*I’m beginning to think this is a lame name. Shame it’s already 11 days old…

TL;DR: I checked out the cathedrals and libraries near the hotel, and conned it up!


View from my hotel window

Ah, morning in Ireland. I top-o-the-morning’ed myself, got ready and headed down for my first Irish breakfast. It seemed a lot like a full English breakfast, but with added blood pudding. My next quest was for the laundrette. There isn’t one near the hotel, and the hotel itself, being swank, charges through the nose for laundry (€4.50 per pair of undies, for instance (Hah! I just double-checked that since it seemed so outrageous, and it’s actually €4.75@. Yikes!)), so I found a place that was a 15 minute walk away and found it closed when I arrived. Fortunately, I’d passed another moments earlier, and that one was open! Free of my burden, I made my way to town.


One power bar to rule them all

I meant my first stop to be St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but on my way there, I passed a sign for the Marsh’s Library, a public library founded in 1707. It’s virtually unchanged since then, to the point of not having new books added (with rare exceptions) since 1745. There’s a strict “no photography” rule there, otherwise I’d have a million pictures trying to capture the atmosphere of the place. They had a special exhibit entitled “Imagining Japan: 1570-1750”, looking at how early western writers viewed the country, despite its seclusion. All works had been taken from the shelves of the library. Ditto for their Lublin to Dublin exhibit, featuring Hebrew texts. As I was on my way out, I heard the door open and the docent (erm, maybe she wasn’t a docent, I don’t know) ask where the newcomers were from. Croatia was the answer. I turned the corner and saw Irena and a few of the other Croatia group that have come to Shamrokon. Heh. Small world.

We chatted for a bit, then I headed on to St. Patrick’s, quite an interesting cathedral with several layers of rebuilding done to it. It has the feel of several different buildings because of this. I arrived at the time of peace prayers, so I was able to hear the Lord’s Prayer in irish.


Some awesome flooring (Christ Church)

After that, at the prompting of the Croats, I went to the Chester Beatty Library on the grounds of Dublin Castle. There they had an exhibit called “The Art of the Book”, showcasing block-printing and calligraphy and illumination and all the things that made medieval (and later) books so brilliant to behold.

Then, Christ Church Cathedral. By this time I was alliterated out, and I took the place at a jog, wanting to get back to the hotel and in the room for my first panel. It was quite pretty inside, and had the best floor eva.


Can you see what’s wrong with this picture?

I had a full dance card the first day of the con, going to four talks and the opening ceremonies. Briefly, here’s what I thought:

  • European Focus: Missing Medieval Women
    • This was an amazing panel. I find that there is more and more exposure of the lack of women in medieval settings. I can think of several books that suffer from this problem, and the panelists brought up many fallacies in the popular perception of the middle ages. Afterwards I had a talk with Gillian Polack about the talk and medievalism.
  • European Focus: Celtic Gods
    • The point of this panel was to compare celtic gods with their counterparts on mainland Europe. While they did talk about this, the panel travelled far into the realm of cultural cross-pollination as well. Jim Fitzpatrick, one of the GoH, seems to have a limitless depth of knowledge on the subject.
  • Opening Ceremony
    • It was an opening ceremony. The con got opened.
  • Colloquialisms & Cultural Idioms, Its Funnier in Swedish?
    • Translation! Mostly funny stories from the front lines of translation, given the issues outlined in the title.
  • Science Fact: Living In A Cyberpunk World
    • This turned more into a Living in a Dystopian World. The most interesting thing about this was Charlie and Chuck getting into it about whether we should trust governments or corporations more. I thought it would be obvious the side Chuck would fall on, given he was wearing a Galt/Taggart ’12 t-shirt.

real perspective. This is the hallway to my room. One reason my step count is so high


Forced perspective (from Harry Potter Experience). If only my corridor was like this…

After that, I spent some time in the fan village talking and drinking beer until I remembered that I would turn into a pumpkin if I wasn’t careful, so off to bed I went, visions of dystopian futures dancing in my head.