Irish eyes are smiling and Sheila's Brush

Trip Start Jan 26, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

The weekend actaully began in Edinburgh on Friday night. I was invited to a play with a girl from work, something called Monks, I believe. The theatre was beautiful, blue and gold decore, and the stage set was cool too, a mountain top with clouds floating below. The play itself left me a little confused but I was really happy to be invited to go with Emily. After the play I went to a club at the Edinburgh University. The queue took about an hour to get in but it was worth it for the music. The crowd was very energetic and I had a lot of fun, though I wish I had had some friend around to share the experience.
So, the next morning I arrived in Dublin with Cam and Geraldine and made my way by bus from the airport to Vanessa, through the crowd at the O'Connell Street parade. Green, white, and orange flags and costumes everywhere. When I arrived at the house of the two Irish sisters (D and Caomhe, Irish names you would never guess how they were pronounced) , we immediatly began the St. Patrick's Day celebration with some lessons in Irish dancing, singing a song called 'Hail Glorious St. Patrick' (which we sang many more times that day and is still in my head, it sounds like Away in a Manger a little bit, something of a children's song), and mixing up some green coffee and green pancakes in the shapes of celtic crosses, the isle of Erin (Ireland), and shamrocks. This was so fun, maybe the best part of the weekend. People stopped in to say hi and show off their green spirit. We got ready for going out as we the girls taught me how to count in Irish and while the rugby was on the television. Ireland ALMOST won the Six Nations but ended up losing to France by one controversial point. Quite exciting!
The afternoon and evening were followed up with ciders and chips at a place called The Barge. From there we went to an exclusive irish pub, it's really only meant for irish people and you're suposed to be fluent in the language (which is a crazy tongue by the way). In the Irish pub, it was quite obvious that Vanessa and I did not speak Irish, a strange situation to be a minority as such. There were flyers around with poems and sayings like "An Ghaeilge Abu" (which was translated for me to mean 'go irish language go'). We met up with more people throughout the night and toured around Dublin. Near the end of the night it was down to three of us girls (Vanessa, Caomhe, and I), singing in the pouring rain ('hail glorious st patrick') as we walked to a beautiful place with ornate chandeliers called Howl At The Moon, where we again met up with more of their friends. Maybe I should mention that St. Patricks is the saint of Ireland, so this day is not as much about Guinness as it is for North Americans. This day is the country's national day, and there is a lot of Irish pride and visiting with friends and family, a proper holiday.
On Sunday, the sun was shining brightly when I woke up. Four of us girls had some rashers (bacon) and toast with Nutella for breakfast. Meanwhile, it started to snow outside! This was really surprising because I didn't expect to see anymore winter weather after leaving Canada. Because March 18th is Mother's Day in Europe, family was coming over to have dinner with the sisters (D and Caomhe) so Vanessa and I went back to her place, which was very comfortable and lovely. We took a walk in Herbert Park, just up the road, and then went shopping for lovely little snacks and some chocolate icecream. For most of the afternoon we watched TV and relaxed. I really liked watching the Irish sport Hurling, which looks something like Lacross and cricket. Oh, big news in cricket, that Ireland (total underdog) beat Pakistan (amaznig team), an this sent the cricket world into shock. We saw news reports with outraged reactions and jokes about the 'luck of the irish' all day and this topic was brought up many times later. Some of Vanessa's friends came over Sunday night and we watched a movie before going out to a place call Keily's. At the end of the night, we all went back to Vanessa's and ate some of the snacks we'd bought earlier (a devine spread of duck fois gras, melba toast, grapes, and cheddar crisps - sooo good!)
The airport at 5 in the morning was possibly the buissiest I've ever seen an airport! And for that hour!! I waited in amazingly long lines and was a little worried I might miss my 630 flight but all was well. I dozed on the plane but woke up to see the snow covered east coast of the Island before we flew over the water back to Scotland. (March 18th is the day of St Sheila - St Patrick's wife -and snow fall on this day is often called 'Sheila's Gown'). I made it to work in perfect time, just about five mintues early enough to brush my teeth and hair, and then start another day at the office without missing a beat.
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