Back in February i think it was, i was reading on Twitter and discovered a sports weekend taking place in May called May Fest. May fest is hosted by
Vision sports Ireland
I had read about it before, but never gave it much thought, other than it would be cool, but i could never afford it. I decided this year that i would go because i may as well and i hardly ever by anything really for myself. I emailed Vision Sports asking if the May fest was only for people living in Ireland, but thankfully the organisation got back to me and told me that anyone could come along if they wanted. They told me that if i registered to become a member of Vision Sports, i wouldn’t have to pay the full price for the sports and it would work out cheaper for me. I wasn’t really bothered about this, but decided to become a member anyway.
Once i was registered with Vision Sports, i had to register for the May fest itself. I also had to book my tickets for the Mayhem at the Maples, which is a big ball that Vision sports are holding on the Saturday night. I thought you had to register early, but it seems there are still places for the whole weekend available.
The May Fest weekend is finally here and i am currently sitting in my hotel room. The events don’t start until tomorrow, but i wanted to come today and get settled in as there is a conference i want to attend which starts at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.
Today started as my Thursdays usually do now. I went to my art class up in Belfast first where we are making lots of paper birds for a project we are working on. They are all coming along well, and some of us have got the birds wings put on to the bird, while some are still doing their main boddy of the birds. It is a very fun project, although it can be messy. I then walked back from Divis community centre where the class is held, and got on a bus from beside the city hall around to Central station where i would get the Enterprize train which goes from Belfast to Dublin.
I must say that the Enterprize is a very swanky, swish train. There are two deepish steps up in to the train, and the floor is covered in carpet. The train has plug sockets on board, plus a dining car. It is very posh, compared to the normal trains. YOu can tell that a lot of business types would probably use it. I had a very enjoyable journey down. It was interesting to note that the train announced what the next stop was long before it got to its stop. The normal trains do this, but i suppose what was weird was the fact that there was such a long time before each stop that it was initially confusing. The train did however tell you when you were then coming up to your stop so that was good. The train is a lot quieter than the normal trains, although they are pretty quiet themselves. I got chatting to a lovely lady on the train who, bless her, got another train to Drumcondra from Connolly station as she wanted to make sure i got to the hotel okay. That was such a lovely thought and i really appreciated it.
Unfortunately, Ushi slipped a little getting off the train at connolly, so i gave her to one of the conductors so that i could get off without worrying about her. Talking of Connolly station, it is huge! There are 7 platforms in it! Most of our stations here only have up to 4, but mainly they only have two. So 7 was huge. Unfortunately when the conductor at the station was taking me up to where the train to Mainuth was, which was the one i needed as Drumcondra was the first stop on that line, there was a guy who walked where Ushi was walking and there was no room. The conductor shouted at him a bit and told him to go round the other way. Oops.
The train i got on to go to Drumcondra was like stepping on a bus where you only had one step to get on to the train. It was quite cool. The only thing was the train didn’t announce its stops, or didn’t seem to.
Bless, the lady who i was talking to on the Enterprize was still with me when we got off at Drumcondra. I noticed as we were walking to The Maples House Hotel, how well the footpaths seemed to be maintained. It was very straight forward to get to the Maples. We just had to cross a couple of side roads after going out of the station once we had turned left on to the right road, and a set of traffic lights, and we were there. Talking of traffic lights, the traffic lights here are so cool. Instead of a box with a button on it, these just seem to have a button, a big button, might i add attached to a pole. As well as this, the crossing beeps and then beeps quickly when it’s time to cross. The beeps don’t even sound like beeps, but like something i can’t describe. They are very very cool. After we crossed the road, we went left until we found the hotel. I gave the lady a hug and told her that i really appreciated her getting the train all the way with me to make sure i got to the right place okay. She said she lived near the Maples though so that didn’t make me feel so bad about her going out of her way when she didn’t need to.
The Maples is more of a guest house, rather than a hotel. First of all, you go up about 5 steps, before going in to the hotel. The reception is litterally right there when you went in. I got checked in before getting shown to my room. My room is rather small. There is barely room to swing a cat, as they say. As soon as you come in, the bathroom is immidiatly on your left, while a hair dryer is on your right. Beyond the hair dryer is a table with tea and coffee and a kettle. There is a bin under the table and a stool to sit on. To the left of the table is a small wardrobe and left of that is a tv and left of that is the window and the radiator. After the bathroom, there is a bedside table with a phone, and the bed. It’s not the biggest room i’ve stayed in, but it’s not the smallest either. Just a bit of a shock from what i was expecting maybe. It is still nice though.
I chilled for about an hour before feeding Ushi and busying her. Unfortunately, the stairs you have to come down to get to the ground floor are the type found in a house, since it is two houses joined together. There is only a banister on the left hand side of the stairs which i can’t use since Ushi is on that side. Plus there is a swing door right at the top of the stairs. I’m having to get her to guide me down and the second set have a banister, well i used it as a banister anyway even though i don’t think it is, are quite narrow so Ushi won’t go down. I’m going down first and coaxing her down. I may have to get her to go down these first if she can.
Anyway after that was taken care of, i went and had my dinner. I had a lovely chicken curry and rice, with perfitta rolls and ice cream for afters.
We’ve just hit our first snag of the night though. Ushi needs a busy and the church yard which has grass which i was using is closed. She was asleep until a short time ago. It never dawned on me that the yard would be closed. I’m hoping she can hold on until the morning as she won’t go on concrete unless it is an enclosed yard, or grass. I need to have a plan B for tomorrow. I’ll ask the receptionist in the morning when i go down for breakfast if there is any grass for night time busies.
I’m glad i came down early though as i think it was good to get settled in. Hopefully i can find a spot for Ushi to do her business after 9 o’clock when the church yard closes. I am looking forward to the conference tomorrow. It’ll be all about different sports and the world of visually impaired sports so it should be interesting. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow night.