Tuesday, June 26

Answers to questions:  The reason no one heard about the pelvis incident, is because I don’t tend to blog, unless I have gone somewhere, and going somewhere is precisely what got prevented.  We were four days from flying to Italy and a villa in Tuscany, with private Napa chef.  The rest of the folks had a wonderful time. They kept sending pictures.

After eight and a half hours in cattle class on Icelandair, we landed in Rekyavik to change planes.  Carolyn’s plane was late arriving and our plane to Dublin was late leaving, so that worked out, but I spent over an hour standing in line, because there were no boarding lounges for the short flights, just lines.

We got in to Dublin about 11:30am, checked into the Fitzwilliam, and went out for lunch.  We stumbled around the shopping area for a while, and had fish and chips at The Hairy Lemon.  Their ale is light and good.  By that time, our room was ready.  There was a flower in a tall vase in the bathroom that only had 1 inch of water.  Neither of us took pity on it. We were too tired.  We unpacked a bit, and put our feet up for an hour or two.  Then we went out for dinner, just to keep awake.  Victor, our concierge, delivered just what we asked for: Bailey’s Bar, where we could share a cheeseboard and a smoked salmon sandwich, with a glass of Gruener Veltliner, which we lifted to Chris Silver, who had almost joined us.

Wednesday, June 27

In the morning, the flower was found keeled over in its vase.  Carolyn thought I had let a stinky.  She has way too much experience traveling with me.  We are back to our old tricks. We got up around 9:00 am, and went to Bewley’s for breakfast.  It’s overpriced, but it’s an institution, and the Irish breakfast was fine.  We had orange juice, poached eggs, buttered toast, sausages, Irish bacon, black and white pudding and stewed tomato.  It was greasy and it was wonderful and we were ready to go. Neither of us shops much at home, but it’s fun abroad, together.  We spent too much time in Brown Thomas, but not too much money.  There are lovely things to buy, that would have looked great on us forty years ago.  Sigh.

When my Irish high school friend, Mary, heard that we had had dinner in Bailey’s Bar, she was horrified.  “That’s an American place”, she said.  We didn’t care, we got what we wanted.  I also got a workout that afternoon, squeezed in before we had to get the train to go to Mary and Sean’s house for supper.

Finding the train station was an adventure and a half.  Starting with John, the concierge, everyone you stop to ask for directions is after giving them to you in too many words, now, repeated a few more times than you need.  Or not, judging by the number of times we had to ask.  So, we missed the train we should have made, but got the one 20 minutes later.  Mary and Sean had to wait at the station that extra 20 minutes and were giving off because it was, to them, sweltering.  Considering it rains most of the time in Ireland, they should have been happy to be in the sunshine.  The weather here is fabulous, but you can see it’s unusual.  You see brown fields from the air, which I had never done before.  The flowers in the parks, and in front of public buildings are all dying.  There aren’t sprinkler systems, nor people whose job it is to keep them watered.  God knows when the last time that was necessary.

It was so good to be in Mary and Sean’s house again.  Mary put on the most amazing meal.  We had a crab, avocado and baby butter lettuce starter, that had us licking the plate.  Then she followed it with roast leg of local Irish lamb.  It was the most wonderful lamb we have ever eaten, with green beans, carrots and mashed potatoes and turnips.  If that wasn’t good enough, she made meringues with hazelnuts in them, and topped them with strawberries and whipped cream.  We washed all of this down, with plenty of good wine and caught a taxi home, arriving after midnight.