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Ladies Day in Dublin: Mini Maker Faire by Ann Treacy
August 13, 2012, 1:34 am
Filed under: Dublin

On Saturday Patrick went with his mom to London to visit his brother – so the girls and I hit the town. We went to the Science Gallery to the Mini Maker Faire. The focus is on learning how to make things – especially for kids. It sort of echoed a main theme from the TED conference – the whole idea of being able to make things, to invent, to innovate is very strong. It’s always fun to meet folks who do make things – because to me making something is so far out of my field of scope. I’m much better at writing about things getting made.

The coolest thing we learned about was a product called Sugru – it’s like play dough that hardens like plastic. So it’s amazing for fixing or improving thing. So for example you could easily attach a video camera to a helmet with Sugru.

We also saw tons of masks and crafts and musical inventions. And we learned about some of the sessions the Science Gallery has been having where interested residents can talk about, plan and implement ideas to make the city better. One idea I loved was the idea of co-cooking. Taking cooking stations to different communities to teach people how to cook healthy meals. How smart!

We also walked all over the city. Lily took loads of pictures. We ate at some fancy-ish place where Lily ordered a super foods salad. It had to be really good for you because it tasted disgusting. The truffle chips on the other hand were quite good.

Swimming at 40 Foot by Ann Treacy
August 6, 2012, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Dun Laoghaire

Just to make sure that everyone is appropriately impressed, here’s a little background on the Forty Foot from Wikipedia…

The Forty Foot is a promontory on the southern tip of Dublin Bay at Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland, from which people have been swimming in the Irish Sea all year round for some 250 years. … The opening section of Joyce’s Ulysses is set here, with the characters Stephen Dedalus and Buck Mulligan being partly based on Joyce himself and Gogarty, respectively. [

So today the girls and I set out with our friend (from my MA program years ago) Taura to swim at 40 Foot. It used to be that 40 Foot was a place for naked men – only. Now swim suits are required and women are allowed. It’s cold – really cold – both the water and the air outside the water. And for a special treat there are jelly fish in the water. The bluish purple ones are OK. The brown ones are dangerous. Going in I saw a blue jelly fish. On the way out I saw a big brown jelly fish. We heard a story of someone getting stung last week – and we saw several apparently seasoned swimmers turn back due to jelly fish scare.

Taura, Aine and I made it into the water. To be fair, Taura was the only one who really swam. And I don’t know how as I lost feeling in my arms after about 2 minutes. I will say that I went completely into the water, which is something I rarely do in Dublin.

We capped off the expedition with a fun dinner in Glasthule. We went to a pub with Indian food. Yum!

Tour of the Liberties by Ann Treacy
August 3, 2012, 4:51 pm
Filed under: Dublin

We did the free walking tour of The Liberties. Pat Liddy gave the tour – his a tour guide of some note. There were more than 100 people on the tour – all Irish and all with blue hair. It was an interesting route. Well Patrick and I found it interesting. The girls not so much. And I think it was made less interesting with bad weather about every 15 minutes it would absolutely pour. One really nice thing was that the Viking Splash tour people saw us in the rain and gave out free rain ponchos for free. So that was really nice.

So here are snippets from the tour –

The Liberties are a series of areas in Dublin that in the 12 century were made regulation-free area. Or at least there were left to create their own regulation and structure and were absolved from regular Dublin regulation and taxes. Subsequently the areas and people from the areas are generally considered to be pretty independent, take care of it ourselves kind of people. The liberty we walked was West of St Patrick’s Cathedral – near Kevin St, Thomas St and Newmarket. It was an area of weavers. And has always had an industry focus.

We also stopped by The Coombe – former location of a big hospital. There is a memorial of sorts from the hospital – the old front stairs I think. The stairs now contain etched names of the characters from the day – such as Stab the Rasher, Bang Bang and others. Many people on the tour remembered the characters named.

Famous people from the area: Brenda Flicker and Imelda May. I think Patrick was very sad that we didn’t run into Imelda May on the tour.

We lived sort of near this area near Christchurch 20 years ago and have a couple of friends in the area. It is a very Dublin area.

Day in Dalkey with Lily by Ann Treacy
August 1, 2012, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Maybe I’ve mentioned – but the weather has been terrible this summer. But Lily and I finally decided that we’d had enough. We took a monster walk to Dalkey. Dalkey is a high end, seaside community. It’s a couple miles away – I suspect we probably had a good 6-mile or so walk. The views as you can see from the pictures below are beautiful. And we had a fun lunch. Sadly the restaurant that Lily really wanted to visit had closed. But we found a vegetarian-friendly place for her. (Which meant it wasn’t really the best for me.)

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