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Chips with everything

Last Thursday night was a Thursday night like no other.

Myself and Karen went to bed at 11pm and slept right through until 8am.

For most people this is not a unique occurrence, but for the parents of a 14-month-old who has yet to grasp the value of good night’s sleep, it was a very welcome break from the norm.

The reason our sleep was undisturbed came down to the fact we were tucked up in a hotel room in Dublin while Lucy was staying at her grandparents’ house in Lurgan.

It was the first time Lucy and her mother have spent the night away from each other since the little imp first registered two lines on the home pregnancy test.

While Karen and I took in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Dublin, our daughter enjoyed an adventure with my mum and dad which included a trip to Lurgan Park to clod lumps of bread at the ducks.

The arguable highlight of our Dublin trip was the extended stay in bed, afforded to us by Lucy’s absence.

Our XL sleep was in keeping with the sort of opulent laziness which is positively encouraged by hotels the world over.

By employing a team of maids and round-the-clock kitchen staff hotels are basically giving us carte blanche to be messy, lazy and impulsive. I sometimes get the feeling that after I’ve checked in they’d be perfectly happy if I never left the room.

The TV has been programmed with all the latest movies, room service is just a phone call away in case you get peckish and the mini-bar looks like a two-storey off licence from the set of ‘The Borrowers’.

What they’re basically saying is, “Go on, get drunk in your pants while watching ‘Taken 2’, then phone for a club sandwich.”

Best of all, hotel guests have express permission to use as many towels as they like, safe in the knowledge they’ll all be replaced in the morning provided they remember to throw them into the bath.

The hotel we stayed in was ‘The Morgan’ and while none of the above occurred I was happy enough to know that it could have if I’d so desired.

Karen managed to get us an upgrade by telling them we were returning customers and we were celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Who’d have thought telling the truth could get you ahead in this dog eat dog world.

Speaking of eating (but not dogs), we had a great time sampling the local cuisine in Dublin.

We only stayed one night but in the short space of time we were there we managed to cram in four slap-up feeds.

What I love about Dublin is that you can buy food in almost every establishment. In Dublin’s Fair City you are never more than 20 feet away from a plate of chips.

They’ve got fat chips, thin chips, straight chips, curly chips, chips with their skins on, chips that have been cooked three times (surely they could have just cooked them right the first time), chips made from sweet potato, free range chips, chips that made it through to the auditions for X Factor, chips that can travel through time.

Everything in Dublin comes with chips. I love chips therefore I love Dublin.

Guinness is another thing they do well in Dublin. It would have been rude not to sample a few pints of the black stuff.

In a fiddle-riddled public house in Temple Bar I ordered a pint of Guinness and another small glass of Guinness.

I said to the barmaid, “The pint is for myself and the small glass is for my wife. We’re in Dublin celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary while our beautiful baby daughter is feeding ducks in Lurgan with her granddad. We have another baby on the way in April and not a drop of drink has passed my good lady wife’s lips since she fell pregnant. We have been looking forward to this Guinness for quite some time so that we may toast the health and happiness of ourselves, our daughter and our unborn child.”

“That’s great,” said the barmaid. “Would you like chips with your Guinness?”

Weekly teaser

The answer to last week’s teaser was: you can run exactly halfway into the forest at which point you will begin running out of the forest. The rabid dog that’s chasing you is irrelevant to the solution. If you will, the rabid dog is a red herring.

Here’s this week’s teaser: What do the following words have in common? CURRENT, BY, DEW, LOAN, ATE.