It's not Advent yet, you know. Not till Sunday. Not to be picky, but just so you know. I know, I know, there's a sense in which it's always Advent, in which we're always waiting, but I'd meant in the purely seasonal way.
Anyway, yesterday ended on a fine note. I'd spent most of yesterday working away, marking essays, returning essays, pondering dilemmas other than and as well as my own, and stressing about - hopefully - nothing, until I finally cursed myself and announced, in heroically masculine fashion 'I'm going to the pub.'
And so I did, battling my way through wind and rain as I strode down towards the Clonskeagh gate and took a determined right towards Ranelagh, oblivious to the phone ringing in my pocket, deafened as I was by the gales around me. Into Russell's then, there to seek out Conor and Cormac, and to win a pub quiz for the first time in my life.
There's something to be said for the instant friendships you can make on holidays. I've not laid eyes on the lads since the summer of 2000, when we scraped Stymphalian dirt and drank too much Amstel together. Since then we've hardly heard from each other though the lads have moved from Canada to Dublin, and we've managed a mutual friend or two, notably the legendary Mr Hall. So it was that rather than catching up on what we've been doing for the last six years, we went straight to modern matters and the rather pressing concern that was winning the quiz.
Which we did, handily paying for my taxi home. First though, there was a quiet one to be had in McSorley's. It's changed. I may have been away too long.