Last night after work I headed East, into the city centre, instead of North, to home. I drove: as yet I haven’t found a method of public transport that takes less than 90 minutes, compared to a 30 minute drive, so driving it is.
On my way I passed:
– A vomit pink stretch limo. Because nothing says class like that. Except perhaps a hummer limo. Those are around too. Perhaps a vomit pink hummer limo?
– A group of kids waiting by a bus stop. A person walked by them and as she did so knocked a traffic cone into the road and ignored it, carrying on walking. The kids waited until she’d gone, and then picked it up and put it back where it should be.
I drove through the suburbs I used to live in, past the best Indian take away in the city, past the coffee shop the Tuesday night knitting group meets at, over the canal that I’ve walked down many times, up past bars where I’ve seen some awesome gigs, through the small detour that only locals know to beat the no right turns and one way system. It felt like my city.
I stopped for a delicious pancake in Lemon – my usual veggie powercrepe plus: spinach and black pepper and garlic mushrooms and creme fraiche and cheese, before heading on to pub number one to meet friends.
Then I was on the move again, heading North. Through Temple Bar, dodging the kids and the hen parties, over the Liffey on the millenium bridge with the great view of the H’appeny bridge all lit up for the night. Through the Italian quarter, cafe bars packed, people sitting outside with tiny strong coffees and woolly hats on. Past the soulless shopping centre, and into pub number two, a converted 18th century church.
Later then, retracing my steps back to pub number one. It’s dark, but the warmth in the air offsets the slight edge that comes to the city at night. I skirt the groups of tipsy revellers, give directions to a drunk student, and hit the river again. It’s high, and still, and reflects the bridges that cross it. I pause, and take in the city. It’s beautiful.
I remember this as I drive home, slowly at first, drunk people throwing themselves in front of my car in the hope that I might be a taxi; stuck in traffic at 1am because a taxi has broken down and is being collected in the middle of the road rather than at the side. I pull over to let a Garda car fly by, then an ambulance.
Then home, and thoughts of tea, and a bowl of warm apple crumble. But I’m too tired, so instead I curl up in my bed and fall fast asleep…