#YARRLAND @ One YARR

It’s been a year!

Personal deets

It took me a couple months to get properly established. I found my apartment after a couple of weeks, through the kindness of some former hosts from AirBNB, but I only properly started renting in January. The last few days I had everything packed up, just in case. After the contract, I finally started buying kitchen stuff and making things comfortable. And then time started flying by.

I’ve met a lot of people over the year. A couple I can call friends, even. I haven’t met many Irish, with the exception of the good people at the sci-fi meetup group, who would possibly expel me if they found out I haven’t watched more than an episode of Father Ted.

Otherwise, life has been good. I’ve enjoyed living over here. I’m anxious and uncertain about what comes next in my life, but for now I’m in a good place*.

Travels (off-island)

Venice
Last spring, for carnival.
UK The Hard Way (mostly by train)
Flew to Whales, returned from Scotland. Spent time in Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Edinburgh. UK travel by train.
London
Partially for Loncon 3, also to spend time with some friends from Vancouver.
Vienna, Austria
Austria! Again, travelled around with some friends.

Travels (on-island)

Bus trip to Glendalough
This was organized by USIT shortly after I arrived. Glendalough is ruined monastery in County Wicklow. It’s pretty much the Ireland people imagine.
Bus tour to Giants Causeway
The Giants Causeway is terribly impressive to see. This trip also included an hour in Belfast, and a visit to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.
Daytrip to Howth
I went at pretty much the worst possible time of year and only had a couple hours before it got dark. Still pretty nice.
Daytrip to Bray
I went there mostly to get out of Dublin during the whole St. Patrick’s Festivities. Instead I climbed to the top of Bray Head.
Drive around Ireland with my folks
Including Moll’s Gap, the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and a bit of Northern Ireland.
Newgrange
Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids! Which is to say that Ireland has been settled for a long, long time. I went there with my parents before they returned to Canada.
Daytrip to Belfast
I actually have a great story about catching the train. Belfast was fun, too.
Weekend trip to Limerick
Limerick was nice. We spent the night drinking in Bunratty, then checked out Bunratty castle and grounds.

Events

50th anniversary special for Doctor Who.
I saw this with the sci-fi meetup group. They’re the reason why I went to the cinema this past year.

Rent at Bord Gais.
We’re not gonna pay…
12 Pubs
One of the reasons I was sick over Christmas.
Deltron 3030 at the Button Factory
I was right up at the stage for almost the entire show, including the separate Kid Koala warm-up.
Christmas in Ireland
My first Christmas alone, I think. Ireland pretty much shuts down for a couple days. Even the pubs close on the 25th (although they’re open last on the 24th, and open first on St. Stephen’s Day). It was actually pretty good, aside from being sick.
New Years Eve in Dublin
A night of music, lights, and parades. I watched one parade down Grafton, then went to a pub on one of the quays for a burlesque-themed New Years. But it was overly crowded, expensive, and almost impossible to see the show, so I bailed early. I ended up at the foot of Grafton Street, with about a hundred other people who also didn’t know that the fireworks were going to be over College Green this year. We had our own countdown; then I sang “O Canada” with a random Canadian tourist. Good times.
Saint Patrick’s Day
I actually bailed for the Saturday festivities. On Sunday I wandered down to Temple Bar and across the Liffey and goggled at the drunk tourists. It was a mite terrifying.
Battle of Clontarf Millennium Anniversary
A few others and I went to St. Annes Park to watch the battle re-enactments and check out the festival. That was the first time I got a sunburn since moving to Ireland.
The Stones in his Pockets
Play at the Gaiety. Apparently very Irish in that it was both very humourous and depressing.
MCN Comicon
Big corporate convention, with massive lines and tonnes of dealers. I bought a Minecraft pickax!
Breaking Dad at the Gaiety Theatre.
Another Irish play, this about media character Ross O’Carroll Kelly.
Bray Airshow
Good company, beautiful day.
Walk Off The Earth at The Academy
Really good show! They did they “five people, one guitar” cover of “Somebody I used to know”.
Arcade Con
A local convention. It was like a smaller, younger VCON. There were cosplayers and it made me vaguely homesick.
Worldcup
Yep, I went to the pubs for Worldcup. Every day matches would start at 4:30 or 5:00 PM local time, and (assuming three matches) finish around 1 AM. There were a couple times I stayed out ’til the last game because there was soccer on and drinking in rounds is very, very dangerous.

Potted Potter
An abridged version of the Harry Potter stories. Very kiddy, but what did I expect?
Dublin Pride
Much smaller than the Vancouver Pride Parade. Much of it was just people walking down the street instead of floats or organized groups. Plus big floats / groups from tech companies, like Google and Facebook and Dropbox.
An audience-participation viewing of “The Labyrinth”.
I should’ve worn my carnival mask!
Loncon 3
Or the third Worldcon in London. Massive — ten thousand people were there, I think.
Wandering Phoenix Park
I’d been meaning to go there since taking a bus tour around Dublin back when I moved here. I went recently with a friend, walked around, drank coffee, and got close to the pack of deer. Good times.

Culture Night
Essentially all the cultural institutions of Ireland stayed open late on Friday and held special events. I checked out the National Library and the National Gallery.
Happenings Dublin
There were movies in Merrion Square (and elsewhere) all summer long. I saw Dirty Dancing (for the first time!), Grease! (I’d forgotten virtually everything) and Casablanca (which is seriously the best movie of all time).

Oktoberfest Dublin
I only popped in for a few hours one Friday. Still pretty awesome.

And then there are a few other random things, like visiting museums or watching movies. I’m definitely forgetting some stuff. There were so many things going on around town all summer.

Summation

Not too bad. I definitely need to travel more and take advantage of all the different events and activities going on. And for that matter, actually post updates here.

YARR!!

Footnotes:

* … except for this rotten cold. It’s been two weeks. Maybe I should switch to an all-lemon-tea diet.

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Vienna photos are up

Just a quick note: My various good-camera pictures from Vienna are all on flickr. I’ll highlight a few and write-up something over here at some point.

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The Sweetest Thing

Or, the most Dublin-y thing ever Dublin-ed!

I couldn’t figure out exactly where it was shot. I was pretty sure it was on the southside, wasn’t Stephen’s Green, nor could it be Merrion Square. Turns out it was filmed along Fitzwilliam. Just a ten minutes’ walk from my apartment. :D

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Meta

This isn’t my first blog. Continue reading

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