A few times each year my wife and I take the bus to Dublin and spend the day in the pub.
This ‘trip to Dublin’ has become a tradition for us and started out as a pub crawl. However, as we got older we are satisfied to go to the same pub, The Oval Bar on Middle Abbey Street.
This visit only involves a short walk from where we disembark on the Quays and a slightly longer walk when we are heading home as we must cross the Liffey and get the bus on the other side of the river.
We usually end the day with a meal, often an Indian, and then fall asleep on the bus home.
It is an enjoyable, harmless day of fun. But there is a deeper importance to it, I believe.
When you are sitting in a pub with someone, and you agree that you will not watch TV and will not take out your mobile phone, you are forced to talk to one another. And that is a great thing, hugely beneficial for both of us.
We are married 32 years. But it is easy to live lives together without noticing a lot of (important) things.
The whole trip, for this reason, nearly has a spiritual quality to it.
In a world full of distractions, pressures, instant gratification, excuses not to discuss and confront any issues, spending the day in the pub is as good as therapy or meditation or any of that good stuff.
It is for us, anyway.