I had a visitor from the mainland yesterday evening – from Germany to be more specific. After all the continental gossip and several mugs of morning coffee we decided to venture out for some lunch in the neighbourhood.
There is a café near my house which styles itself as an eatery. Regular readers of this blog will know of my deeply irrational hatred of this word. It is an unnecessary addition to the lexicon of words that describe eating establishments. It’s a word used by cafes with notions. And if there is one thing true about me, it is my suspicion towards notions.
My friend in his innocence piped up ‘That place looks nice’. I am self-aware enough to understand that my attitude towards the word ‘eatery’ has no rhyme or reason. Nor can the fact that it is called this be used as a judgement card on how good the cooking is.
I bit my lip and acquiesced. So, for the first time in my life I darkened the door of an eatery. The food was good, but as I was freshening up in the shittery afterwards (if a café can call itself an eatery then there’s no reason why I can’t describe their facilities in this manner) I thought that a return visit was unlikely. This attitude is lacking in common sense I realise, but someone must take a stand. And that soldier of destiny is my good self.
When my friend departed for his next destination, I made my way to the Phoenix Park, where I was meeting a friend and expecting an introduction. To his new puppy. A beautiful four-month old spaniel/border collie rescue pup. I had forgotten how curious and energetic pups can be. Every leaf in the park was worth exploring. Everything that looked vaguely edible was sampled – including another dog’s turd. This was an unfortunate turn of events but he quickly forgot it when another dog approached and he went into spasms of joy at meeting one of his kind. As he is so young he hasn’t yet figured out that if you throw a ball, he chases it and brings it back, then he is meant to surrender it if he wants to chase it again. He really was a very sweet boy. I must offer to take him for a walk sometime again.
I was getting the tram home. As I approached the stop I heard the tram trundling behind me. I was about one hundred metres from the stop. If I ran I could make it. The gentleman in front of me had the same idea. We both started jogging towards it. Just as we reached it, it pulled away. We looked at each other and laughed
The next tram was in three minutes. We started chatting. His accent was northern English. He told me about his excursion to Howth. I recommended that he try the Greystones to Bray walk. He told me that he had been sober for eight months and that he’d been slightly worried about visiting Dublin. I told him there was plenty he could do without drinking.
He told me about his blog. It is called The Sober Yorkshireman.
I told him about my blog.
Then he alighted from the tram.
I know what I’ll be doing for the next hour then. I have smoked mackerel to eat, and a blog to read.