ENTRY 1350 | THURSDAY,
DECEMBER 12 2013
"Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." Look
carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore
do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord
is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery;
but be filled with the Spirit. . . .
From St. Paul's
letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5,
from today's Orthodox lectionary
See the homiletical thought below.
Christmas lights in Dublin
mentioned in my Facebook and Google+ notices this morning that I was
on my way to Dublin to see if the Christmas lights there are any brighter
than ours in Belfast. They may be. They certainly seem to have more
of them, but then Dublin is three times (and then some) bigger than
Belfast, so it should.
retraced most of the steps of my previous visit to Dublin in October,
making my way across the Liffy River over one of the foot bridges
accessible from the Jervis tram stop, through Temple Bar, on to Grafton
Street. Grafton Street is always a people-watcher's carnival, but
I had never been there at Christmastime, and it was especially so
today with all the lights, other trimmings, and people in a festive
mood. First, I had a lunch of seafood chowder and cappuccino at the
old standby, Bewleys, Dublin's landmark coffeeshop which has been
a first stop for American (and other) tourists for generations. That
afforded three pictures worth sharing, but I'll forego the food picture
in favor of two of the others.
first is of a scene in one of the front windows of Bewley's, a holiday
scene in miniatures of people enjoying fun in...Bewley's. The story
is, by the way, that Bewley's was originally established (I believe
by Quakers or, as they prefer to be called, members of the Society
of Friends) as a competitor for the pubs. I think it's safe to claim
that, today, coffeehouses like Bewley's are more popular, even in
Dublin and Belfast, than pubs are, so perhaps their goal has been
reached, though the first five generations or so of the founders and
promoters didn't live to see it come about. Alcohol consumption has
probably not decreased, but pub attendance definitely has. And it's
not only Starbucks, Costa, and the other major chains. Not only does
this original Bewley's survive (as I was surprised to see the last
time I went to Dublin), I saw this evening a smaller new Bewley's
obviously intended to compete directly with those chains.
second snap taken in Bewley's is this third-floor view of the Christmas
lights on Grafton Street, which came on while I was having my late
lunch. The "chandeliers" really impressed me...there is
one every half block or so up the street.
Bewley's, I walked again through St. Stephen's Green, the adjacent
park. The leaves are mostly gone now, and there were no special Christmas
decorations in the park. So I went to the other side to catch the
second of Dublin's tram lines, which goes out into the southern suburbs.
I had taken one of those lines last time and discovered that there
was a canal a couple of miles out, and I had to get pictures of that.
canal boat above is the only one I saw on the few blocks of canalway
I walked, but it is a scenic walk I'd like to continue some time later.
This boat is available for parties and functions.
the time I'd walked a few blocks along the canal, darkness had descended
enough to get good pictures of the lights. Above is a large jewelry
store on Grafton decked up in ribbons and a bow, along with more of
on Grafton was this, one of my favorite sights, a large nativity scene
(I include the woman in the background for size comparison). An older
couple were giving out religious literature and rosaries to anyone
who stopped to admire their artwork.
the south side, I took this, one of my favorite pictures of the day.
It shows the famous Hapenny Bridge over the Liffy, with Christmas
lights on the street beyond. The bridge gets its name from its origin
as a toll bridge, when its owner charged a half-penny to use it.
for today (I'll try to add some more tomorrow) is this Google+ "autoawsome"
photo of a Santa enhanced by phony snow (it was a balmy 55°F at
the time) that I snapped in the block beyond the Hapenny Bridge. Wearing
my Santa hat, I sneaked up to this much phonier looking Santa and
said with a laugh, "Who's the imposter?" Without skipping
a beat, he replied, "the one up the street." And sure enough,
as I proceeded up the block, I saw yet a third Santa in a store, talking