Thanks to the inclement weather, a walk in the park seemed unwise. A decision had to be made. I was not going to loll about the house like a sack of meal that Sunday afternoon. I put on my stylish anorak and headed outdoors. My first stop was to the coffee-shop near my house, where a caffeine-infused warm beverage (a coffee) was drank). Over the river I trotted. I was walking past Pearse Street Station on Westland Row when the skies opened. Into Saint Andrew’s Church I went for shelter. That’s one of the functions of a church I think. I was reading the history of the church on the plaque on the wall (built in 1832, three years after the Catholic Emancipation Act which legalised catholic churches, it is quite a splendid building in that gaudy catholic style). I was admiring the interior when a Polish priest approached me and told me that the church was closed. I departed.
The rain had eased. I continued on my way. Passing Sweny’s Pharmacy on Lincoln Place a young gentleman was telling an American that this shop had featured in James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ but was now a Joycean museum. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. Into the shop I went. Behind the counter sat a woman who greeted me and welcomed me to the shop. It was designed in the manner of an early twentieth century apothecary – similar to how it would have looked in Joyce’s time. She told me that the shop now functioned as a meeting place for Joyce aficionados, who met there each evening for a reading of a segment of the book. Not having read the book myself, I stroked my chin and nodded wisely, to give the impression that I had. She was a volunteer at the shop – until ten years ago it was still a chemist’s shop.
Walking along Merrion Square, it started raining again. I darted into the National Museum of Natural History (also known as ‘The Dead Zoo’) to look at the stuffed animals, until the shower passed.
Onward I travelled. Until I reached my destination. The Royal Hibernian Academy on Ely Place. This large art gallery was built in 1970. Despite having worked only a few doors away for two years, last century, I never knew it existed. There was a flurry of activity in the gallery. On Monday there was to be an auction of all the art on display. Cultured people walked about with the catalogues making notes as they passed certain piece. As the paintings and sculptures on display were for a sale, it was an eclectic mix.
As I crossed Baggot Street after leaving the gallery, I noticed a sign for Number 29 Georgian House Museum. Another undiscovered place. I needed to rectify that. I strolled along to Fitzwilliam Street. Number 29 was no more. In its placed was a building site. A shiny new glass building will be built in its place. A shame.
I hopped into the number 66 bus and made my way to my final destination of the day – the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. I had purchased tickets to see the 1959 film ‘Some Like it Hot’ that evening, This is one of my all-time favourite films. Starring Marilyn Monroe; Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, it’s the age old tale of musicians who witness a murder and who go into hiding, dressed as women in an all-female band. It’s an absolute classic of a film. The perfect way to end a Sunday afternoon.