Friday, 9 April 2010


Dublin's famous beverage

Anna Livia - personification of the River Liffey as a woman.
Locally known as The Floozie in the Jacuzzi,
The Hoor in the Sewer or Viagra Falls.

Oscar Wilde
locally known as The Fag on the Crag, The Quare in the Square
or The Queer with the Leer

Sweet Molly Malone
locally known as The Tart with the Cart,
The Dolly with the Trolley or The Trollop with the Scallop

James A.A. Joyce
locally known as The Prick with the Stick

The second holiday of the year happened Thursday when we went up to Dublin, which is my second most favourite city in Ireland. My first preference, whatever the weather, will always be Cork. Some places have a special effect on us and speak directly to the heart and Cork does that to me.

Not that there is anything wrong with Dublin, for it is a friendly city as cities go. Small by comparison to most European capitals, though it still manages kill my feet and I am glad to find a bench on which to take a rest and have a puff on my pipe. Better was the pipe today for my sole purpose for making the visit was to go to Peterson's and replenish my stock of 9mm charcoal filters. My next visit to them will be to buy a new pipe.

I had a shock that morning for our rail station was jam packed with folk going to Dublin, even more than on that day when we joined the anti - Iraq war march and a 100,000 people peacefully marched through Dublin's main thoroughfares. So this morning I was almost tempted to go and ask a few of them if there was something going on that I should know about. It was a grand journey despite the fullness of the train and I managed to get a window seat, plugged in my Nano Shuffle only to find after fiddling with it that the battery was flat, so I caught up on some sleep instead.

From Heuston rail station we took the bus to St.Stephen's Green - Mrs H's first visit to Dublin's 26 acre inner city park. It is I believe a must for any visitor to this city with it's bronze statues, fountains, lakes and formal gardens with dozens of benches to sit on and watch the world go by. From there we went to the nearby shopping arcade the St Stephen's Centre, I felt that it would be the ideal therapy for my busy artist wife, especially with TK MAXX on the second floor.

On Grafton Street were even more stores to whet a shoppers' appetite, catering for the many different classes of credit cards right up to Platinum. This is a street of character though, with it's liveried doormen, conjurors, musicians, singers and many flower stalls whose scents perfume the pavements. It was on this street that many a now professional musician/pop star started their career. I once met the mother of a cellist in Belfast, who would regularly drive her daughter to Grafton St. for the sole purpose of getting the young woman accustomed to playing in public.

Throughout the city there are dozens of bronze statues, depicting some of Dublin's most famous characters: whether they be real people or fictional representations such as Molly Malone. It is the characteristic nature of the Dubliner to have an earthy sense of humour, that sportingly derides poshness or false dignity: thus there are nicknames for almost every piece of bronze in the city.


  1. Dublin is very high on my "city wish list" so thanks for the "visit". My first ever boyfriend attended Black Rock College (which is, I believe, somewhere in Dublin), played rugby and drank Guinness, so it would seem only fair to tidy up some loose ends in our relationship... which, by the way... ended some 40 years ago!

  2. Hi, I have never been to Cork, so cannot comment. But I love Dublin and have spent some very 'happy' times in Temple Bar!

  3. Oh, your post made me laugh so much, Mel. Funnily enough, the only time I went to Dublin was to manage the Art Bronze Foundry there, but I just wasn't Irish enough to get the job (during the height of the troubles just a few miles north - probably saved my life).

  4. I love that memorial to Wilde. He seems to have a knowing smirk on his face. Good for him!

  5. The Wilde statue immediately made me think of Jonathan Ross, and now I can't get the likeness out of my head. I would have to vandalise it.

  6. Oh, thank you for such wicked post and pictures", Sir Heron :). I loved the cheek, wit and daring of the great Dubliners' sculptures! ...Fresh, revived look onto this new millenium for such timeless names :)

  7. I've been to Dublin, Heron, and loved it. What a friendly, intimate city it is, and everyone we encountered there was, I admit, slightly merry with the Guiness (probably), but oh so charming and kind. I really enjoyed it. Your photos and their captions have given me my best laugh for weeks. Thank you!

  8. Haven't been to Dublin since 1989, when my sister got married there, having met a local lad when we breezed through there in 1984. You've brought back some wonderful memories. My memories of the Grafton Street shops are that most dresses didn't fit me in the chest, and one sales clerk said you didn't get many of those (my breasts, he meant) for your pound. Ah, Irish charm.


  9. Ah thank you for the virtual tour! Someday! Will drink a Guiness in solidarity!

  10. Hi Heron

    Dublin is a lovely city and is great for a couple of days visiting but I love getting back to the quiet of the country. Funny enough but I love Galway, I find it has the big city atmosphere and yet it feels more homely, more relaxed. Maybe because Galway is our Capital and all the time you feel connected in a way I don't get in Dublin. The Dubs are nice enough like but you can't beat the Culchie's.

  11. I'm very fond of Dublin -- Now I'll have to visit Cork.

  12. This is cool , would love to go to Dublin one day :-)

  13. Hello Heron - firstly thank you for your visit to my blog and leaving a comment. Of course you have identified my little town. I have only ever made one brief visit to Dublin when we used to visit my step-daughter and her family in Skibbereen and therefore were more used to Cork. Now they live in New Zealand so in all probability we may never visit Ireland again. Enjoyed reading about your visit to Dublin though and was amused with the various names of the bronze statues. A

  14. Heard about icecream made from Guinness the other day would you believe - would have to be better than the blue cheese icecream one of the Masterchef finalists produced. I haven't been to Cork or Dublin, wish I had. On a par with Edinburgh I wonder...

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  16. lol Heron!
    The colloquialisms are great!
    I will now have to think of a name for the statue of the explorer David Thompson and his wife Charlotte Small that graces the entrance to our town!

  17. My thanks to all of you for your worthy comments.

    I was rather worried when writing this particular blog, that the Dublin colloquialisms might offend however, as we have only lost one Follower perhaps my worries were unnecessary.

    Every city is different thank goodness! For not even globalisation has managed to impinge upon the expressions of their citizens :-)
    So I can expect to read of your visits to places mentioned here ?

  18. Guinness is my favorite as I am fond of stout. Can't seem to enjoy the taste of a wimpy, pale ale. The stouter the better!


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