Seated in the back of the car to the left of me, JS asked why she would not be joining the book group trip to Dublin. I found it hard to believe that she had forgotten all about her forthcoming hospital visit, but kindly reminded her of her knee operation. Meanwhile I was trying to shrug off NI to my right as he attempted to put his left arm around my shoulders.
In the city of Dublin itself I was astonished by the enduring poverty of the city’s residents, who were crammed into medieval slum housing. Those lucky enough to have any cash were queuing outside the most famous shop in Dublin: an Eastern bazaar run from the top of a tower block by a beautiful Arab dressed in multi-coloured silks. I worried that the fancy goods on offer might be a front for more sinister trading activities.