Dublin Airport - Tuesday. Chris and Ayesha hold back from grabbing the first taxi so they can indulge in a few swift puffs on their cigarettes. They needn't have bothered, the taxi driver is smoking anyway. Arrive at Trinity and agree to meet to find something to eat. Paul and Nick are driving a hire van with the BIDS stand via the Holyhead ferry and aren't expected until at least nine o'clock.
Grafton street is still lively, but we find a bar on Dawson Street that announces attractive sounding food on a blackboard. Inside the Cafe en-Seine the bar is amazing - huge mirrors behind, the place buzzes with conversation. No food in the evenings, the blackboard was a mistake, left over from lunchtime, but we should just pause a moment to check out this black liquid stuff. A frustrating ten minutes while I am restrained from grabbing the glass until it's the right colour. At last I understand the TV advert.
Walking back to Trinity after dinner, we see Paul and Nick driving past - the ferry was delayed by three hours.
Wednesday. Why does it take us four hours to put our stand together? The Trinity comms experts are amazingly laid back - but come up with the goods. The three Ethernet connections are so quick that visitors to our stand express cynical disbelief when we tell them the system is downloading PDF files from Bath.
Thursday. Product review time. We are under strict instructions to stick to our ten minutes and not to use anything fancy like live PowerPoint presentations. Ten minutes isn't long to say much, but it was said and seemed to be understood, despite my thick head (less the effect of Guinness than a developing cold).
In the evening, the Lord Mayor of Dublin greets us for the Civic Reception in the famous Long Room (maybe 'Long and High Room' would be more apt - the wooden ceiling is stunning). After the dinner we are royally entertained by traditional song and dance, including a woman with a beautiful voice playing a full size Guinness logo!
Oh, and the conference was good too.