Beer, spirits and mindfulness in Dublin

Beer and spirits

Barry took the opportunity for a spot of ‘research’ during our trip to Dublin last week, spending a leisurely few hours at the Guinness Storehouse. By booking online beforehand he saved £3.60 which can’t be bad. Unfortunately that didn’t cover the cost of a pint of the dark nectar in Ireland! Such an expensive place, I’m told there’s a high tax imposed on alcohol, which apparently explains the extortionate cost.

All the more reason to brew your own there too I’d suggest!

It’ll take a while before I get any photos from Barry, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t take any of the Guinness he disposed of, but you never know!

He also sought out the Old Jameson Distillery to see if he could pick up a tip or two – I suspect he gave more than he received. Reluctantly tasting a sample was a part of the tour – and for those who enjoy whisky that could’ve been a highlight. Barry doesn’t, so it wasn’t! Interesting nonetheless.

Dublin at night

We had a fabulous night out together at a pub called The Church, recommended to us by our ‘airbnb’ host. It’s the most amazing venue, complete with organ, and live Irish music each night. We were even entertained by a couple of ‘Riverdancers’.


Barry tasting some of the local Irish Pale Ale – I’m on a blonde Belgium beer which was rather lovely


Sitting at the bar we got chatting to Julio, originally from Paraguay, now living in Canada, who’d been working in Ireland for a number of weeks. We helped him toast his last night on the emerald isle


Trying a variation on Guinness

Last week I posted on our Facebook page for The Home Brew Boat, a photo for a beer brewing starter kit and suggested people may consider buying one for ‘the man in their life’. I got a couple of comments back that women drink beer too – of course they do, how thoughtless of me, I guess I’m just so used to Barry drinking beer and me drinking wine or cider.

This picture made me smile after that …


Wisdom 2.0 Europe conference

The reason we headed to Dublin was for an international conference on ‘Compassion and Mindfulness in the Digital Age’. Quite apt I feel for someone who spends a fair proportion of time on Facebook, Twitter, blogging and emails!

It’s the first time this annual conference has come to Europe, previously it’s been USA based only. There was some fascinating information from inspiring speakers – who included a British MP introducing mindfulness into parliament, a head teacher embracing it wholeheartedly into mainstream schools, the head of learning and development at LinkedIn – and so many more. I shan’t go into more detail, except to say that there’s a body of evidence emerging daily on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, not only in your leisure time, but vitally at work.

The pressure to work more, harder and for longer may be lessening, when big companies like Google employ a ‘Meditation Manager’, and Volkswagen tweak their email system to stop employees gaining access outside of working hours.

This was MY research in Ireland, into ways of supporting people through life coaching, to slow down in this fast-paced world.

Do email me if you want to hear more …


Our apartment was just behind the ‘tube in the cube’, the Dublin Convention Centre across the River Liffey, my walk to the conference was over this cool harp shaped bridge


Barry even walked with me …


And here I am at the Google Foundry, where the event took place, sponsored by Google and Yogaglo


What are your thoughts?

Living in the slow boat lane

Those of you who’ve been reading our blog for a while, will know it’s taken many years to reach the place we’re at.

Slowing down is something I’ve been consciously working on since I first travelled to New Zealand in October 2001 – almost 13 years ago now! The nine months I spent living and working (for four of those months) there, were literally the first time in my adult life I’d been able to gift myself some real time-out to reflect on what I’d done with my life thus far, where I’d been, and where I wanted to go.

Fast forward (excuse the pace change!) to October 2014, and I’ve stepped off the hamster wheel, in partnership with Barry, and we’re making our dream of sustaining this floating idyll a reality.

We feel an enormous sense of freedom and flexibility in how we spend our days. Not bound to the normal conventions of travelling to and from work, or trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ (not that we ever did that anyway!), maintaing a car and house (though we do keep the boat in order), or getting stuck in the downward spiral of the barrage of negativity from the media through TV or newspapers, we feel like ‘free spirits’ – pun intended.

When I immigrated to NZ in 2005, I went with the intention of relishing life so much more than I had – and reading a book by the inspirational man below reinforced that desire …


The man I went to meet – Carl Honoré whose book In Praise of Slow I bought and read in 2005 in NZ

Life is good – now it’s back to ‘work’, and today we’ve been unexpectedly trading at the Tipton Canal Festival. More on that in the next blog …

2 thoughts on “Beer, spirits and mindfulness in Dublin

    • Every day Andrea, bit by bit, appreciating the preciousness of life and letting go of the ‘need’ for so many possessions. One day we may even please our weekly accounts and discover we’re sustaining our lifestyle – not too far away we hope lol!

      You are an inspiration too you beautiful woman, and Jill will be back with you soon also, how magnificent. Enjoy the magic 😉

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