Tuesday 3rd October 1995 (pages 11-13)
5.50am Sitting in my hotel room, Isaac’s Hotel Frenchman/s Lane Dublin (£35 a night!!) and feeling much brighter after a good night’s sleep and a clearer mind.
Airport will send on my luggage (if they find it). If I haven’t heard from them before shops open, will buy a set of clothes, knickers etc. and claim on insurance.
Took a bus from Airport to City Centre ($2.50). Isaac’s Hotel is on block next to Busarus and opposite Keating’s pub. Was costly but adjacent hostel was charging £28 for a shared room for 1 – figured extra £ was worth comfort and it was getting late and I was so tired and low. Unpacked most of my carry on gear so backpack was lighter & headed off to find O’Connell St. By then it was 5.30 and everything was closing. Gave me a feel for the place again though and a sense of direction. My boots and long skirt seem to be causing something of a stir around Dublin. Last year it was leggings!!
Bought new batteries for Walkman (must have turned itself off during flight). Had chips & coffee at Hungry Jacks (Excuse me!!….?)…. but it was cheap!! £1.60. Bought an Irish Times (found those damned “Frenchies” have dropped their second bomb!! Found a money exchange who don’t charge commission. Will change remaining $A100 to Sterling £’s ready for ferry trip to U.K. Figure I’ll stay here tonight and do some of the Dublin “stuff” today. UK tomorrow – stay Wed & Thursday nights. Ferry back on Friday & bus to Ennis?? We’ll see how it goes.
Wednesday 4th October 1995 (pages 14-21)
4.25pm Sitting in Beshoff’s O’Connell having just finished a lunch/dinner of “Beshoff’s Meal” (fresh cod, chips, coleslaw & coffee). Am now on 2nd cup of coffee and about to light up a 4th smoke. What a relief it is that smoking is accepted everywhere here. Not just accepted but almost compulsory…. Thought it time to catch up with what’s been happening in my life. Where to star?
Well, I’m relaxing and passing the time until 8pm when I need to report to the Busarus ready for my trip across the Irish sea to Leeds and the next step on my latest adventure. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?…. Hoping I can get some sleep on the ferry and bus tonight because I’ll really be on the go tomorrow. On arrival in Leeds plan to:
- check out 10 Meanwood St (the house Dad’s mother and father were living I when his birth was registered).
- Check out the shops for Doc Martins for Kirrily & Chad (not much of a selection in Dublin this year …. certainly no green ones …. very few cherry & they’re only boots….)
Soon as this is done I’ll head for Shipley, book a room for the night, leave my backpack then hunt down Mossman St…. if it still exists ?? Will still have a little time on Friday – but have to be back in Leeds early evening for the return trip to Dublin. Then straight on a bus to Ennis, pick up car, head for Corofin and a BIG sleep!!! before Sean calls around. Booked car hostel this morning and rang Sean to let him know of my arrival date. He’ll be around “after dark” …. so hopefully I’ll have time for a “cat nap”…!!!
Feeling really weary now. It’s been a tiring morning …. hence my decision to have a relaxing peaceful pm to get my energy levels up.
Rang Airport again this morning just before checkout time – They said they’d delivered my luggage 8.15pm Monday. I checked the desk at about 9.30pm last night (Tuesday) and they hadn’t seen it. Turned out the Airport had delivered it to HOSTEL instead of HOTEL. They just hung it behind their door and didn’t think about it again. Had the foresight to get receptionist to note on my bill that I didn’t receive it until this morning – to cover me with Insurance Co. I sure expect to be re-imbursed for clothes I bought yesterday. So, went back to room, re-packed, made my calls to Corofin/Ennis & Limerick (Sean) and booked out at 10.45am.
Went to Busarus. Considered storing my backpack for the day. Decided against it. Having been dispossessed of it all this time was feeling distrustful of leaving it in someone else’s care again…. Result was I lumped the damned thing all over Dublin today. By 3.30pm I’d really “had it”…. Although its relatively light & easy to carry, it gets heavy carrying it for hours on end. Another lesson learnt here.
Checked out Sin Fein bookshop – Trinity College (bought some Celtic stuff … more weight to carry around). Took lots of photos of Dublin. Will finish off now (they’re starting to look at me rather weirdly here). Will leave my backpack on for one final trek down to Busarus and stay put till bus leaves …. Note – man’s conversation in Bureau of Exchange.
