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A Dublin Adventure 2 – The Progress Progress*

I am writing this post midway through the third day of WorldCon, which is essentially the half way point of the convention, and more than half way into the trip as a whole (we arrived on Tuesday, it is currently Saturday and we leave Tuesday coming).

This trip has had its ups and downs, but is definitely weighted more in the favour of its ups. This post is an exercise in sharing some of those good and negative experiences.

Day One – We did get to Bewleys!

My last post was written while I was on the plane headed to Dublin. Upon landing, we made our way into the city centre, and made an immediate beeline for Bewleys Oriental Cafe. Situated on Grafton Street, one of the main shopping streets of Dublin, Bewley’s is a cafe and ‘cafe theatre’, not that Michael and I have ever experienced the theatre aspect ourselves.

We know from our previous times in Dublin that we love Bewley’s tea, and prior to this trip, we have been to the cafe on Grafton Street before. So it was a must visit for two reasons!

A lot of the anxiety I had felt it the run up to and during the flight over to Ireland melted around once we had actually landed, and familiar sights made themselves known. I think the destination of the trip being somewhere familiar as certainly helped keep the anxiety at bay, as has the fact that the country is majority English speaking (other than on the TV, I have only heard one Irish speaker so far!).

Bewley’s was, as expected, wonderful. So much so we went back on Day Two!

Day Two – The One Where We Chilled

Michael and I weren’t overly bothered about doing any major sightseeing; this was not out first trip to Dublin and we did the majority of the big sights on our first visit back in 2005. So on our ‘chill’ day between arriving and the start of WorldCon, we did exactly then; we chilled.

We did go across to the venue to get ourselves registered and therefore save a bit of time the next morning. It also allowed us to scope out the bus routes, and enjoy a walk along the river Liffey.

We walked around the city centre, Michael found the Games Workshop which made him very happy, and we had our first ever Supermacs. Curry cheese fries are a revelation, let me tell you!

Our day was rounded out by picking up some groceries, and clashing our diaries for the next few days, seeing what panels we would be doing together, and which ones we wouldn’t be.

Day Three, that is Con Day One!

My first day of WorldCon started off on the right foot. Michael and I arrived in time for Star Trek Yoga, which was challenging but rewarding. I had a couple more panels, and then a migraine hit. I quickly found the quiet room, and was there for the next three hours. At 5pm, Michael took me away from the con and back to our lodgings. Rest and sleep were what I needed.

I don’t know what set the migraine off, but it ruined my first day at the con. I enjoyed what I managed to do, but I closed the day out feeling frustrated and angry. And with no one to blame…which makes it even more frustrating again.

Day Four, a better con day!

Day four, yesterday, as a significantly better day than the one prior. I had the aftermath of the migraine from Thursday, but I could thinking clearly and see, so I could assimilate information again; huzzah!

Michael and I being silly on Day Two!

*** 21:19 Thursday 23rd January 2020!

Several months have passed since both WorldCon, and my last time looking at this blog. I had always meant to come back and finish this post, but clearly I did not!

I do not recall for the life of me why I called this post ‘the progress progress’, but I have left the title as I found it, purely for my own amusement.

WorldCon ended up being an amazing experience. I won’t go into a daily breakdown this long after the event. I will simply say that I went to many informative and enjoyable panels. I met some wonderful people, and Dublin was as lovely as I can remember it being on my previous visits.

The group I played D&D with one of the con days.
Jaq, who I now follow on Instagram and hope to meet again.
Michael and I get a selfie with Laser of The Doubleclicks after their concert!
dear diary mental health

A Dublin Adventure

Today is the start of an adventure that has been in my diary for at least 2 years. As soon as Michael (one of my partners…the one I’m married too! Check out the About page for a diagram of my polycule) heard that there was a possibility that WorldCon could be held in Dublin, Ireland, this year, it was put onto the Calendar.

WorldCon is the World Science Fiction Convention. It takes place every year at a different location. Michael attended ‘LonCon 3’, which was the WorldCon in 2014 and absolutely loved it (making Megan and I a little green with envy at all the fun he was having, truth be told!).

Originally, Michael, Megan and I were going to attend together, driving across to Dublin by taking the ferry from Liverpool. However Megan’s anxiety ‘got the better of her’, and she decided last year that she knew it was a trip she wasn’t going to be able to make. It saddened her, but she still wanted Michael and I to forge ahead and make the trip. So our plan changed. We switched from car and ferry, to flying over to Dublin with Ryanair (chosen for price, not service I assure you!). Our plan to stay in a hotel room changed to a hostel, which then changed to student accommodation (which is leased out to tourists during the summer) after the hostel we had booked closed! So there’s been some stress along the way, but we are finally here and on our way.

Only…I’m finding it hard to be excited and it’s killing me inside. Over the last few weeks, my own anxiety has been on the rise and it has peaked over the last week or so. I like flying…in fact I love flying. I have flown solo plenty of times in my life, both for personal and work reasons. So why today, even with Michael with me (a person who has been part of my life for the best part of 18 years and I trust with my soul) is it bothering me so much? Why today, am I writing this to distract myself rather than enjoying this experience like I usually do?

It’s very frustrating, and something I really hope I overcome once we land. I want to enjoy this trip, I really do!

Once we are in Dublin, we have today and tomorrow for sight seeing, and then the convention starts on Thursday. I am looking forward to seeing a couple of familiar faces and although it makes the knot in my stomach tighten, I do want I to make some new friends if I can. There are so many awesome panels on my list of ‘want to attends’ that I need to whittle down, as I have lots of overlap! And I am looking forward to finding out what exactly Star Trek Yoga is….even Michael is going to join in!

The act of writing this out has helped me a little bit. It’s helping me to see that I am actually looking forward to doing things at the convention.

I am also looking forward to a trip to Bewley’s on Grafton Street…it’s a must visit, correct? 😉


Visit to Rievaulx

Today I visited Rievaulx Abbey with Megan (one of my nesting partners) and her Mum. I find ruins of abbeys and cathedrals fascinating, and we went on a lovely day weather wise to explore the ruins and grounds. Here is a small selection of the pictures I snapped while looking around.

(Okay….so the last one, Megan took for me!)

Megan and Jane make fantastic companions for things like this; day’s out with them are fun and really make me smile. Which is good for times like now, when my anxiety is all over the place. As I write this, I have a tight knot in my stomach which did not exist during the day today. Getting into the fresh air with these amazing women lifts me up, helps me to engage and enjoy my surroundings. It’s not enough on its own to keep the anxiety I suffer at bay, but it certainly helps.

I will be writing more about anxiety and my current mental health landscape in a more in depth post.

Rievaulx is a place I am very happy to have visited. The English Heritage membership that Megan and I decided to take out a couple of weeks ago is not going to waste!