Halloween in Temple Bar

“The public museums are closed on a Monday.  All of Dublin’s museums are public.  Except for the private ones.  Which are often open on Mondays”.

“On the left, you will see the main entrance of Dublin’s Trinity College, which was established under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth the Second. No, that’s not right, it wasn’t; it was Queen Elizabeth the First.  Ah well, no matter, they were both from the same family.”

“Would those who have just boarded please stop talking?  I am the only one who should be talking – otherwise, others cannot hear me!”

And who, in their right mind, would want to miss such a tour bus commentary?  The characterful and impassioned bon mots of Ursula, our truly unique tour guide had me folded double, gasping for air at the back of the open-topped double-decker bus for a good part of an hour and a half.  I hadn’t laughed this much since I saw Eddie Izzard at the Albury.  The idea had been simple – take advantage of Ryanair’s £9 flights to take the sprogs on their first airplane trip and have a couple of days and a night to explore the delights of Dublin.

Cheers of the trip included:

Tears of the trip included:

  • Jurys Inn Christchurch – supposedly a 3 star hotel but one which, despite careful research and booking, provided us with:
    • two attempts to provide us with neighbouring rooms, the original rooms leaving the kids being on their own, two rooms away and out of shouting distance.
    • a bathroom with a soap dish pulled from the wall and a shower that turned scalding hot without warning when showering our youngest.
    • an unusable, disconnected telephone that might have been essential had sprog no.4 been scalded before we could grab her.
    • sharp broken furniture in the sprogs’ room.
    • a cursory shrug and a wan smile when I pointed out the above problems.
  • Bank Of Ireland – for shutting down a cash point without checking if anyone was using it!
  • A delayed return flight and the absence of any seating at the departure gate – not fun with tired kids.

The trip was great fun even if it did drain the bank account at an alarming rate (there is no such thing as a cheap weekend break with four kids!) and the folks we met on our travels, from cabbies to passers-by, were very friendly.  Talking of friendly folks, I must make special mention of one person.  As I stood by the Bank Of Ireland cash point that had swallowed my card, not wanting to move in case it spat it out again, I became aware of someone beside me.  I turned to face a strikingly lovely woman with pale skin and cascades of red hair. “Would you be after me watching the machine while you pop round and ring on the bank’s bell? They’ll still be there if you’re quick.”  Before I could draw breath, she went on. “Why would you?  Leaving a complete stranger to grab your card.  I’ll pop round, explain and have someone come out to you.”  With that, she turned on her heel and disappeared round the corner, re-emerging five minutes later with a smile and a “I’ve told them what’s what and they be with you shortly.  I’ll be on my way now – have a smashing time – bye now.”  Blurting a ‘Thank you so much’, I waited for the chap that eventually returned my bank card whilst watching her walk away, slowly merge into the evening crowd.  This beautiful and utterly charming woman was in my life for about 45 seconds but saved me from hours of hassle with one kind act.  Don’t tell SWMBO but I think I’m in love with my very own Dublin angel.

my lo-fi ears are listening to Life For Rent/Dido

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