The list, the list, that list. Again!
As Urbun, a café in the South Dublin suburb of Cabinteely, is on my caffeine trail and as Cabinteely Park is next to Urbun I often meander around the park post my latte fix. I normally stick to the lower reaches of the 80 odd acre park as there is plenty to see there such as: the small pretty lake with ducks and swans gliding across it; paths along which centuries old trees stand sentinel; and in the summer the apple orchard, close to the lower gates, is gloriously underplanted with a dense carpet of colourful meadow flowers.
I am forever wondering how I can improve my writing. There are tons of suggestions out there and one I often encounter is the advice to read a lot. Of course, there are other things I could do so when I saw that a feature writing workshop was on the list of events for last weekend’s Mountains to Sea Book Festival I didn’t hesitate for a nano second before signing up.
In a little short of two weeks, from now, I start my full-time photography course. My feelings about my forthcoming studies are dual in that I am eagerly anticipating them and yet am apprehensive about my ability to wrap my brain around the theoretical aspects of photography.
When I drive into the centre of Dublin, Ely Place is one of my preferred parking spots so over time I have got to know it well. It’s nicely tucked away, yet central as it’s a mere stone’s throw from Dublin’s St Stephens Green and from one of the city’s main shopping arteries: Grafton Street. It’s lined either side with charming Georgian buildings and as city streets go it’s not long but there is a surprising amount one can do there.
So. I put learning a little about the history of art, by reading some books on the subject, on my list of things I would like to do over the next decade. So. I have over nine thousand images that I’ve taken over the past few years stored on my MacBook, and I am beginning to worry that if I don’t delete some of them soon my Macbook’s memory may implode like a dangerous building being demolished with dynamite.
When I walk Dublin’s grey-flecked flagstone pavements I am only dimly aware of the ghostly echo of the literary giants who once trod those selfsame routes. The roll call of the great and good of Irish writers of yore who have connections with Dublin is lengthy: Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce …
Ye gods and little fishes, the weeks of January are cascading rapidly into each other and the month is whizzing by almost as fast as a waterfall flowing swiftly down a steep ravine. I realised that it is nearly January’s end and I had not yet spend a day at leisure in town (town as I mentioned before is what native Dubliners call the centre of their city). Time to rectify that so today I headed townward.
On the east side of Dublin’s two hundred and fifty year old Merrion Square there is a beautiful centuries old town house that is home to the Irish Architectural Archive. I have to confess, somewhat shamefacedly, that the first time I heard of the Irish Architectural Archive ( from now on refered to by its initials – IAA) was when I went to the pop-up shop they hosted a few weeks ago as part of The Christmas on The Square initiative. I knew the instant I walked through the IAA’s door into an imposing flooded-with-light, large, high-ceilinged hallway which houses a compelling exhibition of scale models of building designed by Eileen Grey, that it was somewhere I would want to revisit.
A couple of Saturdays ago when I was in Parnell Square visiting the Dublin City Gallery I popped into the Irish Writers’ Centre, which is a few buildings down from the gallery, to pick up a leaflet giving details of their creative writing classes. Such was the pull of the place that there and then I signed on the dotted line for membership.