Hello and welcome back to the second (very late) instalment of Annie’s Shenanigans in Dublin. A big thanks to everyone who has said they liked the last blog post but I’m a little concerned at your total lack of concern for my wellbeing. It wasn’t supposed to be funny guys; my actual life was in actual danger.
Maybe. I don’t know.
The second thing I should probably mention is that (spoiler alert) Mrs Drunk Host Mum doesn’t actually feature in this blog post at all so… Sorry to all the Mrs DHM fans out there.
Right, so, I finished my last blog post on me sneaking out of the house with my suitcase as quietly as I possibly could so as not to wake the hungover couple and have to explain to them why I was leaving with all my stuff. I arrived at the school and asked to speak to the person in charge, who arrived a little while later. I explained that my accommodation wasn’t working out and I needed to be moved today and that I wouldn’t be going back there under any circumstances. The administrator looked me up and down like she was sizing me up, squared her shoulder towards me and asked what the reasons for my needing to move were. I could see the cogs in her head turning about how she was going to persuade me to go back there and not cause a fuss. Oh no you don’t. I gave her a rundown of the previous few days, similar to my last blog post. For good measure, I even snuck in a sly, I hate to think what would have happened if one of the STUDENTS had been sent there…
Half an hour later, I was lying in a very comfy double bed in an upgraded room in the hotel, paid for by the company. The administrator had driven me there in her car. I was a happy girl.
In the afternoon, I got back to work on some spreadsheets (boo) in a coffee shop down the road with a sea view and where I had my first creme egg of the year (yaaaaaas).
in the afternoon, we caught the train to Malahide Castle where we had a lovely (and very enthusiastic) tour guide and a wander around the garden.
We went out for dinner in the evening for one of the student’s birthdays and even managed to find ourselves a bar with some live music – and after the students had headed off home, I started on the Bailey’s with the teachers and we had a quietly tipsy evening.
Wednesday morning involved getting up and finally finishing the spreadsheet work I had to do in my room at the hotel, followed by a walking tour of Dublin with Conor, the tiny, waddling Irishman from a few days before who was constantly squeaking gee whizz and golly. The tour was meandering and not all that interesting, but we did get to see this statue of Oscar Wilde (aka All Time Bae) which made it worth it.
After a while, I wandered off on my own in search of sustenance, which I found in the form of a cherry scone at Keogh’s. I sat for a while, people watching, eating my scone and reading my book which, incidentally, was by Eimear McBride and she’s Irish so it was all very fitting.
Then I had a wander round Temple Bar, which was so vibrant. My biggest regret was that, being based in Bray, I didn’t get a chance to go drinking there in the evenings. Another trip to Dublin, anyone…?
On the other side of Temple Bar and across Ha’penny Bridge, I found a bookshop called the Winding Stair. I spent faaaaaaar too long in here and probably freaked out the woman behind the till before eventually buying an extremely expensive and extremely beautiful copy of Madame Bovary before proceeding to really overstay my welcome and sit at the little table in the window reading it for the next half an hour.
After the students’ lessons on Thursday, we walked along the cliff from Bray to Greystones. During the hour’s walk, my thoughts were mainly focussed on why so many places in the British Isles insist on having such horrible names.
In the evening, we were treated to an Irish dancing lesson at a hotel on the seafront, which turned out to be essentially a ceilidh (google it) and so of course, I was well into it. The students were between the ages of 16 and 18 and a lot of them were hanging around, looking embarrassed and not wanting to join in which is exactly what I would have done when I was 16, but suddenly I was the one skipping around with gay abandon and forcing one of the boys to be my partner – the poor boy spent the whole time blushing right up to his hairline, stepping on my feet and gingerly trying to float his hand somewhere near my waist without actually touching me. It was around this time that I realised I’d become that teacher. Oh well; it was always destined to happen.
Friday was the last morning in Dublin, and while the students were in lessons, I caught the train into Dublin again and sought out the Writers’ Museum, which, it has to be said, was a little bit of a letdown.
After leaving the museum after less than an hour, I had a little more time to kill than I’d originally imagined. And what do you do when you have time to kill? Coffee and cake, obviously. I went to a coffee shop called the Queen of Tarts because I felt like it represented my personality – and while I can’t really recommend this Writers’ Museum, I can recommend the Queen of Tarts a thousand times over.
In the afternoon, I went to find the teachers again for the Viking Splash tour, which I’d heard was going to involve a big yellow buggy, viking helmets and roaring at people, all of which turned out to be true.
After all this, I seriously needed a drink. I’d had a really great week, even if it had been extremely weird, a bit scary and very tiring. After one and a half glasses of wine with the teachers (neither of whom were drinking), I was just merry enough to enjoy bowling with the students (I hate bowling) before collapsing into the happy, dreamless sleep of the tired and tipsy.
And then I was up at the crack of dawn to catch the bus to Belfast to visit my sister. I headed into Dublin and away from the teachers and students as the sun was rising, and though I didn’t know it at the time, that was probably the last time I will ever have seen most of them.