I'm back from Dublin - did the city meet my expectations? I know that's the question trembling on your tremblers. Well, yes it did, but I like to be specific. Let me take you through it point by point:
1. "friendly people" - yes, on this one Dublin scored very high. The general level of friendliness was high - almost as high as it is in Iceland, a nation worth visiting for its friendliness alone.
2. "good food" - great food. OK, so we forked out for some extra fancy meals, but the cheap places we tried were also excellent. The highlight was the truly great Steak at Shanahan's. No, it was the Wasabi Hollandaise at L'Ecrivain. No wait, it was the roast turkey sandwich at Gruel. Yes that was it. Oh, no, hold on, it was the meatballs at Steps of Rome. Definitely. That was the highlight. Apart from the Roast Hake at The Mermaid Cafe. Maybe.
Tell you what, one day I'll list all the places I ate in Dublin. Oh wait, I just did.
3. "a piano in every bar and restaurant, with a raucous sing-a-long every night." - OK, I might have been a little ambitious with this one. There was the odd sing-a-long in the (gloriously smoke-free) pubs, and there was an excellent gig at Whelan's, but generally there were too many hotel lobbies, restaurants and bars that had no piano. My worldwide mission to put a piano on every street corner continues.
4. "respect for writers" - hard to tell. I didn't wear my "I am a writer" badge. But there were lots of statues of writers. Mainly dead writers, though. And there were also lots of statues of politicians.
5. "and the weather's always great" - sun, wind, shopping, eating, night time, clouds, sun.
That's what I call a good forecast.
I think that makes at least 3 out of five, with 2 halves.So all together that's... 4 out of 5, or 80% on the Expectometer (tm), adjusting for inflation, British Summer Time, and the Tides.