Thursday, 12 March 2009


So. We came to Dublin last night, he to attend to some business in the city today, me to go to the catering wholesalers to pick up my order of dishes and baby high chair for Daisy Cottage.

I had booked to eat at Restaurant TenFourteen, Clontarf (named after the Battle of Clontarf in yes, you've guessed it, 1014). I booked this restaurant because we'd been there a couple of weeks ago and had enjoyed it so much we couldn't wait to get back. But more about Restaurant TenFourteen later.

I had booked the table for 9pm and we arrived in our hotel carpark with about 15 minutes to spare. We were going to whiz in, sign in, and pop out and grab a taxi to Clontarf a few miles away.

As we parked my husband saw a taxi pulling up in front of the hotel, and without so much as a backward glance at me off he went, to book it. He asked the guy to wait for us to sign in and then take us to Clontarf. I was a bit peeved - I thought it was one of those uncomfortable mini bus type of things which have these slippy seated bench type seating. And the thought of having to slip and slide along all the way to Clontarf was not an ideal start to the night! Why do so many of these vehicles have that slippy 'leatherette' stuff on the seats? It's a mystery. And not one I care to ponder on for too long.

Anyway, I hadn't time to say much as we were in such a hurry to be on time for our booking. And I'm so glad I didn't get husband to cancel the 'mini bus' type taxi because if I had I would have missed a real gem! And a lot of laughs.

He and I got into the back of the taxi ~ not at as it turned out a mini bus at all, but a plush, comfortable people carrier ~ and the first thing I noticed, with a huge sigh of relief, that it had real seats. And ones with material and not that horrid slippy stuff. The next thing I noticed was row of disco lights - you know the kind that they used to have when discos were discos and not clubs? My husband and I both burst out laughing and then got chatting to the driver asking him what the story was with the lights. He said that he'd had the idea last year to have a 'disco taxi' and that since he started it had proved a great success. Lots of bookings for students attending their proms, party nights out, etc.

Of course the first thing I did was whip out my ever present camera and here's the disco taxi:

Darren was saying that what he did was put the disco lights on and then played music as chosen by his passengers and that he was in the process of buying 5,000 tunes to give a bigger option to his passengers. Sounds good. And I have to say, there was something mad as a box of frogs, but super fun, whizzing through the Dublin traffic with disco lights flashing and music playing. Honestly great fun. Made all the better by Darren's witty banter.

He was telling us that the next thing he wanted was a karaoke taxi. Once again, mad as a box of frogs but I bet it will be the success Darren's Disco Taxi is!

As an aside, on the way to Dublin earlier in the evening. we were listening to Dave Fanning on the radio. He was chatting to some guy who has written a book on the history of karaoke and the guy was saying about the man who invented it. As is the way with many inventions, he didn't actually make money on his invention, having given up hope of making money and selling out just before it kicked off big time. But what that inventor of the karaoke machine was making money at was, and I find this extremely odd, selling machines that kill the cockroaches that apparently like to make their home in karaoke machines. Go figure. You can listen to the podcast by clicking on this link and scrolling down to How Karaoke Conquered the World:

Back to Disco Darren. Arriving at the restaurant, thankfully with the disco lights off again, I wanted a pic of Darren to add here but he all of a sudden came over unexpectedly bashful. He said he'd come back for us when we were ready if we wanted and so that was the taxi back to the hotel sorted. And I thought, I'll get your pic on the way home.

On the way home we learned more about Disco Darren. It turns out that Disco Darren has more strings to his bow - he enjoys trap racing. I think there is another name for it but I'm unsure of the correct term so trap racing will have to do. We were chatting about racing horses and I told him about taking pics of men doing just this on Rosnowlagh Beach, Donegal. Here's my pics of the horses and the trap to give you an idea of Darren's hobby:

Back to Darren's pic. As I knew I would, I got him to pose, albeit reluctantly, before we left him and here is Disco Darren:

If you are in Dublin, I'd highly recommend this guy - he's great fun, charges the normal rate, and you don't HAVE to have the disco lights going. But you should, it'll make you smile.

If you want to book Disco Darren for a trip around Dublin he gave me permission to publish his number and you can contact him on 086-3676112. Unfortuately he hasn't got an email for you to contact him via email ~ he's a typical Irish fella and depends on his mum for this. Hello Disco Darren's mum! You raised a great son!

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