A Visit to Dublin at Christmas

Mrs BrownI do hope your houses are all still standing and that you and yours are safe and warm after the battering of storm Frank?  I’ve just heard that Gertrude is on her way now and we all know there’s nothing worse than an angry woman (maybe that’s just me?)

I’ve been busy trying to do a spot of research for this post, but am sad to say I’ve drawn a blank.  I wanted to tell you all about our trip to Dublin to see Mrs Brown’s Boys at the 3 Arena and how it was for charity, but I can’t find anything specific to quote, so I’m hoping what I’ve been told isn’t too far off the mark.

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I’ve never been to Dublin to see the Christmas Lights before and can safely say, I’ll be back.  The city wasn’t as crazy as we’d expected, sure there were queues for parking, but they weren’t too bad and yes there was more traffic on the roads than usual, but I’m a Londoner and that never phases me anyway.

Love it or hate it, most people have a very definite opinion of Brendan O’Carroll’s Mrs Brown show.  I’m a child of the 70’s, a Londoner (as previously mentioned), SE1 to be precise, the cheapest place on the Monopoly Board to be exact.  Despite moving away, I would return weekly, even as an adult to spend time with my grandparents.

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My regular visits always consisted of Pie and Mash from Manze’s (still there and the oldest eel house in London now I think)  and tales from when they were younger. As two of the most important people in my life they influenced me with a diet of Carry on Films, Hancock’s Half Hour, Norman Wisdom and that silly, slightly naughty humour that was around at the time.  I was never allowed to watch Benny Hill though and having seen it now I’m older, I can see why.

Mrs Brown’s Boys taps into that genre in a way that others have tried and failed to do.  It has a feel of a program from the 70’s or early 80’s and it works.  I can’t say I’d go out of my way to watch it ordinarily, but in the main it makes me laugh and my son Kye, like many others his age loves it, so as a ‘Christmas Treat’, why not?


We left Lismore bright and early on Saturday 19th to be in Dublin for the 2pm matinee show of How Now Mrs Brown Cow.  Of course, no trip to Dublin is complete without a stop off at Avoca for tea and cake though.  I wouldn’t mind a large slice of that ow actually.

The 3 Arena was packed and parking was a bit of a nightmare, but we had a great time.  The show was laugh out loud funny and it was obvious from the uncontrollable laughter of some of the cast members, that the performance went ‘off script’ on more than one occasion.  There were lots of families in the audience and I guess for the most part all they see is a man dressed up as a woman, using bad language and personally, I don’t see the harm although I know it offends some people.

The thing I didn’t know about the Mrs Browns Boys Live Show and what I’ve been trying to research, is the money it raises for charity.   I was unaware when I booked the tickets,  that the cast and crew take no wages for their Dublin matinee performance and the 3Arena doesn’t charge for the show either.  I’m not sure if Ticketmaster donate their fee (I imagine not), but all in all, the Saturday Matinee performance raised approximately €250,000 for Irish Charities.  I think there were three mentioned, but can only remember Crumlin Hospital and Irish Autism Action and haven’t been able to confirm the third (I’m actually hoping those two are correct too).  If you know I’d love to hear from you.

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Like it or loathe it, there’s no denying the good it’s doing and 15million fans worldwide can’t be wrong can they?  I for one will be keeping an eye out for when the show returns in the hope that we can go again.

All the Christmas running around also meant I was able to get a little knitting done in between Magazine projects, including these two hats.

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This is Barley from Tin Can Knits, one of those quick knits that really shows of the beauty of multicoloured yarns.  This Rainbow Drops looking yarn is Genie from Hedgehog Fibres, that I purchased on my recent visit to attend Stephen West’s Colour Workshop.  It was for Dina and she loves it.

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This is another Striped Hat (even though it’s not actually striped) from Erika Knight’s Mens Knits book.  It’s the hat my son Du loves, so both Dina and I have knitted him quite a few.  They’ve tended to be in more muted colours, so the red is a bit of a break from the norm.  I used Studio Donegal Soft Donegal and can honestly say it was a pleasure to knit with.  The yarn has a lovely handle to it and forms a soft, warm fabric, with good stitch definition  Fortunately, he likes the red, so I’m thinking of knitting the next few hats in brighter shades too.

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Currently I’m working on a test knit for the magazine, so can’t show you much, except for the colour, which you can see in my little swatch here.  It’s a beautiful silvery grey, which I know Dina will be pleased to discover as I’ve promised her the garment when we’re finished with it.

I’ve also been trying to finish the crochet blanket for Kye, but the yarn is never ending.  Despite having to crack on with the test knit, I’m sorely tempted to continue on with the blanket, so it’s finished for the end of 2015.

What would you do?

Happy December Crafting!

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