You could be forgiven for thinking this is any old piano,
or that this is any old letterbox upon which I have laid my hand in homage...
but that's James Joyce's piano, and none other than the number 7 Eccles Street front door.
No longer to be found in Eccles Street and actually this is no ordinary front door either... this is an M&S front door, because they now own it, but I found it eventually and not in the Food Hall.
So I've done the whole tourist thing and I'm sorry for making you walk quite so far because I'm not sure where I've left my feet either, they don't seem to belong to me today, though I do have to sing the praises of my new Mukluk FitFlop boots. Wherever they redistribute the weight around the soles of my feet, it's in the right places, like walking round with footduvets on, all making Dublin painless and magnificent.
Even the oft-maligned Ryanair was fine, nice fleet of smart planes that looked a lot more substantial than the OtherCheap flights I've done in airfix models with wobbly wings.
The flight home was delayed yesterday evening which had me in a bit of a panic about running out of book as I was nearing the end of Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor, and in trying to save enough to have to read on the plane I idled away some airport time trying to spend the very last bit of Euro coinage.
I can't tell you what on yet because it's a little gift for the Tinker and he'll read this before I see him.
I had foolishly pronounced some time ago that the next person to go to Euroland had to take the fifty euros of loose change collected from various trips previous, not realising it would be me or how much it weighed, and then for some reason I became quietly obssessed about not bringing any coins back with me.
I can now quickly apologise to the man in the Winding Stair bookshop where I bought the nice edition of Yeats's poetry and who is unlikely to run out of change for the forseeable future, the man on the till at the Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College likewise, the taxi driver who got me to the lunch on time and the ticket seller at the Famine Ship Museum who helped me to engineer a complex mental arithmetical double exchange of coins and notes at 4pm that left me with the lesser note and her with even more coins.
And I saw and did a whole lot more besides, Cultural Night, the National Photographic Archive exhibition 'Power & Privilege, The Big House in Ireland 1858-1922', the W.B. Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland (extraordinarily powerful) the James Joyce Centre, The Writer's Museum, Grafton Street, O'Connell Street, all of which I shall present for your delectation through this week.
And I even went and found this just so I could say Team Ulysses had been there.
My very sincere thanks to the Irish Tourist Board for their invitation and all the care and effort they had put into the trip, and yes I did get to sit and talk one-to-one with Joseph O'Connor in The Winding Stair restaurant and yes, the voice recorder was switched on, and yes he is wonderful to talk to, much more about that soon too.
Not forgetting the PEN event either, much to tell you about Thursday including afternoon tea with two authors, one of whom is on this year's Booker short list and the other who was there a few years ago, and all the lovely people I met that evening. Thank you to those of you who came, I could see you all smiling at me in the audience, it was lovely.
Can all this really be happening to me?
But it's back to reality and I quite thought I'd be getting a year older in Dublin airport because it's that day with the candles again, which seems to be coming around at warp-speed, but Bookhound trilled 'the song' halfway back down the M5, as midnight chimed.
Thank you for cards... you have very amazing memories. The Kayaker rang 'very early' this morning (we must be grateful even if half asleep which I was) and of course the Tinker rang too, but he knows that this is one of those days in the year when I miss my Mum the most, she loved birthdays, so this picture always seems to fit the day nicely.
I always like to think that gaze is fixed in my memory somewhere.