Home safely yesterday evening even though I took a wrong turn heading for my departure gate at Dublin airport ( just how on earth did I manage that) and ended up in customs and passport control for flight arrivals and entry into Dublin. Fortunately no one else there and the policeman took one look at my face when he told me I'd need to walk out of the airport, walk right the way round, come back in, book in again, go through departures again, and I think fearing he'd have to make a 999 call if not resuscitate me himself if he didn't move fast, he whisked me through all the coded security doors and let me back into Ireland so I could leave again, and I promised not to tell anyone so if you could keep that bit quiet I'd be grateful.
As you can see a huge number of passengers alighting from the enormous plane at Plymouth airport...this was the sum total of us with a few more carrying on to Newquay. You can imagine the crush in baggage reclaim.
Some of you may recall my last visit and that really excellent twenty-one volume series of James Joyce Studies books for sale at the National Library in Dublin. Well to my delight, as I nipped in to see the Yeats exhibition once more, a little sign saying 'Library Shop - Closing Down Sale.'
Last visit, being a wimp and thinking I couldn't carry them all I bought about six volumes and had been unusually organised this time and noted down the ones I still needed, and at 1 euro each that seemed like a bargain. So I pulled them all out and then noticed the sign saying ' Complete Set 5 euros.' I think we can all do the maths there, so my right arm is straining under the weight of twenty one volumes of James Joyce Studies, the very weighty copy of Ulysses Unbound, a copy of Ulysses given to me at the talk, the books I took along to read, some wool, gifts for the family,...usual story.
So three very wonderful days, and my sincere thanks to blog-reader Brenda who I met yesterday morning and apart from the wonderful bookish natter, Brenda, a Dubliner born and bred, really got my history up to scratch before very kindly dropping me off at the prison.
Kilmainham Gaol the location for the execution of the prisoners after the 1916 Easter uprising, and Brenda was right, it is indeed very sobering to stand out in the stonebreaker's yard on the spot where James Connolloy was tied to that chair..
By my pedometer calculations about thirty miles of city walking done so I feel a bit jet-lagged today, I mean that flight was all of fifty-five minutes.
More about Dublin slotted in over the next few weeks but meanwhile today has been more preparation for the imminent arrival of the book room woodburning stove and we are bracing for one of life's inconvenient days tomorrow, major electricity work somewhere out on the grid so no power all day, which also means no water, no phone, no internet, no work, no e mails, might as well be round the dark side of the moon, so it'll be a bit like the olden days and I'll just have to read a book I suppose.