SPENDING A GOOD CHUNK of this summer in Dublin, which is a city I know not at all. I’m really enjoying it so far. I lived in London but could never get my head round it—it was just too damn big. Afterwards I lived in Edinburgh, but it was too far north, too cold. Then I lived in Cambridge, in East Anglia, which was simply too English (even though I like England—but not so concentrated). After that—indeed, since then—I’ve been in Skibbereen in the west of Ireland, which I find too country and western (they park in yellow grid boxes, for goodness sake, which are designed to keep junctions clear). But—Goldilocks-like—Dublin I find just right.
I’m reviewing the final pages of a book which is going to be out later this year (the postcards book, to be published by The Collins Press) so I’m not doing as much here as I’d planned; the pages were supposed to be completely finished with by now, but . . . the puny plans of men and all that. Nevertheless, here are half a dozen or so photos from my first week: I’m staying in Dalkey, so clearly I have not ventured very far—Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove to the north and Killiney to the south; I’ve been into the city centre a couple of times too, but, so far, only on business, which is to say the National Library.
Also included here is the chorus from the Bagatelle chart success from all those years ago, which I find myself singing or humming to myself all the time as I cycle and potter about in this glorious weather.
I remember that summer in Dublin,
And the Liffey as it stank like hell,
And young people walking down Grafton Street,
Everyone looking so well.
I was singing a song I heard somewhere,
Called “Rock’n’Roll Never Forget”,
When my humming was smothered by the 46A,
And the scream of a low flying jet.
So, I jumped on a bus to Dun Laoghaire,
Stopping off to pick up my guitar,
When a drunk on a bus told me how to get rich,
I was glad we weren’t going too far.