Claire’s Big Day Out…

I have a baby to mind, and no car, which means most of the time I don’t get to go further than the usual daily walk. This weekend, however, the urge to get out of the house was upon me, and I really, really wanted to get out and about. I made the husband promise that we would get out of the house on Sunday.

Sunday comes around and unfortunately he’s sick with a nasty sore throat and aches and pains. I was bitterly disappointed, and irrationally angry with him for being sick. Of all the days! He looked at me from the couch.  We came to a compromise; he would mind the baby while I headed out for a few hours.

I nearly turned back at the bus stop. He was sick, and yet still had to mind a baby all day. It seemed cavalier to leave him to it. But I made myself wait, ignoring the voice. The bus arrived, and the first mini adventure happened; the bus driver asked me if I knew the way. I blinked a bit at this, but then said yes, I did. He refused to take any fare from me, which I worried at. Anyways, we were on our way.

Seems the difficulty for him was the route through Sandymount. I ended up standing beside his seat and directing him: “No, take this right,” with other passengers just watching all this in amazement. When we reached Ringsend another colleague of his got on, so I stepped back and away. I don’t think he would have wanted other drivers to know the extent of his need for help. I hopped off outside Trinity.

Right, so, off we go! The first thing to notice is the lack of impediment. I’d been so used to walking with a pram that the free motion you have without it made me feel almost exposed. I made my way to the National Gallery, only to find that they have renovations going on for most of the Gallery. I got to see the Carravagio, so that is something. I also got some nice postcards in the shop (very Lucy Honeychurch but what can you do).

Postcards bought, now what to do? It was approaching five on a Sunday, there wouldn’t be a lot of options. Himself wanted Lemsip tablets, so off to Boots, then into M&S for dinner for tonight. Then what?

I took a fancy for a bite to eat, so headed off to Carluccio’s in Dawson Street. There was no problem getting a table for one, and I ordered a plate of calamari. It was so nice!

And the staff were so nice! I took out my phone and made a phone call; one other thing that doesn’t happen is long phone calls. I rang a friend and had a natter that by my phone lasted eleven minutes! Eleven! Imagine the luxury! The staff were especially nice, they saw I was on the phone and gently put my coke down with so much respect that you’d think I was on the phone to the PM. After my call, they asked did I want dessert. Turned out I did, so I had some lemon tart and a hot chocolate. I pulled out my notebook and wrote out notes for fifteen minutes, and manged to figure out the underlying structure of the novella. (It was obvious, but I needed time to let the neurons speak a bit louder.)

Right! Time to go. There was a bus at 6.30pm I could catch, and it was now quarter to. I pulled out money for the bill and stood up, putting my coat on. I felt my elbow catch on something and then… there was the most almighty crash. I looked back to see a plate had fallen on the ground and broken into a hundred pieces. The entire restaurant went silent, with forks frozen on the way to open mouths.

Curiously multi-ethic crowd in tonight…

I sank out of there, my face as red as a nuclear bomb. Then I bought two brownies for himself and myself, and dropped the change. Then bumped into someone coming in. What the hell?

Right. Made my way to the bus stop, and waited next to a woman who complained about the rough crowds and buses, until finally my own bus arrived. The same driver, who still wouldn’t take any fare. I headed home, glad to be going to see my own family again, and promising myself I would get out again before Christmas….

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