On Saturday, I went to see number 10, Henrietta Street as part of the Open House weekend where all sorts of places are thrown open to the public. Number 10 is a beautiful former townhouse which has been a convent since the start of the 20th century. It was restored in 2003 and an architect involved in the restoration gave a fantastic tour.
I have fallen in love with Henrietta Street and want to live there. It is quite beautiful to look at with the King’s Inns forming the end of the street and very large early Georgian houses on either side. The area is very urban and edgy (what some people might call rough and dangerous) and the houses are beautiful, listed, huge and, in many cases derelict. As recently as 1974 they were tenements with 36 families living in one of the houses. Hassett and Fitzsimons has one for sale with the fantastically engaging description “unique refurbishment opportunity”. €1.85 million before you have at all begun your unique refurbishing. When I told Mr. Waffle all this with shining eyes on my return, he started to bang his head against the fridge. I suppose my only hope of moving there is either a) win the lottery or b) become a nun.
During the week my brother brought us up an enormous quantity of apples from my parents’ house in Cork. We took ourselves off to West Wicklow on Sunday morning where a look branch of the slow food movement were making an apple pressing machine available to those with plentiful apple crops. This was terrific. There were lots of children to play together while the grown ups made apple juice. Those attending ranged from bohemian couples with children with unlikely names to elderly protestant ladies. Although we were a bit outside the general demographic, it was great fun and I am contemplating shelling out some of my income to be notified of future events where I will be able to overhear more conversations along the lines of “I knew, just by looking at them that your children had to be homeschooled…” and “Have you met …, she’s a herbalist.” Also the Princess made a friend. They discovered that they were both from Dublin and arranged to meet at the Spire. I knew she had met a soulmate when the new friend said to her father, “Daddy, I am meeting my new friend at the Spire, when would be an appropriate time for us to meet.” [Emphasis added] To her great chagrin, her father replied “In about 6 years.”