Hey choc-van fans, I haven’t penned any e-words in eons. There is the dubious matter of my being rendered delirious and near-hospitalised by a bout of pneumonia. My granny blames me going ‘galavanting to Dublin without an overcoat’. She thinks I don’t put enough clothes on, but then she is fairly old school - with a tendency for rather Dickensian viewpoints. She’s absolute gold dust though, with a fire in her eyes and a teflon sensibility that I hope to have some of when I’m 90…must be the Irish in her!
Alanna and I headed off for a weekend of shenanigans in stag party city. I have never seen anything like it - save for, perhaps New Orleans in the French Quarter. A city centre so rampantly amuck with binge drinking, quick fixing out of towners that the whole thing felt like being in a particularly booze-sodden theme park. Temple Bar sure was heaving with heavers but, once we’d managed to navigate our way around the piles of chunder that lay dumped in steaming mounds at every turn, we soon found our radars and headed North.
On the South side of Dublin the idea of hanging out on the other side of the river is unthinkable - a sense that the North side doesn’t tally with the city’s new and prosperous image. Well, that’s great, but there was a football match on - a really poignant one - and the only place we wanted to watch it was in a boozer close to Croke Park. We walked the entire length of Lower Dorset Street, entering every pub along the way, wanting to find the right one until, there it was, our oasis - The Auld Triangle.
For the next seven hours we were inducted into the ways of the stronghold group inside. Derek and Sean and Paddy and Aiden. Mickey, Alfie, Johnny and Paul. We emerged astonished, frankly, to be still sentient. My doctor tells me she thinks I had already caught my infection before I went to Ireland but, between me and you, I doubt if my jingle-jangle in the Auld Triangle was especially helpful…
And now here in London all is summery. The ice cream is back in action. The hot chocolate cravings have retreated and been replaced by a demand for iced mocha milkshakes, scoops of mint choc-chip (new flavour!) and almond, orange and brandy chilled chocolate torte. Come and get some if you’re around!