriel, joined us for a much longed-for pint of Guinness and pretty good Chinese food.
Arriving in Dublin on the 20th, I found that I had an hour to kill, and jumped off the luas a stop early for a pint with Simo on Capel Street. We walked to Sufi's from there and I had dinner with Nina, Drew, V and Pixies, and somehow missed also seeing Hadook, who happened to be there at the same time.
Home to Rathfarnham, then awake at 6:30am to talk about nerdy things with Pixies, before catching the bus into town to meet my parents. Following a reliably mediocre Kylemore breakfast, we did some shopping on Henry Street, lunched at Keoghs, fought our way down Grafton Street, shopped some more, then met V at Le Monde for a drink before my parents got their bus home.
DoC came into town for dinner at Cornucopia, then he, V and I went to the Long Stone for the first of the evening's parties, where I compared fake New York accents ("hey lady, I'm walkin' heea!") with fellow Manhattanite Diane, and met up with Niall and Maeve. After that, the luas took us to Parkgate Street for Tim's annual Quiet Couple Of Pints. We didn't stay long, but I had time to catch up a bit with Tim, Paul T, Doug, Marie and Catherine and steal Doug's chips. DoC was kind enough to drop us back to Rathfarnham. I slept soundly.
On to Sunday, when I met Gliceas in town for lunch at the cafe which has inexplicably replaced Moka. Once again I didn't meet Aoife and he didn't meet Joel and we cemented our respective suspicions that these people do not actually exist. Next order of the day was a luas to Stonybatter to steal Brid away for yummy Irish coffees at the Aisling Hotel. The 67A is considerate and passes close by, so I didn't need to go back into town before going out to Maynooth to visit Cian, Meaigs, Sorcha, John and noob humans Kathleen and Simon. After a lovely, companionable evening, I sleepily read comics on the dart and then the bus back to Rathfarnham.
Monday 22nd was a work day, but that didn't preclude
a pintlunch with Sarah, as well as catching up with Krabbe, Youngman, Psn, and other work folk, and even getting some work done. Monday was my only social meetup failure, when I texted Niall about getting chips and then immediately forgot I had done so. No chips for me. (Sorry, Niall.) Monday was also eagerly anticipated for being the day that Joel arrived from New York. We had a pretty good pizza dinner in Millers, and an early night.
If Matt's not there, it's not Tuesday lunch in Dublin, but he was and it was, so that was ok. We went to a place near work that I forget the name of, had good lattes, then walked around Merrion Square a bit. I realised that Tuesday would be my only opportunity to have chips from Presto, so I bought some even though I wasn't even a tiny bit hungry, taking some back to the office for Joel, and finding MrYan there too. Joel and I called to Fallon and Byrne and Sub City after work for emergency supplies (cheese, comics), and met V there too, before heading for Kells. Whew.
Christmas was good, though Kells makes me fucking crazy.
Back to Dublin, checked into the hotel, quick lunch at the Epicurean Food Hall, then the luas to Glen and Brid's house again, this time to catch up with Glen. Brid and her Mum and young Elijah arrived just before we left, which was cool timing. Babies smell excellent, I learned. We couldn't find the bus to Santry, so we lazily cabbed to Dizzy's and Britta's housewarming. Since Joel had an early flight, we only stayed a couple of hours. It was nonetheless long enough to make brief but enjoyable conversation with the party's hosts, as well as Dizzy's parents and Ian, Aine, Shane, Humbug, Orly, Grimnar and Matt and to learn the useful words scrotiform (pouch-like) and jumentous (having the characteristics of horse urine). We bussed back to the hotel.
Yesterday, Joel flew home, and I walked aimlessly around the city centre until it was time to meet V for breakfast. We took the southside luas to Balally to look at the place where her wedding will be, but the estate was locked up, so we peered through the gates instead. We got the luas back as far as Ranelagh, then walked into town from there so's not to waste the rare good weather. This last couple of weeks has been beautiful, actually.
From O'Connell Street I took a 16 bus to Griffith Avenue for tea with OB and Raphaele, peeping through a mostly closed door with shy Maia, and my first introduction to two-month old Felix. OB drove back into town, where I met Mary at Easons to admire her Jamiroquai hat and have dinner in Grand Central. Back to the Arlington Hotel to collect my massive bag, then I got the 66 to Maynooth to spend my last evening this year in Ireland with the ever-wonderful Drew and Nina.
They kindly took me to the airport today, and now I'm sitting on a plane waiting for people to take their seats.
And that is what I did on my Christmas holidays.