Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sights, Smells and Sounds

I was riding home from a friend's tonight after a rather commendable session of acro-yoga (commendable because all three of us were 'wrecked', which is Irish for the Canadian 'bagged' or simply put: tired and creaky), and suddenly the city was on fire with sights and smells. The moon was full, and so I howled, honoring the hunky new werewolf guy on True Blood, who my friend Paul and I were lasciviously ogling on IMDB this morning as we Skyped. And when I reached the Liffey I could smell - I think for the first time -- the scent of the sea coming off the river. I forget that I live right by the sea - it's only a 30-minute walk from my front door - but the industry around the centre of the bay makes it less appealing. Sure, I see and smell the sea when I go to Howth or Dun Laoghaire or Greystones, but it is absent on my daily strolls about town.

But tonight, with the balmy breeze blowing, the stars just beginning to come out, and moon full, that gorgeous salty air was all around me. As I pulled into my courtyard, I saw a wee wee mouse scuttle under the gate. This surprised me, because I think it's the first rodent I've seen in Dublin - no kidding! The gulls are building some kind of uber-colony on the roof of my building, I am sure of it from the cacophony of wails that wake me up in the wee hours, but the four-legged wanderers are less in view.

Last weekend I biked to Dun Laoghaire, and was amazed at all the cute pubs and shops and parkettes along the way. I spend a lot of time in very few areas of Dublin. It's under 12km from my door to the DL pier, which is about the distance it took me to travel from the Berkeley St. Theatre to my home the last year I lived in Toronto. Peanuts. But in Dublin terms, it's a hike, and it hadn't occurred to me to do it until my friend suggested it. The purpose of the trip was to do yoga on the pier as part of the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, but it was raining, so the yoga teacher took the lot of us back to her studio, and ran a lovely gentle hatha class that contained a fair degree of challenge. I chatted to her afterwards, trying to place the accent, and found out she is a New Yorker who has been living in Ireland for 7 years. It's funny, because some people, like my friend Aoife, pick up the accent very lightly and evenly, with all words being inflected just slightly. Others, like this yoga teacher, have some words that sound very clearly Irish in pronunciation (usually 'but' is one of them), and others that still sound quite North American... Anyway, her studio was lovely, and she says that she does authentic hot yoga - not the lukewarm kind that I encountered way back when I arrived in the fall. I'll be biking back to Dun Laoghaire for fresh sea air and hot yoga sometime in the next couple of weeks...

PS I know I haven't written a single entry in 3 months. Oh well.