Thursday, 18 April 2013

Arbutus Abroad

Cake for breakfast and Calvin & Hobbes in French. Tres European.

As the very keen eyed among you will notice, it's been quite a while since my last blog post. And quite a lot has happened....I moved house, so sadly the original Arbutus Club is no more; my best friend emigrated; my mother decided to follow suit - a mere coincidence, it had nothing to do with my moving back home, or so she tells me; then she was followed by another dear friend upping sticks and buggering off. You're seeing the pattern I'm sure.

The upshot of all this is I find myself at a bit of a loss. I moved home three years ago hoping to reconnect with a city for which I held a naive nostalgia, only to find the city much changed and the majority of it's inhabitants booking one way tickets in the opposite direction. My timing has always been impeccable. The frustrating thing is that Dublin's actually a really great place to be at the moment. Unless of course you're trying to raise kids and are in neagtaive equity, or long term unemployed, or just graduated, in which case I feel very bad for you, life in Dublin probably sucks right now. But the fact is for single, middle class 30 somethings like myself, with enough work and no responsibilities, there's a hell of a lot going on in Dublin. The recession has forced people to get inventive. The cheap rent and abandoned spaces have meant that there are a glut of inventive artists studios popping up all over the place putting on new and innovative events. You can't walk ten paces for tripping up over a new restaurant or cafe. There's endless movie nights, gigs, supper clubs, exhibitions, all popping up in strange unexpected places and giving Dublin a distinctive edge of cool that it never had when last I lived there.

This is all great, except I find myself in the, probably not altogether unique, situation of forced solitude now that half my friend's have emigrated and the other half are settling down and having kids. There's all this great stuff going on but finding a reliable partner in crime can prove difficult. Every time I see something interesting, I get all excited about it, then I run through the potential list of invitees and my mood plummets as I realise....they're all gone. Well, not all, but you get the idea. So. What are my options? Stick around waiting for things to get better? Yes, I could do that. Or I could hop on a plane with everyone else and check out what this whole 'Europe' thing is about. 

So here I am in Brussels of all places. With the rest of Ireland it seems. What better city than this, the queen of transience, to spend the summer months? At the very least I'll eat some good food, drink some great beer and learn un peu le Francais and at the very most I can drag the rest of their sorry asses back to Dublin with me when I leave. 

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