Thursday, April 19
I woke up at 7:00 and started the day with a hot shower and breakfast. After last night’s meal I decided on a light meal: orange juice, cornflakes, toast, and a pot of tea.
At 8:30, yesterday’s photo done, I stood on the corner and Liisa appeared. We got the Luas in bright sunlight and walked down to ITT. The merger has caused the expected chaos and Tara has lost her office and now wanders between buildings. We learned yesterday that she will cross our paths this week and so we started today by meeting Mary who has agreed to act as a go between. She took the papers and I addressed an envelope so she can post them back to us if she cannot find Tara before we leave.
We switched into selling mode and visited Year 1, who had a class with Caroline. We spent a session with them explaining about Arcada, media culture, Helsinki, Finnish weather, and much more. Liisa showed them a presentation about a project KP students have started, and we held a Q&A session.
Deirdre had an all-day meeting about the forthcoming merger today and so we spent the afternoon with a group of students from Year 3, followed by a final round of planning with Sinead. She got to know the head of the Kone Foundation when she participated in a project in Åbo and so we talked about the possibility of devising a wild and dangerous project before summer and then applying for a Kone grant in September.
Before we left Mary told us that Tara had not appeared and that she would therefore post the forms. We left at 15:30 again. This time, though, we had not had lunch.
Before we left Mary told us that she had persuaded her daughter to put us on the family and friends list for the Guiness Storehouse, wrote this out on a hand-written note and explained in great detail how we should get there. We thanked her profusely, waved goodbye to everyone we could find and left.
We did indeed find the Guinness Storehouse and the hundreds of people leaping out of coaches and racing in. The place had seven floors and we walked through most of them as quickly as we could. The floor featuring the history of Guinness advertising proved interesting. We finally got to the gravity bar on the top, which offers a 360˚ view of Dublin and the surrounding countryside. Or it would do if the bar didn’t contain two hen parties, a large school outing, hundreds of foreign tourists, and a good number of Irish families in Dublin from the very countryside on view from the windows. Pointless music at high volume completed our despair and we ran down seven flights of metal stairs surrounded by screaming teenagers with rucksacks and headbands, whose cries reverberated in the rather odd and unsettling acoustics.
We walked back the way we had come and then turned right to catch the Luas from Heuston Station. We experienced the Luas at the height of the Dublin rush hour. We stood.
When we get to our stop we both notice how hungry we feel. Liisa also has very sore legs from the walking we did yesterday. I point out Ryans which sits about ten metres from the tram stop directly back to the hotel. I know from previous visits that it has more Irish customers than tourists, and that it doesn’t have piped music. It also has free wifi which suits me because the wifi at my bed & breakfast does not work at all.
I have a Guinness and bangers and mash. Liisa has fish and chips. She cannot stop laughing at my meal when it arrives because it has no colour at all: just brown. It tastes delicious.
Half of Liisa’s cod remains raw. I point this out and, after a delay and a lot of apologies, she gets a new, properly cooked portion. We also get complimentary toffee puddings; also all brown, but absolutely delicious.
We will leave for our respective rooms and by 20:00 I will have washed and brushed my teeth, and sit happily whatsapping Irma and writing my notes up on the bed.
Early to bed, I will fall deep asleep sometime around 21:30.