I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Paddy, Yeats, Barbara & Chocolate!


Wow, my first ever St Patrick's Day in Ireland! Dublin, to be exact. The sky stopped crying just at the right time, long enough for the traditional parade to take place without the risk of everything getting smudged. I had a wonderful view of the floats and performers, thanks to the fact that they passed just beneath the window of my hotel room in Parnell Square. Here's a taste of some of the sights, while I work on a little video presentation for later:


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But St Patrick's Day was special for another reason: I was invited to have dinner with the poet and blogger Barbara Smith. My very first blogmeetle, which came with a delicious vegetarian meal (I am such a pain when it comes to my meatlessness)! It was a real delight to meet Barbara and some of her family. She was exactly how I imagined she would be: warm, funny and generous in spirit. What a treat it all was, and Barbara and her husband even showed me around some of their beautiful countryside. March 17, 2008, will stay in my memory for a very long time.

* * * * *

I got a fair amount of writing done while I was in Dublin: the skeleton for a short story, a poem and about five pages towards my novel. My new fountain pen was such a pleasure to use, as I soaked up all the energy and charm that my father's city has to offer. I read quite a bit as well.

There was also a great exhibition on the life of W.B.Yeats at the National Library, with fascinating copies of his drafts and notes on numerous poems. I always find it interesting to see how great poets edit their own work, to see the before and after. It was also a treat to hear Seamus Heaney and Sinead O'Connor read out some of Yeats' poems.

Just down the road, at Trinity College, I finally got a chance to see the Book of Kells. Whenever I'd gone to see these old treasures in the past I'd always been put off by the long queues; this time, though, on a Tuesday, there was virtually no one around. What a strange silence and feeling of deep awe to at last see these books up close!

* * * * *

There was some good news and bad news on my return to Lyon. The computer has been fixed and no personal data has been lost. Whew! I thought I'd lost about 15 unsaved pages of my novel. But no, they're all there. Apparently the power hub overheated.

I've also discovered there's a new little chocolate shop just opened in the street beneath our building. Mmmmmm. Handmade. Delicious-looking. I will probably give in to the daily, excruciating temptations. I mean, I've got to support local business, right?

The bad news is that we have no internet or television connection. We don't know why and they say they're on to it. It's been two days. I'm writing this post in an internet café and I won't even begin to tell you how difficult it's been to post this with the photos. So, in the meantime, sorry if I am tardy in my blog visits and my answering of emails and messages.


Anonymous said...

you can some of your hotel room photos to
hotelroomphotos dot com for others to see.

aims said...

How lovely for you to be in Ireland on St. Patty's day!! The pics are fantastic!

And meeting a fellow blogger is so much fun isn't it? I have been able to meet up with 4 others on two different visits. Those visits lasted a good 7 hours each time! So much to say and talk about!

On your bad news - I totally agree. One must! support the local economy..

Eric Valentine said...

What a great feeling it must have been for you, to be in Dublin on St.Paddy's Day!

Then of course the bonus's that went with your vist. I can sense the excitement you must have felt, as it all washed over you.

Fantastic stuff Seamus. Thanks for sharing. :)

Jon M said...

The centre of the civilised world!

Lane Mathias said...

What a riot of colour. The parade looks fantastic:-)
Sounds like a stupendous trip to the land of your father - and to get back to no lost data and a new chocolate shop is just the icing on the cake:-)

Hope the interweb is fixed soon:-)

S. Kearney said...

Hotelroomphotos - Why, thank you for your interest, if you're not a robot that crawls the blog world! What a nice idea for a web site!

Aims - Thank you. I've just finished putting a wee video together of photos and video clips of the parade. I will post it once my internet connection is back up. Aaaggghh. And yes, the chocolate shop will be visited very very soon! :-)

Eric - Thanks. Yes, what a special day that was. St Paddy's day will always mean so much more to me now. :-)

Jon - The centre. Yes! The centre of so many things. I love the place. :-)

Lane - Yes, I do love that first photo. The colours make me want to sing!

virtual nexus said...

Great, colourful post under the circumstances. Glad to hear the writing is going smoothly with the new pen....

Happy Easter!

Pearl said...

The St. Paddy's parade is a lot more lively there.

It's always fun to meet other bloggers.

Must support local chocolate, I mean, businesses. Glad you didn't lose anything in the overheating.

Happy Easter.Good time to buy chocolate.

S. Kearney said...

Julie - Thank you. Happy Easter to you and yours too. The pen is a saint! :-)

Pearl - Yes, nothing like St Paddy's day in Dublin. And what a brilliant day to meet an Irish writer/blogger! And now that I think about it, yes, the shop probably opened in time for Easter and might be gone next week. Damn.

Unknown said...

Loved this post, Shamey! So bright and happy and full of all thing Irish, which I just love. Isn't the Book of Kells just too exquisite? And did you go into the old library and absorb the scent of ancient books. Makes you realise why being a writer is just such a magical experience! And as for Yeats, ah that man can make my soul sing especially when I think of the "golden apples of the sun" and the place where "peace comes dropping slow" :-)

laurie said...

fabulous, vibrant photos! i'm glad the rain stopped for you.

and a chocolate shop on the ground floor sounds like just the thing...

laurie said...

ps we saw the book of kells on our last visit to dublin, two years ago. i loved the book room even more than the book of kells itself....the ladders, the musty book smell, all those old and crumbling volumes...

Debi said...

I had no idea St Paddy's day would look like Rio at carnival time.

And are you the same Shameless who was anonymous just a short time ago and said he didn't know if he could handle coming out from the shadows?

Welcome to the light, my friend.

Now, when are you coming to London? Meatfree is no probs for us veggies.

S. Kearney said...

Absolute Vanilla - Thanks. Oh, yes, the book room upstairs was DIVINE!! I really wanted to take some photos but it's not allowed. And there were little gremlins walking around making sure no one tried!

Laurie - Yes, we were very lucky the rain stopped for the parade. I'm putting up a video soon to show more of the colour and sound. :-) And the book room ... I could live in there!

Debi - Ahhhhh, the old anonymous cloak has well and truly been put away in the cupboard. And it didn't hurt. No probs. I think it's good sense, though, that I don't talk about work! The difference between "anonymous" and "out" on this blog ended up neither here nor there. So, yes, London would be a blast if we can make it happen. I'm in! :-) Falafels?

Unknown said...

Your pictures make Dublin look like a real carnival spot. It was a real pleasure having you down for a meal - the kids are still talking about it.

I hope your internet connection gets sorted out soon.

Chocolate... mmm!

Chris Eldin said...

I showed these pics to my children.
They are stunning!!! Wow, those colors!!!

S. Kearney said...

Cailleach - Luckily the sun came out and boosted the colours! Likewise, I'm really glad that we we managed to hook up ... the next blogmeetle will have to include "the others". :-)

Christine - Yes, those splashes of happiness are good for the soul! :-)

Marie said...

Amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing.

S. Kearney said...

Marie - Thank you. The colour is so good for the soul, no?

Debi said...

I make a mean falafel ...

S. Kearney said...

Debi - Yesssss!!!!!!!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Can I just tell you, I am JADE GREEN with pure envy... and simultaneously completely delighted that you got to go and be there for this, how special and fun!

I love the photos (of course) and the tales...
and now you are off to another little corner of the world.
I will be doing that myself someday soon... photojournaling all over the world.
You do inspire me, and it's so tough waiting to get to that point!

But visiting here does ease that quite a bit.

Grazie Mille!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

St.Patrick is writing a novel and he is a person who writes short poems.March,17,2008 was a very special day for him because he was invited for a dinner with a geneous poet Barbara Smith