Early starts mean getting the day moving or else you’ll just tire and let the jet lag screw with you. On this occasion, it also meant watching a sunrise for the first time in a ages.

Good morning, Dublin.

Breakfast was Starbucks. I know. I was disappointed in myself too. But it did end up meaning two things: breakfast was cheap and the coffee wasn’t, actually, terrible. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it great, but it certainly didn’t require sugar to make it palatable.

For the uninitiated, I have a three stage coffee assessment process. 1. A no sugar coffee is a good coffee. 2. A one sugar coffee is okay, but clearly in requiring sugar is probably bitter or bland enough to require some additional flavour element. 3. A two sugar coffee is one that probably shouldn’t be drunk at all, but out of some sort of desperation will do if accompanied by a minimum of two sugars.

Well done Starbucks, you got no sugars on this occasion.

Post-breakfast saw us retrace the steps we took that fateful day in January 2010 when the weather stopped Dublin. It was the day that saw Dublin Bus services halted in their tracks as there wasn’t enough salt to melt the ice on the roads. It was also the day that poor bastard slipping on the ice was broadcast nationwide via RTE.

For myself and Emmet, the journey home from work that day involved a train journey from town to Blackrock, followed by a walk of about 3.5kms. Sounds reasonable, you say. But that 3.5km walk took in the vicinity of an hour and a half. Why? Black ice. And white ice, and all manner of ice for that matter. There were no steps taken during that walk, but lengthy slides followed by full body jolts trying to keep us upright.

By the time we got home that day, thawing wasn’t merely welcomed, it was embraced.

This time around, the walk took no time and was a broadly pleasant experience. Dublin is putting on a show, and the weather is what Melbournians might call cool, but Dubliners are calling warm. I do think it’s a little early for people to be wearing sleeveless t-shirts, while I’m still pulling on boots, jeans, jumpers and a leather jacket, but heck, Dublin, embrace it!

The view from Blackrock is lovely. We stood on the train overpass for a good little while watching a couple throw a ball to their dog. The dog barked in near constant delight chasing and retrieving the ball. His bark echoed along the wall and the great sandy plateau.

Onward to Dún Laoghaire for a further wander along the water’s edge. Dún Laoghaire has a marina and port, mostly for ferry connections between Ireland and the UK. It’s also home to a lovely Sunday market, which I intend on visiting at least once, weather permitting.

There, we visited a cafe we’d been to a couple of times before. As with much of what we’ve seen so far, it’s still there, still the same.

Sitting in the window we were first entertained (not so much) by an older gentleman chewing the cud, or something similar. Maybe he was sucking on a jube. Either way, it was pretty off putting. He soon left, thankfully.

We were then entertained by a bloke who parked himself at the table on the other side of the window. There he set his jacket over the seat and put his keys in full view of passing foot traffic. After placing his order he promptly went to the jacks. Generally speaking, this is not notable. However, Emmet was fascinated by the fact that he just left his keys there for anyone to nick. No one did. But things got all the more interesting when his meal arrived and he still wasn’t there. Eggs, sausage, bacon and hash plus a steaming pot of tea, all set up, all ready for the taking.

It was like some kind of art installation. No one there to eat it. All the temptation in the world.

He did eventually return, of course. Only to then eat his food and leave his jacket behind.

The proprietor at this wee establishment came over for a chat. He’d never been to Australia, but wanted to go. I promptly tipped over a vase on a neighbouring table, and we left.

The evening brought a hotel dinner – although I’m hanging out for Eddie Rocket’s chips, I literally could not bring myself to walk to get them – and Emmet’s first pint of the black stuff. Oh the relief in his face as he took a sip and the taste was as he remembered, and not as experienced in Australia.

*The below photos are taken on the phone – I’ll take a camera with me from now on.










Sunshine Stevie

Sunshine Emmet