I suppose you think I’m well rested after a good night’s sleep? No, I’m not, thanks for asking.
Why does the human body, when seriously in need of recovery, wake us up for no earthly good reason? At 4am I get a serious bout of hiccups. There is surely a medical reason for the affliction but they seem to me nothing short of a dashed nuisance. They last an hour, by which time it’s hardly worth going back to sleep again.
The situation strikes me as precarious: five years ago, in Prague, I took a sip of cold Pilsener which set me hiccupping furiously. Lying on my stomach, sleep was eventually achieved…but the condition lasted 52 hours. I thought at the time that the trombone playing career might well be in tatters.
Quite frankly, I’d rather be tormented by a feudal lord in the Carpathian Mountains – impaled, roasted and flayed if necessary – than go through all that again. Today, fortunately, the morning passes without – ahem – a hiccup.
Lunch sets them off again. Well, if one is to resemble a drunkard, hiccupping as though pickled in gin, one may as well have a drop of poison – we are in Dublin after all. A gentle cycle along the River Liffey then, brings me to The Temple Bar, confusingly the name of a pub within the area known as Temple Bar. Still with me?
As you enter the inn’s hallowed entrance, history and conversation vie for your attention in equal parts; fading barrels and whiskey advertisements adorn the beer “garden”, and travellers from around the world chat over a drink or three.
Established in 1840, this is a local institution, and houses Ireland’s largest whiskey collection. In fact, both whiskey (Irish) and whisky (Scotch) are sold.
As Namibian’s nose reddens, and our pockets grow lighter, it’s rather a sobering thought that there are more than 410 different bottles to try. I have a pint of Guinness while contemplating just how much alcohol that is.
Outside, a market is in full swing. A teenager is bashing a drum kit with an astonishing lack of dexterity – in fact, it’s quite clear that, aside from a Kentucky Fried Chicken, he’s never held a drumstick in his life.
However, he perseveres for a full twenty minutes, successfully drowning out a professional string quartet celebrating the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death.
Remarkably, seventy cents is flung onto the cymbal case, which sadly encourages him to attempt a drum roll. Oh heaven help us, the poor lad wouldn’t know a paradiddle if it bopped him on the nose.
Talking of noses, this ineluctable tendency of the modern generation to misuse apostrophes really gets up mine. FILM’S indeed! Honestly! Do I have to stress, yet again, that apostrophes denote omission or possession, NOT PLURALS? Come on, this really needs nipping in the bud..