It's easy to feel sorry for yourself when you don't feel well and you're thousands of miles from home. Three gals from London asked me to join them for an evening of drinking and watching Irish dance and I had to decline. Instead, I'm eating Jacobs Crackers and drinking Barry's classic blend tea in my room,trying to settle my stomach since my flight is tomorrow morning and right now, on level ground, I feel the need for dramamine.
The Irish days are short and the sun arcs low. I've slept three hours or less every night I've been here. Luckily, last night was the exception and I'm glad I slept well because I needed to be alert to conduct my research at the National Library of Ireland. Still, in spite of a good night's rest, I cannot tell you how many photos I took before I actually saw the sign that stated: UNAUTHORIZED PHOTOGRAPHY PROHIBITED. I also took out books without a readers' ticket. I had the application with me but no one asked to look at it and, since it was not filled in or validated, I was basically looking at books from 1748 without permission. It was only when a very stereotypical librarian in tweed came shaking fingers at some students in front of me, chastising them soundly for lack of a ticket, that I realized what I was doing. For some reason, she passed me by and I was glad of it since her demeanor brought back every fear I ever felt from year's of similar castigations by vicious Irish nuns in parochial school.
I spent a long time in the geneaology department (taking photos! Will my camera be confiscated at Dublin airport?) I'm glad I didn't see the signs. What I accomplished in five hours with photos would have been impossible to do by handwritten notes in pencil. I would have needed several days there and, with the holiday hours, I couldn't have managed that. I also took photos of the Yeats exhibit. I ASKED this time since I did not want to be "the ugly American" or obnoxious, which I am certain anyone observing me taking photos in the verboten areas must have thought I was. Photos were permitted without flash so I snapped away. I spent so much time copying a replica of an esoteric journal that it was only when a woman next to me commented in Italian that I was taking too much time that I stopped. Sometimes it sucks to be alert...and multilingual. I would have loved to have had a visual of the entire book. Yeats was fascinating and so much of what he devoted his spiritual and religious energies to fits in with the types of things I am writing. His journal was both illustration and addendum for Rosa Alchemica. The library should jump on a printing of the story (if they have the rights as I was told they do with the journal) with pictures from his journal. I guarantee it would be a money maker for them.
I hadn't had anything all day but toast when I left the library so before I went back to my room I decided to make one last stop at my FAVORITE place to eat in Dublin - LEON'S on Exchequer Street. There are three Leon's in town but I frequented the one near the end of Exchequer. Anri and Rachel were DELIGHTFUL! They got to know me by name. Anri took my card to contact me on Facebook (and I hope he does because he was fun) and Rachel hugged me Happy New Year and Bon Voyage before I left. FABULOUS food and equally fabulous people. I highly recommend the French pastries!
I have enough material now to finish Brandy's trip to Dublin. I have actually written a chapter here. I think I've stayed away from the story a bit too long though. I don't feel the same inspiration. Ah well, I think what I need is a few nights of sleep, more tea, my own bed, and a to examine a few gigabytes of photos !