There is nothing like a beautiful spring day in May to take stock of your life. And today I find that I’m pretty happy with myself. Of course everybody is a work in progress and along with the sunshine there are always showers, but my people, the true-blue Dubliners, have taken my weather in stride for more than ten thousand years now. In the end, the rain has made me part of a family of cities, towns, and villages that have earned us the nickname, the Emerald Isle. If people want perfect weather, they can always visit my distant cousin in San Diego.
I do feel like I need to get in shape for the summer though. I can feel that it’s right around the corner, and since I’m expecting about four million visitors, I really need to cut back on the pints and the simple carbs. How can I say things like that and still be true to who I really am? I think I can do both. A lot of cities that I know are conflicted, and I know I’m right up there with them. I’ve been suffering from multiple personality disorder since I was young, but instead of fighting it, I’ve learned to embrace all the facets of my personality, including my north side, and my south side, and my bustling centre. I love that I have Stoneybatter, and Ranelagh, Portobello, and the Liberties, as the villages of my heart. I’m glad that I stopped taking my meds centuries ago.
And speaking of giving up simple carbs, I’m anticipating the arrival of The Happy Pear! I have heard nothing but good things about The Happy Pear in Greystones, so I’m so excited that the new Round Tower Centre in the historic Clondalkin Village will be run by Stephen and David Flynn, the creators of the healthy eating phenomenon that is the The Happy Pear. It will have the cafe and food shop like their place in Greystones, but they will also have a terraced dining area, a public garden, and exhibition and gallery spaces. The new cafe will offer a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. And the brothers will continue their long-standing tradition of providing free, organic porridge every morning! What with all of the lamb and beef and heavy cream, my cholesterol has been off the charts. (I need my oatmeal! I want my oatmeal!)
But I know that it takes more than complimentary oats to get ready for summer, so I’m heading over to my happy place, St Stephen’s Green to see how things are shaping up. I want to watch my people, walk by my ponds, and wonder at the miracle that is springtime. I remember when U2 played their first gig here and I like to look for the Rock ‘n Stroll plaque that commemorates the very spot. I’m so looking forward to seeing them at Croke Park on July 22. I love them now as I loved them then. One of my favorite memories was when Bono said, “We’re an Irish band. We come from Dublin city, Ireland.” It was his introduction to “Bad” at Live Aid way back in 1986. He put me on the map! Well, I mean I was already on the map, but I think of it as one of the turning points in my life.
I truly believe that Bono and the lads ignited my Renaissance. (I know Bono’s favorite pub, but I don’t want to put it in writing in case this diary falls into the wrong hands. The man deserves a quiet pint with his mates without some adoring American woman falling all over him. I mean it when I say that with my omniscience comes great responsibility!)
I have a few things I need to focus on this spring. I know that I can seem crowded and harsh at times. And I know that distance can sometimes heal a relationship, so if people want to leave me for Howth, or Bray, or Greystones, or Glendalough, I will try not to take it personally. I’ll hope that by giving them freedom to leave me so easily, they will return to me with renewed cheer.
Sometimes I feel tired from the weight of my long and winding history. I mean what is up with this Viking obsession? Between the Viking Splash tours and the filming of Vikings just beyond me in the Wicklow Mountains, I am continually being reminded of those feckin’ bastards. Even though it’s been some eight hundred years now, it’s like pouring salt in my wounds. How can I get over my post traumatic stress syndrome when they have the audacity to have a Vikings “extras open casting call” on Little Mary Street! Believe me, the Vikings that I knew did NOT look like Travis Fimmel! I think I’ll head over to Whelan’s tonight for some live music to try to wipe out my memories of those sons of bitches.
And I’ll say goodbye for today, dear diary, with a big thank you to Kathy. She has done wonders for my morale. I think she’s looking forward to the summer as much as I am, if that’s even possible!