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I began my day with museli and milk, and a coffee, which was lovely.

Though is it just me or do you see a face in the coffee mug? It reminds me of a happy little manta ray or something.

I spent the day working, going through the edits for my upcoming release of Bending the Rules. The book was such a struggle to write (mostly because my head wasn't in a great place when I worked on it) but it really came together beautifully in the end. If you haven't pre-ordered Noah and Simon's book, now is a great time to do it. Grab it here.

I also snapped a shot of this pretty Irish magpie in the courtyard of my building!

After my workday was done, I met up with a friend. I've known her for decades but it was the first time we met in person.

In my early twenties, I was part of an amazing online group. It started out as a website and message board and it was aimed at people (primarily women) in their early twenties who were looking for affordable ways to cook and decorate their first apartment/home. It became so much more than that and now almost twenty years later, there's a group of us who are still in regular contact on Facebook.

One of the most amazing parts of this is that we're spread across the United States and sprinkled around there world. I've met a handful of these women in person over the years. I didn't have a chance to connect with the friend in Ireland when I was here last time. I'll redact her name to protect the erm, innocent ;) and call her AM from here on out.

I made it a priority to meet with her this time though and it was delightful. I took the Luas into the city centre and met her at the Smithfield station. We walked to St. Stephen's Green (are you sensing a theme here?) to check out the St. Brigid's Day exhibit.

Here's a little info from an Irish Times article about it: "Drawing inspiration from the Celtic goddess Brigit, from which the Christian saint originated, Brigit 2022 celebrates the contributions of Irish women through the ages, highlighting their stories and promoting their contribution to society ... The February festival will commemorate St Brigid and also the ancient Celtic festival Imbolc, which marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox."

These projected images featured art of Ireland's lost goddesses by artist Bernie Sexton from the Goddesses of Ireland book by Dr. Karen Ward and TAIN: The Women's stories written by Karen Tynan and illustrated by her daughter Kathy Tynan. They were really lovely, though it was a little bit disappointing that there wasn't more information on which goddess was which and where you could learn more about them.

Love the Irish and the country of Ireland but they're sometimes a bit short on helpful signs ...

After that AM and I wandered Dublin for a bit, checking out the sights and catching up. The great thing about having known each other for so long was that it was easy to pick up from our previous online friendship and talk about mutual friends. All of that awkward "getting to know you" stuff was already out of the way.

The city was really beautiful at night and it was loving being out and about on both the pagan holiday of Imbolc and Lunar New Year.

After a few hours of walking, we went to a lovely Japanese place for drinks and sushi. We split a smoked salmon and cream cheese norimaki roll, and I had a basil smash cocktail with gin, elderflower, lemon, and basil, miso black cod, and a very decadent flourless chocolate cake. We left feeling very full and very content.

She walked me to the Luas station, we took a quick selfie together, and promised to see each other again before I head home at the end of the month.

It's a great feeling to know that if I do decide to relocate to the Dublin area, I already have so many amazing people here who are excited to welcome me.

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