Mon Days Out

MON

You know when you have a Monday that’s just like a weekend day? No, it doesn’t happen to me very often either. Usually, it’s more a case of gritting teeth and bearing out the daytime hours, until the nighttime hours come and sure then it’s nearly Tuesday and I’m all all good after that! But from time to time, when the world tilts a little and decides to shine directly upon your little world, you get a Monday that’s a fun day. A mun day. (A mon day..?) Not just for the Christmas holidays or Easter, I had one yesterday.

Jack Nic Fun
Monday is a weekday? Not today it isn’t!

It was my big brother’s graduation from his masters’ course so we all had the day off. Well done bro! Who doesn’t love a good excuse to take a Monday off and celebrate like the rest of the week doesn’t exist? Me. That’s who.

On Sunday, I did my longest run (6 miles) since starting back running after the Dublin marathon, which went okay but the legs still feel quite slow and what not so long ago would’ve been an easy run for me felt more like hard work. It’s a process, I know. Patience. Following this, I decided I’d go for a cycle on Monday morning to get in some cross-training and also because I knew the rest of the day would involve a good lot of sitting and indoors. A testing day for someone who fares better in the outdoors, doing stuff. Bit like Mowgli, that way.

Mowgli
Outdoors. Doing stuff. All kinds of epic.

My Monday morning cycle brought be over to Blessington, around the lakes and back home again on a scenic 37km loop. It was a beautiful clear morning for a bike ride and the lakes looked fantastic but with it being at the tail end of Storm Abigail, the wind was ferocious and it felt like seriously hard work cycling against it at times. Alas, I was delighted with life when I got home, feeling seriously hard core and Xena warrior-tough, having done battle with the elements. Mighty.

We had to be at the conferring ceremony by 2pm so after my cycle, it was a case of lightning quick shower, dress, hair, make-up and off to Dublin! My mum, myself, the brother and his daughter all travelled together and made it in plenty of time to take some snaps around the grounds of the RDS before the ceremony began. Unfortunately, graduands were limited to 2 tickets so I waited outside with the other “extras” and ate homemade HOT cookies along with limitless coffee, while reading sports newspaper articles. It would be a big fat lie to say that I was anything other than contented for that hour!

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Bravo!

My Dad has been in Norway over the weekend to visit some family and was able to join us at the venue, directly after his flight arrived, which was great. After randomly meeting some big Irish and Leinster rugby stars (who were so nice, it would be wrong to name them!) who also happened to be graduating that day, we hot-footed it over to St Stephen’s Green, where we had arranged to meet the rest of the graduation party.

We had dinner at the Cliff Town House restaurant on Stephen’s Green (the bro’s preference), none of us having been there before. Most people opted for the early bird menu, which was quite reasonable but was a little limited in the options available. Having said that, the food was simply delicious, beautifully presented and the staff were excellent. It was a top class dining experience, in what is clearly a very accomplished and efficiently run restaurant.

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On your left: Super dooper niece, myself, Godmother & Grandad                  Right: Mum, great (in more ways than 1) aunt Pat, Hugh, Uncle Brian

For starter, I had smoked salmon with multicoloured beetroot and a horseradish cream (complete with smoke that was released upon lifting the lid on the dish!) Unfortunately my camera died so I couldn’t take any photos…sorry! However, this is the restaurant’s photo of the dish:

 

Cliff Town - Salmon
Pretty and delicious. Mmm.

Not a big meat eater in general, I opted for something I never go for in a restaurant – braised beef. It’s typically something I would unconsciously dismiss as a possibility but yesterday, believing that whatever came out of that kitchen was likely to be wonderful, I decided to live dangerously. Beef, it was. And boy was it beef. The beefiest beef I have ever tasted. Two generous dark, rich hunks of beef (cheek?..I’m still not sure) in a rich red wine jus, lying on sweet shallots, mushrooms, carrot and parsnip… it was ridiculously delicious. So much so that I am actively re-thinking my restaurant modus operandi going forward. THAT is how good it was. Imagine beef glazed in more beef flavour. Oh yes.

It’s possible that this entry is really just an excuse to write about my beef experience. Now that it’s beefn done, I can return to my typically vegetarian week a very happy camper.

And sure, it’s nearly Tuesday now. Thanks you munday.

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