Mum had expressly warned me not to get back to the house in Dublin before them; she is committed to having a spic and span house when anyone comes to visit and Gareth was no exception! So, as we drove into Dublin we decided to see if we could fit in a showing of "Ted" to our packed schedule. It was on our list as films shown in the U.A.E get shredded by the censors so we really wanted to catch it on our "tour". We weren't disappointed! I'm sure I don't have to tell many people that it was the film of the summer.
Back to the McBride Madhouse of Merriment and Gareth met my lovely little sister Nickki and her boyfriend, Dave. We all sat down to dinner (Gareth couldn't get over the fact that we serve more than one sort of potato - well it is Ireland!) and a few vinos. Both my parents are pretty good in the kitchen; something I have yet to inherit but am hopeful comes with age. So the food was great, the conversation lively but around eleven I started to flag - maybe it was the 5 hour drive, the constant drinking, the over-exertion in general but everything shut down for me at midnight and I had to go to bed, leaving Gareth in the capable hands of my parents to feed him Spanish liquors and whatever else was going in our little kitchen of wonders.
On Tuesday I wanted to show Gareth our Dirty Ol' town of Dublin but he was loathe to get out of bed; he had indulged til the early hours with Mum and Dad and I was pleased he had made such an effort with them so I let him sleep a little longer. We headed into "town" as we call Dublin City in the late afternoon and decided to take in a little culture by way of St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is 800 years old, a stunning example of a period architecture and also houses burial chambers for many marked figures of our history. It was home to Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels" as he was Dean of the Cathedral in the 1700's and it also held the first ever performance of Handel's "Messiah" in 1742. I'm not sure how interesting Gareth found it, although he seemed engrossed at the time, but I really enjoyed it - I love a bit of history now and again.
At this point I was getting hungry - and I can be quite a nightmare when I'm not fed. We stumbled across "Corfu" on Parliament Street and definitely thought some tzatiki would go down well. Thankfully restaurants in Dublin seem to have adopted recession-buster menu's so we ordered a 2 course earlybird with a glass of wine for 10euro each - not bad! Corfu was a real find, the feta cheese parcels melted in our mouth, the meatballs were really tasty - all in all just a really lovely meal at a great price. We then moved down to O'Donoghue's on Suffolk Street for a catch up with some of my friends. Cilla, a friend from college, arrived in first, as usual regaling us with tales from school and home. Shortly afterwards Kerry arrived in with a little shriek of delight when she saw me. We ended up with my cousin Al, my sister Nickki, Dougie, Cathal (Kerry's husband) and a few pints whilst the Olympic boxing took place on the tv. After a few hours we decided to find somewhere with music and show Gareth some other great bars in Dublin. On this we failed...miserably. We took him upto the Dakota on South William Street, which used to be one of the hippest places in Dublin but was like walking into an empty cavern that night! By this point I was hungry again so Gareth tried to bribe the barmen by any means possible to rustle up some food (the bar food had finished about 2 hours previous). The best they could come up with was a pear. Gareth proffered said pear to me, I took a bite out of it and threw it back (playfully!) - the bar staff were not amused! Apparently it could have been used for cocktails; I'm pretty sure they weren't going to get asked for any more cocktails that night - we were the only table occupied in the bar. My wonderful boyfriend was fretting about me wanting "chips" so he took to the unknown streets of Dublin to find some for me. Unfortunately he returned empty-handed so at that point we headed to Bob's diner for some garlic cheese fries - lucky him getting to sleep with me that night!
It was lovely to see everyone but disappointing we didn't get to see a quality band, usually found all over Dublin on any night of the week.
That was the end of our Irish trip - it had been alcohol-fuelled and full of new experiences; I was so glad to have shown Gareth a few new things for his list, and how well he'd been received. I think the general consensus was that Irish women quite like a man with a beard and Gareth's great around parents!