Thursday October 5th 1995 (pages 22 – 34)
7.30am Well – here I am in Café at Bus Station (Leeds). Arrived in at about 6.40pm – it was still pretty dark, just beginning to get light. They had a guy on duty near women’s toilets which I was glad about with it being so deserted and all …. My next little challenge – How to get to Shipley?? Saw a sign to Shipley as we were just coming out of Bradford. National Express timetables here had no mention of Shipley so I’m guessing it may be a local bus. To keep myself amused (and as a souvenir for Dad) I bought a Yorkshire Times. Then a guy in charge of station turned up. I’d seen a sign pointing to Tourist Information and asked him how far down it was .. “big white building at end turn right” in a strong Yorkshire accent “at 9” is what I think he said next but he was so brusque I didn’t want to persist. Sat shivering in Sharp wind for q while then noticed that the young woman who’d been sitting outside having a smoke when I arrived had opened Café. Nice hot coffee is good. I enquired how I might get to Shipley. She wasn’t really sure but thought a local bus left from across road. Another likely confirmation to my detective work. Don’t really want to wait round here till 9 o’clock so may “steel” myself to go ask the gruff “Busman” – Maybe he has a heart of gold beneath that ?? exterior? Must mention I feel quite at home in this part of the world with so many sharing my hacking “smokers” cough. Quite a cacophony in early hours of morning on bus form Anglesey (Wales) …
Oh!! 2 more people have turned up for refreshments in the “deserted café”… We can of course only have drinks … “too early for food yet …”. We weary travellers are grateful.
Oh yes! Changed my plans since yesterday and am sure they’ll change again before day is out …
I’m not going to hang around Leeds to check out shopping …. Will get straight to my planned destination (Shipley) … With so little time before bus takes me back I need to focus on my mission. Any time left over can be spent on other activities.
Wow!! Quite a crowd in here now … 2 more customers have arrived for drinks & chocolate bars …
The trip from Dublin was pleasant & largely uneventful. Smooth trip across Irish Seas. Gale force winds that have been whipping the coast for past few weeks died down. Had a Guinness, pack of Taylor’s potato chips, bought 2 coasters & tried again to change my Australian $ to Sterling £. Got the same story as form the girl in exchange in O’Connell St, Dublin …. “better to do it on the ship… I’ll have to change it to Irish £ first & you’ll “miss out twice”. This time the story was to change it in Leeds for same reason. Thought about it for a while then went back with a £20 Irish note – didn’t want to arrive in UK with no money before banks opened & looking for an Exchange Bureau. Just as well I followed my instincts. I know they were trying to be helpful….
So, ferry trip was calm. Irish ferries are magnificent!!! Passenger section like a 1st class hotel “Oisin” Lounge … “O’Reilly’s” pub …. “?” A La Carte restaurant. I had a most pleasant doze and woke up just as the ferry was docking. (4hr trip) passed quickly when you “snooze” much of it away. Only unpleasant experience was when we dis-embarked in Wales. Some crazy guy picked a fight… There’d evidently been some “carry-on” on way over about a girl. Ferry officials restrained him pretty quickly & called Town Police. All this at about 1.15am whilst we were waiting to collect our luggage…. Had a big sleep on bus and awoke as we arrived in Liverpool. What I could see of countryside from Manchester to Leeds was fascinating. Undulating hills pretty well all the way and appeared to be heavily populated. Bit hard to tell for sure though, in the dark.
Just paused to get another coffee & spied some freshly made sandwiches!!! Yum!!! – corned beef “home cooked” proper corned beef & just touching the right spot (thoughts of Mum” – should help me get rid of this thick head & faint headache probably due as much to lack of food as lack of sleep.
It’s now 8am and the city of Leeds is on the move out there right now… Doesn’t seem so scary now in broad daylight. Maybe the food will give me re-newed energy & I will walk down to Tourist Office. I have a sense that this is what I should be doing…. maybe I’ll pick up some other relevant info ?? Who knows ??…
Before I stop this little writing session, must just record the little “to do” with money. When paying for sandwiches & coffee handed over a £5 knowing may need change for bus (I had just spent time putting away Irish Money & getting out English!!). She looked at torn note consulted with Bus Drivers here having a meal break, then came back and said “I’m sorry I can’t accept this”. Me thinking its ‘cos it was badly torn handed over a smooth new £10 and she said she couldn’t accept this either. Long & short of it was, I had carefully folded away my £15 English & was trying to use £15 Irish. Not surprising …. I’m juggling 4 currencies at the moment:-
- Hong Kong
Before I get home I will have added Italian to this. Not bad for a 2 week holiday …
Time to relax before taking off on my next little “sortie”.