19 July 2010

Slainte, Dublin

We may have landed in Ireland Wednesday, but it has taken until today --  Monday -- for it that fact to sufficiently sink in. Pity it took me so long to wake up and smell the peat fire burning. I suppose I had to spend most of my time and energy thus far adjusting Bunni to her new surroundings and time zone. I also had to spend a few days mourning the trips to Dublin of yore, when the Mister and I were footloose and fancy free, traipsing willy-nilly into pubs diminutive and crowded as a tin of sardines, carousing with friends  -- then emerging, squinting, into the winking dawn to seek a taxi home.

I've tried to reconcile myself to the fact that I may not get to have a pint at O'Donohughes,  prowl through my favorite charity (i.e. thrift) shops in Dun Laoghaire, eat fish and chips wrapped in newspaper, or hunt for razor clam shells along the Sandymount Strand this time around.

What follows is, to date, what it took for me to finally feel settled in this time:

-the donning of wool socks (in July!)
-11 cups of hot, sweet (for only in Ireland do I take siucra), milky tea
Father Ted : Complete Box Set [1995]-one episode of Father Ted 
-two perusals of the Irish Times weekend edition
-2 1/2 Twix bars (thank you, Irish chocolate, for tasting like chocolate instead of wax)
-two tawdry BBC4 "documentary" tv programs
-one exquisite, satisfying Carvery-style lunch of roasted turkey breast, gravy and roast potatoes,  homemade by my mother-in-law
-one covetous pore over the beautiful book, Romantic Irish Homes
-one tea cup-size serving of my own improvised rice pudding (basmati, milk, sugar, egg yolk, tangerine peel and a teaspoon of Hennessy simmered in a pot until I couldn't wait any longer)
-one proper dress up dinner out done right; consisting of Gin and tonic, appetizer (or starter as they say here) wine, main course (the pan seared Hake was good but Tim's duck breast was even better), dessert and then coffee
-two trips to the new Booterstown nautical-themed playground, where I get to take in the views of the Irish Sea and Bunni gets to see the train passing
-9 pot shots taken and approximately 4 received (because sarcasm is the second recognized language in these parts and if you can't take a joke made at your expense here, you're better off staying home)
-one long walk through the narrow streets of Rathgar to the black-painted wrought iron-ringed Harold's Cross park

This trip is our second to Ireland with our daughter but the first where her needs dictate our movements. Many accommodations must be made to her sleep schedule. Fortunately, sticking close to home isn't so bad. We're ensconced in the ground floor flat of a charming old house. We have our own kitchen, and a living room facing a beautiful walled garden, so this time around I get to have friends and family over, and serve them food and drink for a change. If I can manage that, a trip on the DART to Howth, and a new camera battery charger (so every post won't be so sadly bereft of images) then I can go home happy enough.