Ah Limerick. How we slate you. We call you 'Stab City' and 'Crime Capital'. Do I agree with this tosh? Generally not. I have enjoyed many fine days and nights in Limerick and my reading there at On the Nail last night was another such treat.
The venue in The Locke Bar is an excellent one: it's like a mini-theatre tucked into the attic of a genuinely lovely pub, and Limerick audiences love literature. The place was JAMMED and the audience laughed at all the right spots, bought books, and came up to me afterwards with generous comments. This was lovely and heartwarming as I have been having such crises of confidence lately about writing.
Writer Gerard Stembridge (who is a native) and famous (!) also went down a treat reading from his WIP, a novel. As baby was with us, we couldn't stay for the open mic but there were wall-to-wall readers and the atmosphere was wonderful.
So why the crime-related preamble? Well, when I went to collect my car at the hotel car park this morning it was gone. Presuming I had mis-rememembered my parking spot I walked the whole place twice, panic rising, pushing Juno, oblivious in her buggy. Then the lovely carpark attendant walked with me. Then he went alone. But no car. I had been mortified telling the attendant I couldn't find my car - it seemed so silly, but much CCTV footage and Garda interviewing later, it was established my car had been stolen. By two hoody-wearing teenagers. In Limerick. What a cliché.
Does this put me off Limerick? Certainly not. It's a great city with great people and last night, with the balmy weather, I could've stayed for a week to wander and soak up all it has to offer, day and night. I got 2 buses back to Galway today, with baby, so I am weary, weary, weary. And I miss my car.
There's a slide show of the On the Nail night's events here.