Saturday, March 03, 2007

In Living Color

You would have to understand the world we came from -- a world of swirling white snow and whipping wind and hammering sleet -- to understand how amazing Ireland was to us when we landed. We had seen nothing but white-out and near white-out conditions for two days. We had had winter -- and all that that entails -- since early January.

Then we flew across the pond. The moon rose. Then sun rose.

And there was color.

Of course it was early spring color. The deciduous trees were mostly not yet in leaf. Many flowers were just coming up. There was lots of bare earth. But it was BROWN earth. And there was GREEN grass. And when we walked in St Stephen's Green there were daffodils (YELLOW!) and crocuses and other harbingers of things to come.

The first day we were there we walked from our hotel on Harcourt Street down past St Stephen's Green, then down Grafton Street to Trinity College. And while we took lots of pictures -- of the buildings, of the bicycles, of the books, mostly we snapped pictures of flowers.

We took more pictures of flowers on Grafton Street and in St Stephen's Green and at Trinity than we took of anything else. And when we left Dublin to head to Galway, we stopped at garden centers and took more -- of heather (PURPLE and PINK!) and pansies (YELLOW and PURPLE and even tinged with BLUE), polyanthus (MORE COLORS THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE).

We were color junkies. In fact those are the photos I have printed and have tacked to my books shelves now because they are bright and cheerful. They remind me of Dublin. They remind me that someday winter will be only a memory. But not now -- not here. Not yet.

Besides the colors, I remember other great things about Dublin, like tea and scones at Bewley's, and the amazing library at Trinity College which must be seen to be believed (they don't allow photos, or I'd show you), and the "hordes" of gold bracelets and necklaces and arm bands and such at the National Museum, and the bodies from the bogs.

Kate and Nancy and I wandered around for most of one day, just enjoying the sights, while Kate's husband went off to pursue his "true crime" interests. He writes books on the topic. We left him to it and we went in seach of Dublin Castle and took a walk across ha'penny bridge, then went back to Bewley's for more sustenance before meeting brand-new Presents author, Abby Green, on the set of Murphy's Law, the BBC program on which she works when she isn't writing about luscious handsome Frenchmen and drop-dead gorgeous Greeks.

Getting to visit Abby at her 'day job' was a treat. She showed us the wardrobe trailer, the makeup trailer, all the dressing rooms, her own trailer from which she runs the show (as an assistant director, she really does have to keep tabs on everything and everyone).

It reminded me again how much I enjoy watching films and how glad I am that someone else has to make them. As we watched a single short bit being rehearsed -- and filmed -- over and over and over, I realized how much it is like re-writing in 3D!

No, thanks!

But we had a great time watching and meeting the crew and the cast. Murphy's Law, for those in the US who haven't seen it, stars Irish actor, James Nesbitt, as Tommy Murphy, an undercover cop with issues. I'm hoping that Kate can find me copies of the DVDs so I can actually see some of the earlier series of the show.

I'd already seen James Nesbitt in the wonderful ensemble program, Cold Feet. Abby told us that he used to read his mother's Mills & Boon books when he was growing up -- learning early how to be a romantic hero! -- and when he discovered we were coming to visit her, he invited us all to join him for dinner.

It was a delightful evening. The food was wonderful. The wine flowed. The conversation was full of laughter and the insights that come when people whose interests in character and story get a chance to talk at length. We had a marvelous time which we will remember always.

So thank you, Abby. And thank you, Jimmy. You made our time in Dublin unforgettable!


Blogger Kate Walker said...

I repeat - I want to go back!! I want to have tea in Bewleays and maybe one of those home made chcolate brownies - or a scone - or a salad - I'm not fussy! And I want to walk by the river, and see Abby again, and visit the film set and go out to dinner . . .

DVDs found. You want them now? Will they inspire you for Flynn? If not, you'll have to wait.

04 March, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Thanks for looking for the DVDs. I think we'll have to wait. First Flynn, then Jimmy. Flynn has all the inspiration he needs. He just needs to get busy and WORK!

But yes, a scone and tea at Bewley's would be lovely And maybe another wander around the Trinity College library. And then a walk through St Stephen's Green. And a visit with Abby. And . . . and . . . and . . .

04 March, 2007  
Blogger anne frasier said...

wow, you packed so many great memories into a short span of time. i'm impressed and really enjoying the view through my computer screen.

06 March, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Nesbitt portrayed the father in one of the best films I've ever seen, a British movie called "Millions". It tells the story of two young brothers trying to cope with the recent loss of their mother and a move to a new suburb of Liverpool.
If you haven't seen "Millions", I highly recommend it. It reminds me some of "Saint Ralph". The actor who portrays the younger brother is brilliant; truly, he lights up the screen. Maybe he could provide some inspiration for the son of Sara and Flynn?
Love ya!

07 March, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...


I have seen MILLIONS -- and St Ralph -- and loved them both. I was captivated by both the boys in MILLIONS. I thought they were wonderful. James Nesbitt was wonderful, too. I told him how much I liked that film when we went to dinner that evening. Thanks for stopping by and commenting -- and if you see any other good films, let me know!

07 March, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Oh, and yes, I think the younger brother might well be an inspiration for Liam. Gives me another excuse to go watch it again, too.

Have just been watching Empire of the Sun and admiring Christian Bale's performance.

07 March, 2007  

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