TL;DR: Visited the Guinness Storehouse before everyone else, the Museum of Ireland, and got my Capaldi on. And I drank odd things…

Saturday I woke up with a plan. Bernard, one of the people I’ve chatted with and Mihaela’s husband, informed me that if I pre-purchased early-bird tickets for the Guinness storehouse, not only would I beat the line but I’d save €4 as well. He had me at line. One 45 minute hike later, I started my tour at 9:45. Nothing shocked me on the tour. They don’t, for instance, make Guinness out of treacle or prunes (or syrup of figs) or anything silly like that. It’s just beer. One thing I did learn was that they use a combo of malted and roasted barley (umm, maybe the roasted barley’s been malted too? I don’t remember) which gives it the brown colour.


A Very Happy Engine

There was one other excellent part, ok, two. No wait, actually there’s three. The first: the steam engines used to cart the barrels from point a to point b. The second: the pouring academy. I poured my very own personal pint of Guinness, and then drank it. Mum, you can now be proud of your boy. Third: at the top of the storehouse they had a bar with panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. I say panoramic, but I didn’t bother taking a panorama. Maybe it was the fact I was drinking at 10:30 in the morning.



Once I finished my pint I stumbled down to the gift shop, losing my pouring academy diploma en route. No matter. I walked around exercising my self-control. The real control was knowing I didn’t have anywhere to put anything I bought, which made it easier. My goodness!


Nothing Like a Beer at 10:30am

On the prompting of Gillian Polack, I went to the Museum of Ireland next to check out their medieval display. Well worth it!, says I. I came over a mite peckish while there and didn’t want to roam around looking for something to chew on, so I hit up the museum café. Well worth it!, says I! (Note I’ve now twice used the new piece of punctuation called the commabang.) I had a boxty and an elderflower drink I like to have when I go to the UK (but had managed to miss it when there, so thank you Ireland!). There’s an Irish pub near my office that serves boxties, but they are nothing like what arrived at my table. Both instances are delicious, but this had an array of textures and flavours that puts the Ottawa one to shame. I’ll have to go back to Paddy’s (the Ottawa Pub) to compare and contrast.

After that, the con!

wifi as everything’s a blur!> I’m leaving this note in, because it’s now over a week later and when I looked at the con schedule to remind myself where I’d been, I had a huge blank spot. A blank spot full of Doctor Who! Wheeee! Second time I’ve managed to see a series opener at its original broadcast time! Dun duh dunn dun duh dunn! etc!


At any rate, I went a little light on the programming Saturday, but still managed to go to Peaceful Science Fiction, Spock’s Beard, Retro 21st Century or Ours, and “This is all true because it rhymes”. All good, all with entertaining panelists, some with a bit overbearing moderators. You know who you are.


I eventually ended up at the international fandom party, where free booze was the phrase that pays. I wandered around for a bit, getting a glass here and there, and then ended up finding a table full if people I knew! I invited myself to sit, and chatted for an hour or two while accepting dares to drink random things. Funny, because everyone made a big deal of it, but there wasn’t anything _that_ bad. I had pine tar soda, and chili vodka. As I said, not too bad. The pine tar actually tasted like the smoke from a campfire, and the chili vodka like heartburn. I managed to secure a lift home (well, ok, to my father-in-law’s home) and I suddenly realized that I needed to go to bed, stat, again. It’s funny how that happens. Though I did had a reason: a writer’s workshop in the morning! But that’s a story for another day.