It's funny the way things work out; the places one ends up.
Tonight ManAboutForty sits up in bed, in a hotel room. Usually nothing remarkable in that for the Monday night life of a traveller. Except that tonight it's different.
I'm in room 213 of Buswell's Hotel on Molesworth Street, Dublin. Just outside the gates of Leinster House. (It gets darn quiet round here at night time, compared to the bustle and jostle of national newsworthy happenings during the day.)
Travelled here from Italy last night, leaving family 'out there'. Had some work business in Larne today. But also renewed my passport, just across the road in The Passport Office.
I got to keep the old one (so that I can return to Italy tomorrow). It was issued ten years ago (give or take the few days left to 06 Nov 2011). So, on the bedside locker, a youthful ManAboutThirty smiles out from behind the laminated back page
(Next to a shopping list for items we can't get in Italian supermarkets.)
Ten years ago, he drove urgently from Dublin Airport, having reaslised, at the Aer Lingus check-in desk of a business trip, that his passport was out of date. He ran in the rain to a Fuji Photo shop for that photo to be taken - the rain still visible in the green check shirt, and in the black hair. A smile for the camera nonetheless. And passort issued 'same day' so he could fly to Munich the next.
Exciting day, that. And an exciting few days in Munich. But soon, ManAboutThirty, we must part. We make our final trip back to Italy tomorrow. To our family. Then ManAboutForty travels on.