Feck It, Sure It’s Grand (2023)

So, I’ve been to Dublin again, for the third time if I’m not too badly mistaken. It was only a four day visit, but in my current state of mind I doubt I would’ve had the patience for anything beyond that. I certainly felt very relieved to be back home, even if it was nice to travel alone for a change.

The raison d’être for this trip was The Prodijig, a newly famous Irish dancing troupe who have a new show out. They won some TV competition or another, no idea which one as I haven’t watched telly for about a decade I think. I’m therefore hopelessly out of date on popular culture, but luckily my old dance friends aren’t. They came up with the idea of going to see this troupe together, and very graciously invited me too even though I’ve left the dance group and the country. It was well worth it too. The show was great. The Prodijig have been dubbed as “innovators of Irish dance” and they indeed had taken it to a direction I rather liked. In fact, I might even go so far as call it “Irish fusion dance”, as it appeared to generously incorporate elements from other genres, such as show and tap. The combination works very well. This is of course not to say that I have anything against the more traditional style(s), I very much enjoy choreographies made in that vein. But this particular style lends itself very well to show numbers with a more theatrical bent. I wouldn’t want to see all Irish dancing to go this way, but as a new dimension to the genre, I think this is definitely welcome. And of course, the dancers themselves were damn good, which always helps. Anyhow, they’re on youtube so if you want to see what I’m talking about, go have a look. In fairness I must point out that I see very few professional (dance) shows so I have very little to compare this with. I’m sure others would find plenty to be critical of, but I tend to see shows and films with a very high suspension of disbelief, meaning I do my best to focus on what I like and to ignore any imperfections or oddities. That would make me a lousy critic, but on a personal level it makes it much easier to enjoy whatever I go to see.

I’m sort of glad they weren’t wearing that get up in the show we saw.

Dublin of course has a few must see sights. One of these is the Trinity College, which this time we only walked through. I don’t really have that much of an opinion on the place, for me it’s another old university. A guided tour might be nice some time, or a good guide book to all the special features, but barring that, it’s really just a bunch of nice old buildings in a relatively quiet setting in a big city. Still, here’s the token photo.

A tiny part of Trinity College.

One of the places people in the group absolutely wanted to visit, was a cafe famous for its pies. Well, that’s their main sales article, they do it well and serve massive portions so it’s not really a wonder that they’re famous for that. Of course my normal cantankerous self, I had a sandwich and a cream tea. No pie. If I ever go back there, I’ll have a pie then. Promise.
Oh, and the place is called Queen of Tarts.

Not a bad cafe, this.

Another place the group wanted to see was the oldest pub in Ireland. Only I was confused about this for some time, because I thought they were talking about something called The Raisin Head. I’m not sure what that sounded like, but certainly not a centuries old pub.

It was bigger on the inside.

Every now and then one encounters some delicious real life unattended humour, such as with these shopfronts. The thumbnail isn’t too clear, but they are from left to right, The Irish Yeast, Barber’s and Tattoos and The Times We Live Inn. Upon closer inspection the first appeared to be a bakery (presumably one eschewing anything raised with soda or baking powder), the second is odd but self-explanatory and the last one seemed to be a pub. Initially I thought the yeast shop to be, well a yeast shop, which sounded vaguely Pythonesque. And I’ve never seen a tattoo parlour combined with a barber shop. Perhaps they just didn’t have enough customers for either one alone.

What else would one need?

The Brazen Head wasn’t the only name I got wrong. I saw this from across the street and I swear I thought it said Sick and Indecent Roomkeepers Society. I think my version was more entertaining in any case.

I’m sure they’re all upstanding citizens.

I also took a few photos of genuinely ugly architecture, something which I’ve neglected so far. Of course a good majority of modern architecture is ugly, but every now and then something manages to stand out. Or should I say, stick out. This for one is a bloody toilet paper roll for gods’ sakes.

Whoever thought that design was a good idea…

And then there was what must have been the hedquarters of International Corporation Inc. A model example of something managing to be an utterly ugly whole, without being particularly unusual in any single feature.

Insert the Imperial March here.

Then of course there were (are) the obligatory flora photos. I took relatively few photos of plants on this trip, mainly because the weather was cloudy and my camera isn’t at its best then. But also because it was a bit of an awkward time in the season, so I didn’t see as much to photograph as I normally do. In one park there’s this wall of rememberance for famous Irish writers and they had brought these massive barrels full of flowers to decorate the wall. At least they bloomed well and I think I even managed to catch a tiny sliver of sunlight for this photo.

They went on and on and on. Well, until the park wall at least.

The same park had a massive flowerbed still in disrepair after the winter. I don’t normally go for the big violets, but these ones were of a particulary funky colour.

The undersides actually look prettier to me.

This doesn’t qualify as flora, but at least it’s colourful. I have a soft spot for lichen covered stone, hence the photo.

Sure beats modern art.

And then last but not least, here’s something I spotted in a shop window. Wouldn’t it be great if someone went and actually redid a whole album in this style? Just for the comedy value.

Yes, I lifted this post’s title from that green thing.

All in all it was a fun trip, a welcome getaway from all the other stuff that’s going on. I did stress about the trip to Bratislava airport quite a bit, but everything went smoothly. On the way back I narrowly missed an earlier train from Bratislava because of queues, but that turned out to be very fortuitous, as that particular train broke down and arrived hours later than the train I ended up taking. As it was, I only was delayed for about an hour. All’s well that ends well and all that.

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