Last week we had to go up to Dublin for Lucy and I to have blood tests in St. James’s Hospital. Our blood takes a while to clot so we tend to bruise easily and have nose bleeds and the hospital wanted to do tests to find out what was going on. It was an in-depth test so we had to go up the night before.
We stayed in the Ashling Hotel which was quite nice…the breakfast was fab! It was handy for the hospital, there was a big fight going on when we arrived though just outside our window. Luckily the hotel moved them on.
We got to the hospital at 9.30 when we were told too and got told off! The nurse said as we’d stayed in Dublin we should have got there earlier. There’s always one isn’t there!? We had our tests done and were sent away until the afternoon.
I liked seeing the giant eggs around the place for the Big Egg Hunt. I also love how busy Dublin always is. There is always something interesting to see.
The doctor said a blood test Lucy had done some time ago had shown up that she had low blood factor 13. Apparently this is very rare, he wanted to check this out so he tested her again and also me to see if the same problem is there. We won’t be back again for 6 months though so that’s not too bad.
Another long overdue blog. We had two trips to Dublin last month (one after the other…always the way). Not for pleasure, both hospital visits. One for blood tests for Lucy and I…to see if we have a bleeding disorder (we have to go back next month for further tests). The other for Jono’s spinal check-up.
Before Jono’s appointment we had a bit of time to look around Temple Bar. It was a lousy day so I only took photo’s with my phone. The one at the top is of the Ha’penny Bridge. The others are in Temple Bar.
If you don’t know Jono’s story he has kyphosis and scoliosis and his spine was very badly curved before he had surgery in 2009. The photo above is before and after. He grew 4 inches just from the surgery. The only problem is now that it’s curving above the spinal rods that he had inserted, so it means regular trips to Dublin to see the doctor.
Thankfully it hasn’t got any worse, so we breathed a sigh of relief as we were worried that Jono might need more surgery, which this time would have meant extending the rods to his neck. So smiles all round as it isn’t needed for the moment.
Jono was delighted to see the X-ray of his spine. He’s also really pleased that Tallaght hospital use his before and after photo for their training. He hopes it might also encourage people who were worried about having a spinal fusion to go for it.
If you don’t want to read any spoilers from the show don’t read on I wasn’t sure about the whole New Generation thing as I am a massive fan of the original album and show. However my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to go to Dublin and see what I thought.
You’ll have to forgive the lack of photos. The O2 were being really strict about people taking photos so I just sneaked a few and they aren’t great. The show begin with ‘William and Vera’ (Michael Falzon and Lily Osborne), they had more of a speaking part than in the 2010 show although they didn’t walk into the audience this time. There was the gust of wind at the end of their part where the newspapers blew into the audience.
Liam Neeson is now George Herbert the journalist, taking over from Richard Burton. As well as the holographic head to the left of the stage (and I heard some people on the right had trouble seeing it). Liam also appears full body on a screen which comes up from the stage from time to time. So for this show he actually interacts with some of the cast. Of course he’s not Richard Burton and I found some of the narration lacking a bit, what was missing with the diction was made up for by Liam’s facial expressions. He actually acted the part where of course Richard couldn’t.
Marti Pellow played the ‘Sung thoughts of the journalist’. To be honest this was the most disappointing part of the show for me. After hearing Gary Barlow singing on the new album, (and I’m not a Gary Barlow fan), I thought Marti might be fine. I found his voice quite weak though and he just really didn’t seem to be putting much feeling into it. The leaves came down on the right side of the stage during Forever Autumn.
Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs was the artillery man and I have to say he stole the show. He really does a brilliant rendition of someone going insane. He put such energy into the part, I loved it when he ran into the audience. He did have a few problems with the high notes from Brave New World but it didn’t make any difference he was still great and got the biggest cheer of the night. He has more props than in previous shows and actually digs into the stage which looks quite realistic.
Will Stapleton was the Voice of Humanity and he was brilliant, he’s got a great powerful voice and was perfect for the role. I really want to check out his band Jettblack.
The sound for the second half was a bit distorted and I found some of the voices were drowned out by the music, especially during Spirit of Man but I was really impressed with what I did hear. Jason Donovan was excellent as Parson Nathaniel, the role suited him better than the artillery man role he played last time. Kerry Ellis as Beth was excellent, probably the best one I’ve seen. At the end of the song Beth dies and her ‘spirit’ is meant to levitate, something went wrong though so it didn’t work as planned and they had to drag the dress through the trap door in the stage.
