Back from Ireland. Had a good time. Two nights in Dublin, two nights in the countryside in Louth, two nights staying with my sister's family in Belfast. This time did the notes electronically using the Stowaway keyboard and phone: works pretty well for typing, though getting the notes onto the PC is stupidly difficult. (Wants to use Microsoft Office for the transfer, doesn't seem to encode the files to unicode correctly). Will keep trickling out the daily notes though: bit much for one diary.
Bit disappointed by some of the pictures. A few of the ones that I thought would be OK are afflicted by motion-blur, which you can't see on the phone-camera screen. Also the phone isn't ergonomically ideal for photography. To click the button on the right, you need to hold the left side firmly between forefinger and thumb, but since the lens is on the far left the most natural position puts your little and ring fingers directly in front of the lens. Maybe should get a proper camera.
Also having some computer problems: one of my peripherals seems to be intermittently sending my computers into an endless reboot-loop. Gah. Thank you USB, this never happened to me with serial ports.
What I'm Reading
Started The Time Traveller's Wife, and nearly put it down again straightaway: seemed pretty slushy and sentimental, with a gimmick mostly lifted from Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and the difficulties swept under the carpet
Also reminds me of the Diana Wynne Jones book (Fire and Hemlock) where the little girl falls in love with an adult man, and ends up marrying him. Kind of happened to Jones in real life apparently, but I don't think he was specifically targeting her in that case.
Finished it. Better than I thought it would be, but still a bit too romantic for me. Disliked the ending which makes it seem that she did a Greyfriars Bobby and waited her whole life for him to come back, which seems like a colossal waste of time: get over it and move on, woman. Or maybe the thing was supposed to be that she's gotten too conditioned to endlessly waiting for him, and that's why she can't move on. Anyway, a suitably tragic death scene goes some way towards taking the offensive sweetness out. Still, not recommended for anyone unless they have a high tolerance for romance
Thought they overdid the tragedy of running around naked though: seems to me like it would be a small price to pay for a limitless supply of winning lottery tickets. And the dangers of it seem somewhat contrived: getting locked in a freezing car park with no way out seems a bit unlikely, and the hunting accident was a bit stupid. Couldn't he just claim to be some kind of epileptic or sleepwalker: explain that he just gets these seizures, wakes up naked with no idea how he got there. A few indecent exposure charges wouldn't be too bad, and cops seem to deal with enough pointless timewasting that I doubt it would bother them that much to keep a blanket handy for the local nutty nudist every month or so. The Naked Rambler and that Californian guy who insisted on walking around naked both did deliberate, provocative, full-time public nudity and managed to cope with their regular arrests, so I don't see why occasional, intermittent nudity by a guy who's only seeking to cover up would be such a big deal.
Ireland Notes Day 1: Dublin
Staying in the Temple Bar area: Seems to be the equivalent of Covent Garden. Journey was easy enough: paid through the nose to fly from Heathrow, so the journey in was less of a nightmare than normal. Got the luxury bus into Dublin which was pretty easy, then a short and roundabout walk to the hotel. Took a stupid route as usual, but in this case that just meant 800 metres instead of 400.
Being a dork and typing this in a restaurant on my phone and keyboard: oh well, will never see these people again
Dublin looks strangely English apart from a few oddities like power masts, licence plates and pedestrian crossings. At least they drive on the correct side of the road here. I suppose the places I've been so far haven't been much different to anywhere else in International Touristland. Not really going to have time to do more than take a cursory look at Dublin: there's a lot here, but it's all very London-like and I need a holiday
Seems surprisingly busy for a Sunday: suspect it's not that much busier on other days, with tourists making up the bulk of the trade.
Hotel room pretty good, done in a smart, dark 1930s style. They gave me a small double, which might be a little cramped for two but suits me fine
Eating: had pan-fried veal with potatoes and veg. Did me OK since I'm not too fussy, but would have been too greasy for lots of people. Well, maybe that's what you get for eating in a tourist trap. Had lemon meringue pie for dessert: obviously mass-produced, but tarted up with lots of drizzling of stuff on the plate
Guinness was pretty good: smooth and seemed less bitter than it sometimes is, but not that much different to the way you get it in one of the few remaining decent UKian pubs.
Evening: Long walk along the river Liffey, took a couple of photos. Another pub, more Guinness.
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