Apparently Caravaggio was not brilliant at Lawn Bowls

I have just come back from Dublin. It was a lightning visit – leave on Friday morning, do a talk in the evening, fly back on Saturday.

Bish, bosh nicker, nosh. So quick was it that I have no photographs of the trip so will have to pepper this blog with stuff that is irrelevant – but hopefully pretty.

Anything involving travel these days seldom goes completely smoothly. Rabbie Burns sums it all up quite nicely in the bit he wrote about mice and men ganging all agley. And that was well before budget air travel was even a glimmer in the eye of Freddie Laker.

I am here to give a talk at the Carlow Garden Festival: an annual jamboree that is always jolly- I have been once before and always enjoy talking in Ireland. On this occasion I am doing a Design Off with Adam Frost. This is not yet an Olympic sport but the just of it is as follows: he shows off a garden, I show off a garden, the audience votes and there is massive adulation for the winner and universal excoriation for the loser.

Colonnade Garden – not in Ireland.

You know the sort of thing… on this occasion as the Irish are not only sweet but diplomatic it is a draw.

We are driven back to Dublin and dropped at an hotel that has the charm of a lay-by on the A34 – albeit one with beige curtains. I leave early in the rain – this in itself is a novelty as we have not had rain at home for weeks * and take the airport shuttle.

Dublin airport is pretty chaotic with far too many people, long queues and piles of baggage. That said everyone is charming in that Irish way – very different from security people in Birmingham who are generally pretty irrascible.I am starving so breakfast on stuff that would not earn more than a raised eyebrow from even the most undiscerning of Michelin inspectors.

Green Rise

I arrive at the gate on time and eager but sadly the neither aeroplane or the crew share my keenness. Eventually an aeroplane is found. We get on one of those annoying buses.
We are not allowed off the bus as the plane is uninhabited and we need a pilot.
The crew arrive but one of them is then injured by a suitcase and has to retire hurt. The exact nature of the valise wound is not clear.
We wait an hour for a new crew member.
All so tedious that I revert to my advanced comfort position which involves watching Thunderbolt and Lightfoot again. **
We fly, we land and eventually I get home again.

I am listening to Hurtin’ (On the bottle) by Margo Price. The photograph is of the hotel carpet.

*for those reading this in the future it is late July and we have just had our first experience of 40 degree heat. It has not been universally welcomed.

** 1974. Michael Cimino. There is a scene featuring Jeff Bridges laying turf that was the reason that Cleve West took up landscaping as a career.