As good old Dorothy pined: ‘There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home’! Nowhere else in the world could you get a text at 7.30pm to ‘meet you at 9 in the pub’ and you’re guaranteed everyone will turn up. It happened just last night! In any other country I’ve lived in, dates like this are diary-made…and kept to the minute and second. Friendships can be made (and more importantly lost) on your sociable punctuality!
But I digress, our spontaneous arrangement goaded me into standing up to my regular (if not rather proud) boast: I’d be a good asset in a pub quiz if you’re talking all things Ireland! I can tell you that there are over 440 golf courses on this small island; that the inventor of the submarine was a man named John Holland from Liscannor in County Clare; Cave Hill in Belfast inspired Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; and that the roaring lion for MGM was actually a Dubliner.
But facts are one thing, experiencing Ireland is quite another.
I’ve travelled lots of Ireland, but I’d still like to see the sunset over Laois’ Slieve Bloom Mountains, catch a glimpse of the leather-clad guys whizzing by on their suped-up bikes at the North West 200 in Londonderry, or take time out to hit gorgeous County Wicklow next to me here in Dublin, and be inspired to create amazing crafts just by soaking up my surroundings.
For now, though, I’ll stick with the spontaneous nights out in the pub, and make do with my weekends exploring the parts of Ireland even this local hasn’t got round to yet!
And if you’re wondering, we came second…for the life of me, I just couldn’t remember which Nobel prize winner was offered the presidency of a country of which he was not even a citizen?…answers on a postcard (or right here, please!)