At the end all the cast are introduced and all sing part of The Eve of the War. There was a standing ovation for the show which was well deserved. It did annoy me when people started walking out during this song, it’s very distracting for those trying to watch the show.
Michael Falzon took to the stage for the epilogue as Marvin, the NASA controller. Again this is a longer part than the 2010 show, he gets blown up in the end though…and I still have no idea how they did it.
Other parts of the show: the heatray from the fighting machine…and I screamed again!, paperboys running across the stage twice, the change in the music making it more modern, more graphics on the screen, Chris Spedding and Herbie Flowers getting their own little ‘solo’ where they get to stand on a raised stage. The martians talking more in the show. A bit at the end of Liam Neeson and Carrie talking to eachother. Liam’s hologram was on stage and Carrie’s hologram was on the left of the stage. There was loads of merchandise for sale including some great t-shirts. I did think 20 euro for a mug was way too expensive though. Also the programmes were 20 euro but if you wanted one signed by Jeff it was 40! If you met him, he’d sign it for nothing.
Things that I didn’t like…the daft woman who thought the show was about a spider! The people behind me who had no idea what the show was about. Not being able to take photos. Apart from that I loved every minute and it was over way too quickly…if you get a chance to go do. My photos are here.
We got to meet most of the cast and crew afterwards as I was staying in the same hotel. They were all so nice especially Michael Falzon who spent a good while talking to us and Jeff and his wife…but all of them were lovely. A fan asked Jeff to phone his friend….no one would have believed I’m sad it’s all over but looking forward to the next tour and fingers crossed they bring out a new DVD.
I was so delighted. Lucy is a massive fan and we went to the Monster Ball in 2010 but couldn’t afford tickets to this years one. As it’s her birthday on Wednesday it was a fantastic early birthday present.
Lady Gaga was brilliant. She puts so much energy in her shows. I have to say I preferred the Monster Ball in 2010. Mainly because it was in the O2 and it’s a much more intimate venue. We were standing as well at that one and although it nearly killed me it’s much easier to get involved in the show. We had a great time though, it was a brilliant show. My photos aren’t great because we were so far away. They are here though.
We stayed at The Gibson Hotel. It was too expensive to book it directly through the hotel’s website so I booked it through Roomex.com. It’s great, the only thing is that you have to pay when you book the room.
The hotel left cakes in our room which was really nice of them I have to recommend this place. It’s very clean, bright and modern and the beds are so comfortable. Breakfast is fantastic, such a great choice from cereal, pastries, cold meats and cheese, fruit and fried food. The best thing about it is that it’s just across from The O2.
It’s a real shame the Dublin Eye has now gone from beside The O2. It used to look lovely all lit up and I’ve been on it twice and really enjoyed it, the views over Dublin were amazing. It’s also a shame the weekend market has gone too
Before the girls went to the concert we had a look around Dublin. I love the atmosphere, there are always lots of people including buskers and the ladies who sell fruit from prams. The ceiling above in the GPO arcade really caught my eye. I took that pic on my iPhone, I’m quite pleased with it.
The girls had a fantastic time at the concert. They both really enjoyed it. Luckily they had seats. Some poor people who were standing were queuing out all day.
We had a great time in Dublin. The weather was really good too (which makes a change)….Oh and I forgot to mention about when we were in the hotel, the room faced onto a courtyard and there are other rooms opposite. I happened to glance out of my window and there was a naked man in the room across from us!! The rest of my photos are here. (minus the naked man!)
On Saturday Lucy and I went to Dublin to have a look at Dundrum Town Centre. Anyone who knows me will know I’m not a shopper so I was a bit apprehensive about the whole shopping bit but I wanted to go to have a look around.
I really liked Urban Outfitters. What a cool shop with loads of gadgety bits as well as clothes. Hollister had recently opened but what I can’t understand is why they don’t put on lights in their shop….it’s almost pitch black in there. I don’t know how anyone can see what they are buying.
Later in the day we had to check out Yo! Sushi. It was brilliant. All the food goes around on a conveyor belt and you choose what you want. There is a booklet explaining what each food is and the plates are colour coded so the prices vary depending on what coloured plate you choose. Just beware though there are water taps and glasses on the counter but they do charge for the water.
