Thursday, 14 November 2013

From Dublin Streets to Kentish Lanes

It seemed odd that the police were stopping taxi drivers to breathalyse them. In England, we assume - perhaps naively – that no one who earns their living by driving would risk their license by doing so under the influence. Our Dublin taxi driver explained to us that it’s fairly common to be pulled over by the Gardaí … and I suppose we should be reassured by it.
I was in Dublin in grey, early September to help provide some family therapy training (along with my fellow trainers from the Nova Scotia adventure, Chris and Julia.) Early starts and long days meant there wasn’t much daylight left by the time we got back to the very comfortable Ashling Hotel. No time to visit the museum or even the Guinness Museum though, luckily, Guinness isn’t only found in museums. But then nor is it always found in pubs. I managed to find an Irish pub that didn’t sell Guinness; The Porterhouse in Temple Bar specialises in ‘craft beers’. One in particular, called Galway Hooker, was rather tasty. What more innocent pleasure can there be, I put it to you, than to enjoy a Galway Hooker at the Porterhouse?
After my week in Dublin I was worried that summer was already over but my wife Sue and I managed to squeeze in a week’s holiday in Kent, courtesy of daughter Katie who now lives in an idyllic corner of the garden of England. So, at the end of September, we bade the season farewell in a bliss of bike rides down country lanes, sailing past windmills, feasting on blackberries from the hedgerow.
 And then and only then, it was autumn …

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Tony Gillam is Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Worcester. An award-winning mental health nurse, he is also a freelance writer and musician, has published numerous articles and is the author of 'Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing'.