I went to Áras an Uachtaráin: the President’s Resident. Well, rather, we drove through Phoenix Park to Ratra House, where we parked the car and then promptly got into line for the minibuses that would take us back to the President’s residence, which we had already passed by. After waiting for half an hour, we were then led outside, where some of the old Presidential vehicles, and a vintage police motorcycle, were being displayed. We then got into another very long line of people waiting to meet the rather portly President of the Republic of Ireland. In the end, it was extremely anti-climatic. We were announced – the announcer asked my hostess for her name 5 times! – and then we shook hands, the President said “you’re welcome”, I tried to say that it was an honour, and my host tried to say that Sir Rodney Walshe sent his greetings, but he very firmly passed us outside, where we were directed to the refreshment hall. The weather was gorgeous with a light breeze through the beautifully tended garden, and organic apple juice from the An Uachtarain orchards was served. After a while, the President delivered a speech, and a very eclectic selection of musicians played for us. They were really weird – there was an American grassroots band, a man who sang about a chicken’s funeral at an animal cemetery, a woman who sang a very poorly chosen song about the death of James Connelly and the war, and a band named We Banjo Three, comprising of four members and two banjos. And then we went back to Ratra House and home.

It was very anti-climatic.  Also, I keep going on the computer with every intention of doing my Sustainability homework, among other things, except that I don’t, and stay up till past midnight… only to wake up extremely early the next day (my plans for forcing myself into a more vaguely normal sleep cycle failed – I’m waking up early no matter what time I go to sleep. So, rest assured, the midnight thing was planned; it’s just that I was supposed to be doing homework.) Oops? Let’s let inertia take the blame again, shall we…

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