Feeling iffy by the Liffey

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Doctor whack. He ought to physic himself a bit. Electuary or emulsion. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Simples. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to chloroform you. Test: turns blue litmus paper red. Chloroform. Overdose of laudanum. Sleeping draughts. Lovephiltres. Paragoric poppysyrup bad for cough. Clogs the pores or the phlegm. Poisons the only cures. Remedy where you least expect it. Clever of nature. – From Ulysses by James Joyce.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing. – From La Belle Dames Sans Merci by John Keats

Sod – or Murphy as he is known here in Dublin – has a lot to answer for. Sod’s (Murphy’s) Law – i.e. anything that can go wrong will go wrong – certainly seems to be applying to me this week as my whistlestop visit to the Irish capital turns out to be a lot longer than I had planned.

As noted in my last Blog, I was due to return to Pontardawe, Wales yesterday for my granddaughter Carys’ second birthday, having spent several days over the weekend with the family.

Alas, her Dad and my son-in-law Adrian tested positive for you know what on Tuesday. Not only did that mean that I could not attend an occasion I have been looking forward to for a whole year but it also means (as a close contact), I cannot return to London to host the first Moodie Davitt Report staff day and dinner party in over two and a half years.

Down by the River Liffey in Temple Bar Dublin

Perversely, Messrs Sod and Murphy have seen to it that I remain stranded in Ireland while my business partner Dermot Davitt can fly from Ireland to be on hand in London. A Moodie Davitt day and dinner without any of the Moodies (me, Sinead and Declan all awaiting the COVID all-clear) then. Welcome to The Davitt Report. Hey ho, me being a ‘super-spreader’ among my own team would probably not provide the morale boost that such gatherings are meant to produce anyhow.

Nor, alas, will there be time left on my world tour to visit Dermot as planned in Galway next week. Sod you Murphy.

So far, despite feeling as rough as a storm-tossed Irish Sea yesterday with flu-like symptoms, I have tested negative each day (Oh what great craic this travel life is, feeling rotten and sitting isolated in a foreign hotel room shoving cotton buds up one’s nostrils). We will see if that situation continues to prevail. If it does I will head back to London for a hurried rescheduling of my final days in the UK. If I test positive, I will have to wait it out until that changes.

Part Sweny’s Pharmacy, part Moodie Davitt Report Interim Dublin Bureau

Things could be worse. I’m staying in the Temple Bar area, full of colour and life and great Irish music. With a nod to our recent coverage of Walsh Whiskey’s celebration of Bloomsday (an annual homage to James Joyce’s epic, Ulysses), I have taken up residence in none other than Blooms Hotel.

A great little place it is too, just a Hurling puck-out from the River Liffey. Or to use a timelier analogy – a couple of Johnny Sexton drop goals away.

The Irish rugby team play the All Blacks on Saturday in Dunedin in the second match of a three-test series (you can enter our predictor competition here).

So I will be watching it (my sans-COVID state permitting) in enemy territory as it were. Hopefully that will be over a pint of early-morning Guiness (though with my luck it may turn out to be Murphy’s or even the latter’s new line extension Sod’s) with Conor Dempsey who handles the PR for Walsh Whiskey, and perhaps one of two other Irish partners in travel retail crime.

One of Walsh Whiskey’s brands is, of course, Writers’ Tears, which just about sums up my mood. Tonight – having just tested negative again – I will down a taoscán (Gaelic for ‘dram’) or two of that fine whiskey in The VAT House pub here at Blooms. Given that the hotel is named after the hero of Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, the choice of tipple is irresistible.

Ulysses was, of course, set on a single day in Dublin. As I sit here, feeling iffy by the Liffey with Sod and Murphy for company, my sojourn, palely loitering, might take a little longer.

Bronze statues of Oliver Saint John Gogarty and James Joyce outside the pub of the former’s name in Temple Bar, Dublin {Oliver St. John Gogarty was an author, poet, surgeon, politician and athlete who inspired the character Buck Mulligan in Joyce’s Ulysses}

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