As cultured as yoghurt…Part 1

I’ve been neglecting this blog of late, thanks to how occupied I have been. Never fear however. With the amount of culture I have consumed since last weekend, I am turning into a yoghurt. To keep you all informed (and more importantly for my own record) I will give a potted summary of the last nine days.

Saturday, 6th October

I booked a ticket to attend the Little Museum of Dublin on St. Stephen’s Green. I’d been warned that pre-booking was advisable for this folk museum as it is both compact and popular. Set on three floors this is a collection of pieces representing Dublin, as gifted to the museum by ordinary people. The history of the city is told in a personal way by the entertaining tour guides. A fascinating place – even the top floor which is a U2 exhibition. Recommended.

After the museum I took a stroll to St Patrick’s Cathedral – in the grounds of which is Marsh’s Library which was opened as the country’s very first public library in 1707. Beautifully preserved and atmospheric, you are not allowed to handle the books. But to breathe in the atmosphere and history is impressive. The kindly lady at the reception did not charge me the usual five-euro entrance as the library was shutting at 5pm and I appeared at 4.40pm.

I crossed the river to Smithfield where I met my friend. We had plans to see ‘A Star is Born’ starring Baroness Gaga. An excellent film.

Sunday, 7th October

Catastrophe. Kylie Minogue had a sore throat, so she had to postpone that evening’s concert. I needed to get out of the house to clear my head. An instant decision was made to pay a visit to Rathfarnham Castle. This is a castle I never even knew existed. Google can be informative as well as all seeing. On the way to the bus stop I passed the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and noticed a poster for a show called ‘It’s all about me: an evening with Joanna Lumley’. The tears of grief that were soaking my face at the Kylie cancellation soon dried. Patsy Stone was a decent alternative.

Rathfarnham Castle is a 16th century fortified house. Reasonably interesting and engaging I guess. But compared to the other Dublin castles I have visited (Dublin Castle; Malahide Castle; Dalkey Castle; Ardgillan Castle) it was somewhat lacking.

Joanna Lumley’s show was entertaining – she recounted her tales of life as a model in the swinging sixties; her career as an actress starting in the 1970s; and her favourite career as a presenter of travel programmes. Well worth seeing.

Thursday, 11th October

A concert – again in the Bord Gais Energy theatre – by Andy Irvine and Paul Brady. These two were both members of legendary Irish folk group Planxty in the 1970s and recorded an album as a duo when the band broke up. Pau Brady (in particular) went on to enjoy solo success in the 80s and 90s. Now over forty years since their album the two men are reunited for a tour – ably backed by Donal Lunny.

This wouldn’t normally be my kind of music. Or to be a bit clearer, I would enjoy the music but wouldn’t consider buying a ticket myself. As luck would have it a complimentary ticket was available, and it had my name on it. A most enjoyable evening.

To be continued…

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