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  • My wife and I escape to Dublin for the day with my 15-year-old daughter and her school-friend.
    "Daddy, what did you do all day?" my 14-year-old daughter asks when we return home.
    "Well, we all got off the bus. Then we let the girls off and told them to hook up with us in two hours' time, and then your mummy and I moseyed up to the Avoca café for coffee and we sat there with all the other beautiful people."
    "Other beautiful people?"
    "Yip!"
    "Yeah, right. Whatever," she says. "And then what did you do?"
    "Then I went up to a waiter who was gooing and gaaing at a baby in a high chair, and I said, 'Don't you have a job to do?' and he burst out laughing and said, 'I know - babies have that effect on you; they transport you to another place' and I said, 'I know. And I'm happy not to be in that other place today - I'm having a big day out with my wife, away from the kids for the first time in years.' And then he gave us our coffees and cakes for free."
    "Uh! He must have taken pity on ye, so. And then what happened?"
    "And then your mum and I looked into one another's eyes for a half hour."
    "Sick!"
    "And then we strolled up Grafton Street, hand in hand."
    "Too much detail! Did you do ANYTHING exciting?"
    "Yes. We went into St. Stephen's Green and wandered in by the duck-pond and around by the fountain and out the other gate."
    "Daddy!" she pleads.
    "And then we walked down by the parliament buildings - the Dáil. There was a protest on and TV cameras everywhere. Is that exciting enough for you?"
    "Will you be on television?" she asks.
    "Nope."
    "Well, then it's not exciting, is it? Ye must have done something?"
    "Oh, yes. That's right. We found an Italian restaurant to eat lunch in, but mummy said, 'You wouldn't like the food in here,' which really meant she wouldn't like the food in here, so, we made our way to a Mexican outlet where I couldn't eat a thing on the menu, and I drank water."
    ""Daddy, be serious!"
    "I am being serious. It's called 'love'."
    "Well, daddy, I hope you're not going to put any of this on your Facebook page because people will just say you're a weirdo."
    "Actually, that's a great idea! I will."
    "Daddy! Ugh! You're not my daddy, if anybody asks."
    "That's even better," I say.
    "Stop! Then what did you do?"
    "Then mummy went to find the girls and I went to buy mummy sunflowers, and then when I saw her coming towards me I pursed my lips at her and she said, 'Is that for me?', and I nodded and her lips landed on mine like a bee sucking honey, and we laughed."
    "Disgusting!"
    "And then we made our way to Gelatino's for ice-cream with the girls and they refused to sit with us oldies, which suited us perfect, and then we got on the bus and mummy said, 'That was the first time I have ever gone into town and not entered a shop'."
    "BORING!" my daughter says.
    BLISS!
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