We’re driving through the docks at Holyhead Port, a skinny, shaved, drunk football tracksuit slouching low in his seat with his bright eyed, snickering friend. The tracksuit’s head is out of his own control, sleepy drunk, swaying with the gentle left and right of the bus. His eyelids heavy, pickled and constantly closing. He thinks it’s very terribly hilarious, but only seems to get the joke a minute or two after the rest of us.
‘It’s magic…… Ohhhh hooooohhh…….’ but leaving out the rest of the Liverpool chant, because that’s all he could manage before the brain cells he had left lost reception. He could start plenty of chants, all of which he would forget he was singing half way though.
It would be unfair, and a type of stereotyping and cliché I am sure, to suggest that we were on the bus to the ferry for Ireland, at this stage. So I won’t mention it.
But we are; the Port at Holyhead, Wales, and leaves for Dublin at 3.15PM. We shall need our passports because, as Andrew keeps reminding me, ‘Ireland is a’ WHOLE ‘NOTHER COUNTRY.’
This is the first time I’ve been on a ferry and NO ONE TOLD ME IT WAS SO BLOOMING AWESOME! This is exactly like that time we went to Bangkok and went to the hotel that Marty McFly brought back from the past. Or his present – either way, it was the eighties, and it was a constant source of amusement to us then. The tables on the ferry are marble laminex, the ceilings are trimmed with wood paneling and gold plastic, the lights are soft, incandescent and round, or in large globes dotted along the walkways; the seats are forest green and ruby red, and the pattern on the lino floor is in cream pastels. The live pictures of Barack Obama on the television screens really pull you out of where you just went in your mind. This may be a time machine, but the drunk on the bus confirmed that we were going to Ireland, so I guess it’s just a Ferry.
The modern Britain to Ireland ferry, in all its eightes glory. This photo is a little misleading, because it’s not on a slant.
Arriving in Dublin.
Andrew gets a little seasick. Probably because he had to get up and get me some food, because I was too wussy.
I am that geographically challenged that I didn’t realise, before we arrived, that we had to go through Wales to get to Ireland via this port. Wales started with fields, turned into huge mountains of rock and fell into Brighton-esque beaches, and then began to grow sheep and castles. I wanted to stop the train, but it just kept slipping by. And Welsh is the best accent by far, so. Also, chances are that I might run in to Rob Brydon, while he’s on a short visit home.
Wales with mountains and the sea…
… Wales with green paddocks and sheep. Sans the sheep.
There’s another group of football tragics in the ferry, and the rocking is making one of the WAGS feel sick. Along with their singing. The ship is swaying with the waves, and occasionally there is one huge wave that will throw a little kid over who’s been playing in the centre circle. They don’t care about the swaying. But I’m a little worried that I’ll fall on my face in front of the Liverpool fans.
As we alighted the ferry, we passed the drunken Irish tracksuit, now sprawled across two seats and emitting long, grainy protests against the daylight, as his still snickering friend pulled down the invalid’s pants over his long boxer shorts. I don’t think the poor tracksuit noticed.
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I didn’t put the term ‘paddywagon’ together with the police arresting Irish people, until now. This is a Dublin backpackers we’re not staying at.
This is our room, in Ascaill Bhride, Dublin. ten minutes’ walk from the city.
This is the window view from the place I’m currently writing from – The Old Storehouse. I got wet paint on my cardigan while taking this photo. That’s probably what all the wet paint signs are on about.