We had a great day, although there was quite a lot of walking involved which I enjoy but Lucy hates. The only thing was we really didn’t have enough time. The train takes 3 hours from Sligo to Dublin, then we had to walk to St. Stephens Green to get the Luas (tram) to Dundrum. So we only had about three hours before we had to leave for the train home again. We will go back again though.
The kids had money for Christmas which was burning a hole in their pockets so against my better judgement I took them to Dublin to have a look at the sales. I think when it comes to shopping I have the bloke gene. I can’t see the fascination in traipsing around the shops for hours, looking at all kinds of clothes….then going back to the first shop and buying the first thing you saw. I know what I want to buy so I just go in and buy it.
Anyway I did manage to take a few photos so that kept me amused, I only had Jono’s compact camera with me. The lights in Dublin are really lovely. The shops weren’t that busy, thankfully. My pet hate is when the sale signs say ‘Up to 50% off’. When you go in to look at something there is a measly 2 euro off or something ridiculous like that. Now I’m sure there are bargains to be had but we didn’t really find any. I came home having spent a whopping 1 euro 85 on a Lush bathbomb (which was half price )
Lucy got lured in by the M.A.C cosmetics in Brown Thomas…which was packed and I quickly got bored so Jono and I headed to Bewleys Cafe where there was a free exhibition on (it’s still running by the way so if you get a chance do go and see it). The exhibition is called Christmas Street and it’s by Paddy Campbell. Voluntary donations are accepted and will be donated to Heart Children Ireland.
There are a few more photos of our day in Dublin on my Flickr page.
All in all we had a lovely day until the return journey home. This family got on the train and decided to let their kids do their own thing. So the kids were running up and down the train throwing cake at everyone and singing ‘Shite is falling’ to the tune of Shakin’ Stevens ‘Merry Christmas everyone’. Here is just a fraction of the destruction they caused.
We had to pick the day when there were a lot of protests on. So O’Connell Street was closed to traffic. The protest about the Congo was very colourful and the protesters were all singing. I wasn’t a bit impressed with the pre-budget protest though. There was a spokeswoman on the stage and her language was disgusting. Now I don’t mind swearing but there is a time and a place and on the lead up to Christmas with lots of children around that isn’t the place. She would have got her point across a lot better without the swearing.
It was lovely to see the shops with their window decorations and Arnotts was great with their walking Christmas trees. You can see more photos from our day here.
The image that touched me the most was John with his dog and rabbit. John is homeless and during the Summer he saw a thug throw the rabbit into the River Liffey. He went in and rescued the poor animal. He is a really lovely man and the animals love him. We saw him sit down and both animals jumped onto his lamp and settled down. Well done to John the world would be a nicer place if there were more people like him.
On Tuesday Andy wound up in hospital. He only went to the doctors for a blood test, he’s been quite breathless though and having palpitations so she sent him in for tests. I suppose with his past history of blood clots you can’t be too careful. Anyway the hospital were brilliant and did loads of tests and sent him home with a heart monitor on. He won’t know the results for a few weeks.
Wednesday was Jonos monthly meal out with the ‘BEO’ group. This time they went to Shenanigans and he had a great time. Lucy and I went to the cinema to see the Lion King while we were waiting for him. It wouldn’t be my choice of film (I didn’t want to be blubbing over a cartoon lion), but it was grand and I didn’t blub thankfully.
Thursday was a busy day. It was Jonos spinal check up in Tallaght hospital. It’s almost a four-hour journey from here to Tallaght between the train and the Luas. When we arrived Mr. Noel (the consultant) wasn’t there. I told the nurse Jono would need an X-Ray and they would need to see if the curve of his spine had got any worse. She told me it wasn’t down in the notes. So we sat and waited for 40 minutes until Mr. Noel arrived…..and then she came and told us Jono needed an X-ray! So we had to spend another hour waiting for that.
I was getting worried because it was almost 5pm by the time we got back to the clinic and the last train left at 7pm. Thankfully we got seen fairly quickly. Mr. Noel is a brilliant doctor, he showed us the shots of the X-Ray and explained that Jonos back had got 4 degrees worse in a year..which isn’t much at all. So he’s going to just keep an eye on him to make sure it doesn’t get any worse.