Ireland – The Non-Valentines Day

We had only asked Fadwa and Maxim to host us for one night.

Being that our cards hadn’t arrived, we asked if they would mind hosting us for another night.

When the cards didn’t arrive that day too, they said that we would be fine for us to stay for another night.

Being that that night has come and gone already, we really didn’t want to be abusing their generosity, and they’d been more than accommodating to us. The fact that they lived right in the middle of the city was amazing too. Another thing which was really cool about their place was that the communal outdoor area that was on their floor was actually theirs exclusively. This gave us a place to exercise also. Its pretty bloody good.

Anyway, we decided that we would find somewhere else to crash for the night and give them some space. Especially since its valentines day and everything.

We found a couch surfer who wanted to take us hiking tomorrow. We were keen, but he kinda lives a bit too far out, and we need to pick the cards up in the opposite direction. So, we kinda flag that, being that we are just in limbo and really have no idea when the cards are going to rock up, and when they do, we want to be able to just head straight to the airport, we just decide to stay at a hostel we found, which is 9 euro each.

Pretty good, if you ask me.

So, we book in for the night. We decide that we will just pay each night as we need it until our cards arrive.

So, we pack our stuff up, and drop the keys off to Maxim. Conveniently, he is walking down the stairs, as we are rocking up. We return the skipping rope we bought while we were down south of Ireland, which broke after just an hour of skipping, and then make our way back to the cafe near Fadwa & Maxim’s place.

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It looked like a cozy little spot, and reminded me a bit of a Yarraville. Its called Brother Hubbard. If you get the chance, you should go. Their coffees weren’t mind blowing, but they weren’t bad. We did however, share a small serving of pancakes, which were all kinds of wicked flavours. Do recommend. We spend the next hour or so just chilling out at the cafe and playing cards.

As per usual, we play Yanis with our miniature deck of playing cards, and Bec gives me a damn good spanking.

Over and over again.

The happens of a pretty regular basis when playing Yanis. She swears that she has no strategy, but her non-strategy is still giving me a flogging, so I dunno what she is doing, but it keeps working. The most pain in the ass bit is that cos she doesn’t wanna work out why she is playing the way she is playing, she couldn’t even tell me if she actually wanted to.

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Balls…

We decide that since it is Valentines and all, we should probably do something to do with love or something, so we order a Persian Love Cake, that they have on the menu. Which, we think kinda just sounds like a really kinky sex position more than a culinary delight.

Nonetheless, we get stuck into it.

So, at pretty much every meal, Bec will leave a bit of hers left, and offer it to me. I would usually reply with “Are you sure?”. I mean, I don’t really want her to go without. I would rather her be full. Its only fair, I mean, its not her fault that I might eat more than her. Thats just how it goes. She did tell me the other day that she is getting sick of me asking her if she was sure. “If I still wanted to eat it, I would just have eaten it. Instead, just say thank you”.

Sweet this makes it easier anyway.

If it was anyone else, I would have just said “Legend”, but its my wife, so I kinda got to be more politically correct, so its good to know that I can just accept the food without fear of her being hungry and not feel bad for it.

the-non-valentines-day-3So…

…back to the cafe…

There is this bit of cake left over, and Bec places her fork down, and I had offered her the last piece of the pancakes just before, which she declined. This is a very similar situation, and she’s not touching the last little bit of cake, so I go ahead and stab my fork in it, pop it in my gob and look up to Bec, so is staring directly at me.

“What?”
“You didn’t offer it to me?”

At this point, I put on my “Oh no you di-ent” face, push the bit of cake into my cheek so I can speak uninterrupted, because I still want to savour it once I am finished this verbal spanking.

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“What?! Babe! You told me to eat the food and be grateful for it just the other day…”
“Yeah, but I thought that you would have offered it to me, like you did with the pancakes…”
“You’re kidding me?…”
“Nah. But, its all good”

Yeah. Its too bad if its not all good, cos I’ve already tongue-bashed that delicious piece of cake and it’s sweet lemony flavours are infusing with the inside of my cheek as we speak. I take a mental note, “Just because she says I don’t have to offer it, doesn’t meant that I shouldn’t offer it”. I’ve seen it on the internet, but didn’t really believe the jokes until today.

We continue playing cards and guess the occupation of the lady sitting next to us. She looks like and pissed of version of Aunty Johanna, so we decide not to actually ask her what her profession is.

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We grab our gear, and get started toward meeting Doug! So, in a little surprise, while we were in Scotland, we found out that Doug and his girlfriend were also on a trip over here, so we decided that we should hook in with him and grab a drink. They arrived in Dublin just today, so we head to the pub and sink a few with him and the Mrs.

We head to Porterhouse this time.

We’ve done our time at O’Neill’s, and now we need a touch of variety. This is just that. We find a nice little corner under the stairs, where we can dump our gear, so we do just that. I order the beer of the day, which 8.5%, and tastes more like watered down petrol. Bec is feeling all beer-ed out, ad decides to sip on some sophistication, in the form of a Pinot Gris. Doug and Kathy rock up and we spend the next hour or so sharing our travel stories. Horror stories, laughs, close calls and epic photo opportunities.

