Thursday, 29 December 2011

England: Day Two

This is Day 2 in a series. You might want to check out the previous day, or start at the introduction.

So, day two of the England trip was still in Ireland. In Dublin specifically. In Howth, even more specifically.

Today, we started out by walking to the downtown, and taking a look around. My aunt had some errands to run on the way, so we stopped in at some buildings on the way.

This is a picture of my dad at the police station:
A quaint little station on the side of a hill with a flag pole on the corner of the retaining wall.
It was really hard to get the flag straight.
So, Howth is sort of a suburb of Dublin. It's right on the coast, on a little peninsula on one side of the bay, so there are a lot of fishing ships. This is a picture of what one person did:
A mooring rope connects a large fishing boat to the trailer hitch of a truck, for a logical reason, I'm sure.
That way, if the boat floats away,
you can claim insurance on the car too!
For whatever reason, they attached their car to the fishing trawler. I'm not sure what the advantage of that is, but someone else did that with another car and boat also.

Also of note in Howth is that apparently the headquarters for the Irish Olympics is located there:
There is a blue building in downtown Howth with the Olympic Rings on it that is the Irish headquarters.
It's almost Olympic season, after all.
After the tour of Howth (where winds coming off of the ocean were probably close to 50 km/h), we went to Saint Anne's Park to walk the dog. Actually, we tried to go to this lovely quint casino (as in "little house" in Italian), but it was closed for the winter, so we went to the park. It was quite lovely. Lots of green, just like you would expect in Ireland.
I guess the creator of this pink and white rose was named Terry O'something?
I should probably start growing these...
That rose is called a Terry O apparently. I find that quite humorous. It is quite lovely though.

Anyhow, there were many different rose beds, all with a different species of rose planted in them. Most of them weren't blooming very much, because of the season, but there were still some (like the Terry O) that were out, and very pretty, if I do say so myself. Or maybe I should be saying "cute"...

Moving on, we went back home and killed some time back at my Aunt's place. I solved some more Sudokus, and we sat in front of the fireplace. Then we headed off to a 6:00 (or 18:00) showing of Oliver! at the National Concert Hall. I had heard several songs from the play before, and read the book, but had never actually seen the play. So let's review it, shall we?

First: a poor picture of the magnificent chandelier at the National Concert Hall:
Yeah, this chandelier is really big, has a lot of glass, and looks really cool.
So many lights! I would hate to have to change a bulb.
So, Oliver! First off, let me say that it was fantastic. I liked it a lot. The children did a great job singing (better than the adults sometimes), the lighting crew was spot on, and the orchestra was magnificent. I don't think that I have a single negative thing to say about the orchestra, actually. They were on cue, on pitch, and on...I don't know. But they were exciting.

As for the acting, it was great. If there was anyone that I would complain about, it would be the headmaster who's name I can't remember (we'll get to that). The one that Oliver says "Can I have some more?" to. His songs were the weakest by far, and it didn't help that his microphone cut out a couple of times. However, I understand that the microphone was no one's fault, so I can ignore it.

What I can't ignore (but is still no one's fault) is that I couldn't understand over half it the things that they said. Maybe slightly under half. But still lots. There are three main reasons for this that I can see:

  1. They were singing. It's always harder to make out words that are being sung.
  2. They had really thick accents. It's hard enough to cut through the accent when they're talking, but singing is too much.
  3. We were up in the nosebleeds. However, this didn't really matter, because they had microphones, and the nosebleeds were still really close to the stage.

So yeah, I was kind of confused at times. However, I already knew the basic story, and I had heard some of the songs, so I knew what was happening, and I could still enjoy it.

And enjoy it I did! It was a really good performance. I'm quite glad that I went to see it. I complained about one actor, but let me just say that the others were all very good, especially the one that played Nancy. She did a fantastic job, and I commend her.

So, that's it for today. Tomorrow will bring about a change of scenery, so look for that.

Full Series

IntroEngland Trip
Day 2: Howth and Oliver!

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