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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Blissful birthday weekend (the extended version)

Ah, what a weekend!

What a lovely, long weekend (hence the "extended" in title) - a 3-day bank holiday weekend, to be precise.

On Friday night we made the acquaintance of a Moldovan security guard at our building complex. He was tall, blonde and handsome (if you go for boys with hair, that is), spoke beautiful English, and a number of other languages besides. Then we went to our local supermarket and tried some vegetarian Linda McCartney prepared meals. Interesting, and the only vegetarian prepared meals - apart from a cheese pizza. I wouldn't go out of my way to have them again, but apparently it's better than a toasted cheese sandwich.

Saturday dawned bright and clear... and stayed that way for a long time. I had some of the local Dublin Stitch n Bitchers over, since the cafe we go to was closed for the weekend. We sat on the roof terrace admiring the view and stuffing ourselves with delicious food. My simple - but successful - contribution was scones made with cream and 7-Up. Sounds gross, I know, but they were pronounced lovely and light by all who ate them. Here's the recipe - it's dead easy, no rubbing in butter (yuck).

I loved having people over, and the SnBers were - as usual - loads of fun and no trouble at all. I'm definitely going to invite them back if we're venueless again.

On Sunday - aka my actual birthday - I managed to sleep in a bit later than our usual 8am (the sun is very bright at the moment - roll on winter and darker mornings!). We Skyped with my parents, which was **very** entertaining. If you know my mum (Hi Mum!), ask her about her "lap dance without a lap". Then ask for a demo. (It's ok, it's G-rated, but it's still very, very funny.)

I also opened my presents from David. As usual, he bought me lots of lovely, thoughtful and useful gifts, including (but not limited to) some very fancy hair straighteners I'd been coveting.

(I know, I seldom look like I do my hair, but I do actually do it! And once my hair dryer from NZ arrives, I will be able to dry my hair in under half an hour, and possibly use the straighteners before work even. Really!)

We decided we should roll on out to Malahide for a pub lunch. So out we rolled, via Swords (nice enough I guess, but nothing made me feel compelled to move there). There were no pubs on the main road through Malahide (I think we were supposed to go into the town further, but it was comfy in the car) so we kept going to Howth. At Howth we did find a pub - again, once we moved inland. Seems the main road is for non-Irish eateries.

Mmm, Guinness and a pub lunch. We were very full, and I had a very small nap afterwards, before we headed slowly home, where we chilled out with some quality downloaded tv.

Incidentally, that was my first Guinness in Ireland, albeit only a small one. (Guinness is a serious drink and it requires time and stomach-space to drink. I had fried-food plans, so I knew I had to limit myself to a small one.) It tasted chocolate-y-er and bitterer than I remembered - perhaps because it apparently tastes different in Ireland than everywhere else in the world. Anyhow, it was good. I look forward to rainy weekend afternoons in pubs with David, Guinness, and my knitting.

Yesterday we managed some brunch at our favourite crepe place, then popped out to my favourite yarn store in Blackrock for some needles and a gossip, then bought some plants. It has been really, really hard to find indoor plants here - or even garden centres, for that matter. I don't know why - people do actually have plants and gardens and stuff - but it's like they all either buy the plants ready-potted from M&S, or they steal each other's in the middle of the night!

Oh, and I got some knitting done - I may actually finish my first Irish knitting project sometime this month. Maybe. I accidentally popped into a shop to get some needles I need for a number of upcoming projects, and I'm dying to cast on with them. I already have 2 nearly-completed projects on the needles. And I'd like to finish them both soon - one to wear, one to finally give to the very deserving recipient (even though it'd be totally out of season). Must... be... strong...

And to round out my little round-up, today I caught the bus to work again (ugh) because I had a meeting with an M&A target this afternoon in the city.

In brief: Bus: late, slow, irritating. Location of meeting: Dublin 3, very different from anywhere else I'd been here previously, a lot like the western viaduct in Auckland. M&A stuff: really satisfying to research, prep my boss on, then meet with a potential target. It's not my call - I doubt I will get to even go to many of these - but very, very interesting.

And that's it for now. More quality tv downloads and a spot of knitting (old project, I will be strong!) await.

Except I almost forgot - thank you to all the knitters who came and kept me company on Saturday. And thank you to everyone who remembered my birthday - it really was the loveliest one yet!

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