I have to say, I am envious of Doug. That man hit the jackpot on a few occasions that I just lucked out on. He’s might not say that he is a photographer, as a profession, but I have to say, the quality of his work supersedes a lot of those I see who brand themselves as industry professionals. Myself, included. He’s got the eye, and he knows how to get the results from his camera. Check out some of his stuff at @dougjft on Instagram. He goes alright.

Kathy is studying Geography, so she is pretty much an open book on anything about climate change. It was a pretty interesting conversation to have with her. She was telling us about how we need to be taking action as a planet right now and how there are things happening all around the world which point toward there being irreversible damage made unless we change soon.

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Naturally, the argument of the planet having seasons, or cycles in it’s weather patterns arise too. This is the main argument I hear in retaliation to climate change. “Yeah. The earth certainly has seasons. We al know that. The only issue is that the planet has gone through it’s warm cycle, and how is mean to start cooling down. The bad part about this, is that we are only getting hotter and hotter as a planet”.

Right.

That pretty much put that one to rest.

She tells us about how there are animals changing their breeding cycle because of the temperature, which then means that there isn’t as much room where they need to be breeding, to actually breed because it’s over crowded. There are also islands which are pretty much guaranteed to be covered over with water in the coming years. Which means, that we then have to find a country willing to accept them as refugees too. Which is a bit of a problem, given the current political climate.

The scientists have said that we’ve got about a 2 degree tolerance in the global temperature before everything is really up the creek. Thats only bad, depending on how soon we reach that right? But we’re already at 1 degree, and we’re gaining speed.

So yeah…

I mean, even my home town had the biggest down pour of rain that anyone has seen in literally decades, and has watched roads get washed away because of the bulk rain that has appeared out of nowhere. Now, I’m no meteorologist, but it kinda looks like there might be a correlation there. We kinda just gotta wise up a lot as a planet. I just don’t think we can plunder the planet like we have been for the years and years, and not have repercussions.

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But!

Lets pop our fingers back in our ears for now, so I can finish telling you about our day in Dublin.

We chat and laugh more, as the afternoon comes to a close. We have a guitar and banjo trio sitting the corner of the bar just casually playing over the house music. I fully just think that they are mates just kicking it in the pub.

As you do.

I’m ok with it though.

This is the side of Dublin that I really love.

We split ways. Doug and Kathy have got a room for the last night of their trip, which is so fancy that there is a handle on the toilet seat, incase you don’t want to touch the seat with your hand.

…wut?

How mental is that?

We pretty much tell them to piss off, and genuinely question what they are doing at the pub?

We head off, and Bec and I go tuck into some subway while we wait for the Ruby sessions to start. The Ruby Sessions is this thing that happens every Tuesday night at a place called Doyle’s, on College St, in Dublin. They will pretty much have acts that are visiting Dublin, as well as local acts come and perform with a max of 150 people crammed into an upstairs bar. The tickets are 6 euro each, and there are usually 4 acts, each going for about 20 minutes or more.

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They have had the likes of Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and Paolo Nutini come and play. Can you get your head around that? How good would that be. Also, you don’t find out until the night, who is performing. Thats the beauty of it.

Tonight, they had one pull out last minute, so this time, they have only got 3 acts.

But it was still mint.

We get a beer, and find ourselves a wicked little spot overlooking the small crowd in front of us. There are two singer/songwriters who are climbing the ranks of the Irish music scene, and really starting to get somewhere. But as with life, good things come to those who wait, and we waited for a band called Dreaming of Jupiter to come up.

The other two were solo acts came on with nothing other than a guitar by their side. It was great to see the Irish culture and music coming to life from real-life Dubliners.

Dreaming of Jupiter come on with a keyboard, bass and what is like a drum pad of some sort. I can’t remember the name, and no doubt there is someone reading this thinking “How can he not know what it’s called?”.

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I don’t know what it’s called.

There.

I said it.

The hush descends over the audience, as the simple and minimal drum line kicks in. The bass follows, gradually building to give the depth of the song to the listeners. The guitar is picked up by the chick on the keys, and the song begins to gather momentum.

They band members begin to move and groove like real musicians do, all the wile looking to each other for the necessary cues to move the next part of the song. They nail it in perfect sync. Between songs, its evident that this is a little out of the comfort zone. They’re not so used to playing so stripped back and in such an intimate setting. But, I think that is was made that night so amazing.

Song after song graces our ears.

They have a knack for, beginning a song disguised in one manner, but then the song evolves throughout the performance into what would seem like a different song to that of the song at the start. The band is more than courteous and grateful for everyone coming out to watch them perform tonight.

They’ve done an immaculate job.

Bec and I head home, and we have just got the song playing over and over in our minds, as we make our way back to our hostel.

Valentines wasn’t meant to be spent in Dublin, so we just decided to flag Valentines until we get out of Ireland. But, still, without really meaning it to be, it ended up being a pretty decent valentines day.

Come back for the next story,

Billy

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