This entry is a little different. It chronicles the sights of Dublin on just one day – Monday 22 September, 2014. I am told that a Mr J Joyce wrote a whole novel about just one day in Dublin in 1904, so there’s precedent, but given the attention span of most of you, a blog entry rather than a novel will probably suffice. I don’t take many candid shots as I feel a little uncomfortable photographing strangers but this morning I had my unobtrusive iPhone which made it easier.
It is moving quite quickly into autumn here. The temperatures are a little nippier and the long twilights have gone but the weather this last week has still been mostly sunny. On Monday it was a glorious autumn day with blue sky and no wind.
The photos begin in central Dublin – Henry Street, one of the main shopping precincts. It is 11:30am and the tourists are thinning out after the hecticity of the summer season. The flower sellers in Moore St have been there several hours by now but the buskers are fewer – just one lonely guitarist. This is a contrast to previous weeks where there could easily be up to a dozen performers in this short mall area – living statues, jugglers, leprechauns, bubble blowers, rappers… Vodafone are obviously expecting trouble, given the size of their doorman, and the sandwich board man is texting in his free lunch order, or perhaps he’s texting the gang to tell them not to do over Vodafone today. Not far away, a man selling peaches from a pram has chosen his spot well, underneath a sign that he might well feel applies to his produce, or even to himself! Looking back down Henry St one sees the Spire, a 4 million Euro edifice which acts as an excellent landmark when you are lost in the narrow lanes around the north part of the city. Meanwhile, around the corner on O’Connell St, the Disney-like tourist train pulls out empty (I’m not surprised) while across the road the General Post Office maintains its classical snootiness as it looks down upon tatty tourist trains, for it is the genuine tourist article when it comes to the recent history of Ireland. The GPO holds a special place in the hearts and minds of most Irish – it was here that the central action of the Easter Uprising in 1916 took place. (You can still see some bullet damage to the pillars.) Most weekends there will be a protest march on something or other that either starts or finishes at the GPO, as the organisers try and garner some of that significance for their own purposes. Down another side street – this time, Talbot St, which is a higgledy piggledy collection of small and interesting shops alongside hostels and cheap B&Bs – perhaps the Cuba St of Dublin. From the ethnic restaurants come the most amazing aromas. In the middle of the street sits an “original” (??) Irish fortune teller with your choice of methodologies.
Fast forward to the other end of the day. Pip and I attended a film screening at DCU – a Bollywood movie shown as part of an Indian film festival and afterwards, about 5:30pm, we wandered through Albert Park on the edge of the campus, on the way to Anderson’s Café and Wine Bar for an antipasta platter and a carafe of Valpolicella. (Is that too much pretentious trivia? Yes, probably, but I’ll leave it in. Mild compared to Mr Joyce’s stream of consciousness.) The sun is low in the sky now but the quality of the light through the green trees along with the residual warmth of the day made me want to stop and capture the moment. Again, I had only my iPhone but I hope these shots give you some feeling for the scene. The differing colours in each photo are a result of the sun drifting in and out of clouds. Then we went home.