Sunday, November 04, 2001

Another Day

Another Day

The hostel here does not provide breakfast, but has a restaurant attached. We thought we would sleep in, but the noise prevented that from happening. Obviously, everyone thought that our little shower in the hideaway was a great idea, so there was a parade of people by our door. We were supposed to change rooms today, which would have meant packing our things, putting them in the locked luggage room, wait until 2:30 pm to claim them again and bring them to our new room. Ron talked them into letting us keep our room for one more night.

The plan was to get a coffee and scone or something small for breakfast. We were going to a Quaker Meeting for service. Dublin sleeps in late on Sundays. By 10:30, we were hard pressed to find anything open, no newsagents, no coffee shops, no pubs, no restaurants, and no stores. Nada, nothing, except McDonalds, the last port in a storm, was open for breakfast. We had Mcmuffins and coffee and went off to the service.

The Meeting Hall is small, with dark wooden benches in a hexagon pattern. There are not many of them, but surprisingly, most of the people at the service were under forty. After the service is coffee and tea with cookies. We met one of the older members of the community, who happened to be from Kansas, but married an Irishman and has been here for forty years. The people were friendly and welcomed us. We also met Charley Farley, a longhaired dachshund who has lost the use of his back legs, but still moves around by scooting. He was wearing a child’s diaper and was with one of the members. He goes everywhere with his keepers. We found out that Quakerism has been in Dublin since 1669.

After leaving there, we went hunting for a proper cup of coffee with caffeine to get us going and found that the coffee cafés had finally opened. Funny that none of the bakeries, which you would expect would do a good business on Sundays, were not open.

Our day’s journey included taking the DART to Malahide to see the Malahide castle. After getting to the Malahide stop, it was a short walk around to the castle entrance, then a brisk autumn walk through a forested area to the castle entrance. A Lord, not a heavy-duty royal member, owned this castle. This is typical of many of the castles in Ireland. The castle was family occupied for over eight hundred years. When the last owner died, his sister inherited the property, but had to sell it to cover the inheritance taxes. She sold it to the government and moved to her estate in Tasmania. She reportedly is eighty-seven, in excellent health and visits the property every year.

We were able to visit a number of rooms, which gave us an idea of what money can buy, but it was nothing spectacular. The rooms are dark colors, with little natural light and seem to be dreary, though that was the style. It was a perfect jaunt for a Sunday afternoon.

On the DART back, it was crowded. The seats were occupied by two very young men. I was sitting with my back to them and did not know how hold they were for quite awhile. One was probably ten and the other was about thirteen years old. They had the most comical adlib routine going and had most of the other passengers in hysterics. They got off at the same station we did and we had to tell them how much we enjoyed their performance. It seemed to please them a great deal as each has aspirations to be actors and other areas of the entertainment arts. They were quite talented.

Later tonight, Ron decided to go to a Gospel Mass at what seemed to be an African church. Part of that information by-passed me, so I stayed behind to write. What looked by the flyer to be an African Gospel choir was really a non-person of color choir at a Catholic church. He found it was very enjoyable, but said the whole choir was Caucasian. What a disappointment. I appreciated my time alone. When we were still living in California, I would get up between 6:00 and 6:30 am, get my tea and read either the paper or a book. Around 7:00 when Ron went into the shower, Stevie, our dog would meander out of the bedroom to be put outside in the backyard. I would still have another half hour for private time, before having to get ready for work. That quiet time is so essential for getting started in the morning, at least it is for me. Sometimes, when I am having a difficult time getting up, because of a difficult time getting to sleep, Ron will get up first and go for a walk in whatever neighborhood we happen to be in. It is good for both of us to have some time.

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