The plan was simple: to get my disabled daughter B to as many of the St Patrick’s Festival events as possible. Life and other speed bumps permitting of course.
First on the agenda was the Dublin Parade on Friday.
We parked in one of our regular spots down a back street – one of the advantages of driving an ugly wheelchair accessible van is that no one wants to steal it!
Finding the disabled viewing point on Westmoreland street was a challenge, even some of the officials didn’t know where it was. Finally we got there and it was spacious, with a great view of the parade route, and we weren’t even late (for once).
B was spellbound by the parade. She especially liked the marching bands.
The dancers were also wonderful to watch and many of them came over to high five my daughter, and the disabled children sitting with us.
But our spot was also cold and exposed, and we got more and more chilled, until the heavens opened about 20 minutes before the end.
So soggy and shivering, we ended up going straight home instead of meeting up with friends nearby. But it was a great start to the weekend.
On Saturday I was hoping to bring B to a theatre and music event in St Stephen’s Green, but we had to begin the day on the northside, hunting for nappies. We’re lucky that the Irish health service provides four free nappies a day, but it’s not quite enough. So I always have a last minute panic when I realise that she’s going to run out before the next delivery. And sod’s law means that the nappy drought usually takes place on a bank holiday weekend. There’s only one shop in Dublin guaranteed to have the right size of adult nappies and it was only open on the Saturday. By the time the purchase had been made and safely stowed away, I couldn’t face a trek across the city so we searched for Festival events nearby, but found nothing. Even Wolfe Tone Park in the heart of the shopping district was empty apart from some disgruntled pigeons and an eager photographer. So we went to a cake shop and then paraded up and down Henry Street and even in the rain, my daughter was very happy to be back in her favourite place.
The plan on Sunday was to visit the giant family funfair in Merrion Square, another southside Dublin Park where we’ve spent happy afternoons in other years lolling on the grass and soaking up the sun to the sound of different bands. There was none of that this weekend. We did have a lovely picnic next to the Dermot Morgan commemorative chair though.
We admired the recycling robot.
And B loved the noise and excitement of the fairground rides.
All too soon it was time to head home for toileting. Back to the chores and the needs of my other offspring. The St Patrick’s weekend fun is over for another year, but the festival season is only just beginning. Watch this space for more adventures!