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This is an online diary of my latest trip to Ireland.
Dennis J. Ahern

Monday, March 7th

Breakfast is included in the hostel fee and consists of juice, coffee/tea, toast and a choice of cereal, corn flakes, rice crispies or meusli. The latter is popular with Europeans, but I liken it to eating a haystack. You can also get a cooked Irish breakfast instead for 4 euros or a vegetarian Irish breakfast for 3 euros. That sounds like an oxymoron. I wonder what it consists of, eggs and tomato I suppose.

Got underway in time to get to the GRO when it opened at 9:30 and handed in my 5 slips. The TIARA crowd started to show up by ten o'clock but within about ten minutes I had my ration for the day and was off to the NLI where I spent the day searching parish records for some clients. There were quite a few TIARA members there, but I managed to get a good microfilm machine before they were all taken. By noontime people were standing in the doorway waiting for one to free up, and this is the off-season, mind you.

The water fountain in the gents' is broken so I keep a water bottle, actually orange juice, in my coat pocket and every so often I stop by and take a drink. Some years it has been my practice to keep a chocolate bar in my coat pocket as well and thus manage to sustain myself through the day. But now, wonder of wonders, they have a cafe in the Library building. It looks quite good, they had a cottage pie on the menu. I was tempted, but I really prefer shepherd's pie, which is lamb rather than hamburger. It's been years since I've had a good shepherd's pie in Ireland. I picked up a microwavable one at the supermarket the other night and took it back the hostel, but it was a disappointment. My son likes the shepherd's pie I make at home, but he won't eat lamb at all. I wonder what he thinks I make it out of. After all, it's shepherd's pie, not cowboy's pie.

All this talk of food is making me hungry. I think I will wrap this up and stop by the chipper on the way back to the hostel. Besides the cybercafe is closing in 15 minutes.

p.s. I did pick up a bag of chips for 2 euro, but I almost wish I hadn't. They give you so much for one person that I can't eat it all before they start to cool off and they are really great when hot but tend to be less appealing as they cool.

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