Waiting on the Waiters

It has happened again! I’m out for a meal on my own and the wait staff check with everyone else in the restaurant. Are you okay? Do you need anything else? And they don’t visit me!

Why is that, I keep wondering? Is it my resting bitch face? Am I giving out a vibe? I don’t mean to.

Perhaps it is because I’m reading a book. Head down, clearly engrossed, not looking around. Maybe that’s the message they’re reading. She’s obviously happy enough. She’s engaged in her own pleasure. And if she wanted something, we’d soon know.

I am reading, but I’m also observing.

The older couple near me. How he keeps offering menu choices to his wife, but she isn’t interested in any of them. She wants fish, but not the cod. Too fishy!

The younger South African couple who make many comments ‘under their breath’ about:

a) the size of their meal (too big)

b) the tea strainer not working (leaves in their tea).

Asking the waitress:

a) for a better strainer

b) for another serviette; and

c) to take away their food.

The man who has brought his grandson into the pub, sits at the bar and orders sandwiches and water. School must be out early.

A fellow on his own, drinking beers and watching sports TV.

And the ladies nearby who could be a bookclub. They’re winding up, but talking books as they depart. Makes me think to mention to the TLC (Treasured Ladies Club) about making one Saturday a month a book meeting.

While I pause reading to write these observations on my phone, the waitress has asked a new patron how she can help, but still not looked over to me 😀

Recently, I brunched with two friends, one of whom was annoyed at how often the staff bothered us, while we were conversing! The restaurant wasn’t busy, so perhaps the staff just had time on their hands. But they can’t win, can they? 😀

Oh, here we go. A very lovely Irish lad has offered to wrap up my leftovers, no bother. “Thank you,” say I. “And I’ll have a cappuccino to take away, please.”

P.S. When clearing plates for the older couple I mentioned above, their waitress threw out the standard “Hope you enjoyed the food?” Cod lady wasn’t happy. Her plate was almost completely empty, but something was just not nice.

The waitress (and her husband) were embarrassed. I was not surprised!


  • Marmalade Bakery (Best Coffee). Also make and sell their own bread, sweet and savoury cakes and scones.
  • Cupan Tae (Great Tea). Huge and interesting range of teas. Also serve brunch and afternoon tea.  I love their courgette cake and coffee and walnut cake.
  • Black Cat, Salthill (Tapas). Good food and atmosphere, great service.
  • Dough Bros (Pizza). Delicious thin crust pizzas with unusual toppings, excellent service and good atmosphere. Won many awards.
  • Gourmet Tart Co (Lunch salads/wraps). Also do delicious biscuits and quick meals.
  • Petit Delice (Patisserie). French cakes and pastries. Also really nice baguette/sandwich bar.
  • Gourmet Food Co, Salthill (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner). Very popular. All meals large and excellent. Make a great cocktail special too!
  • An Pucan (Gastro Pub). All round casually excellent. Very busy. Very attentive staff. Excellent food. Loved their Jameson Black Barrel BBQ Sauce with Cashel Blue Cheese Dip.OTE: If you enjoy my Random Thoughts, you may also enjoy my travel stories – Trish’s Place for Travel.

Friday Fictioneers – Illumination


Prompt by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Gorgeous light feature. Well done, city council.
It is good to see our taxes spent on beautifying the streets.
A quiet night though.

Pity there aren’t more people out to enjoy the installation.
Where is everyone tonight? Late night shopping. A lovely warm evening.
Usually the streets are packed.

My friends should be here though. Said to meet outside the Igis.
Squelch. What was that? I’ve stood on something? Can’t see …
No, hang on! There was a family up ahead. Where …?

Not lights. Some sort of alien creature. Suckers?
NO! NO! Oh no!! This is bad! (98 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

NOTE: If you enjoy Random Thoughts by Trish, you may also enjoy my blog Trishs’s Place for Travel.

What makes you laugh?


Laughter. The simple pleasure of a belly laugh! What a physical experience it can be.

What brings on that kind of laughter for you, dear reader? Does it happen often?

It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. I’m more of a quiet smiler. Sometimes the smile is so quiet, you could think I was unaffected. I often ‘feel’ the smile in my head and know that it isn’t showing on the outside.

Watching movies often brings out a noisy laugh. Usually over slapstick comedy. I consider slapstick as physical comedy; somebody has fallen, for example. I laugh and laugh like a sicko! There is nothing very subtle about my sense of humour 😀 I’ll find myself laughing so hard that I can’t catch my breath. Sometimes, it is scary because it seems I’ll never get it back. I think this is because I struggle to let myself be loud and my natural inclination is to stuff it back in.

Graham Norton makes me laugh. I love his show. I chuckle my way through it, up to and including the red chair! Graham is very clever at bringing his guests right along, sharing with us their unusual stories and cracking us up.

I laugh with my husband, unexpectedly. Not because I don’t expect to laugh with him, but perhaps because a moment ago life was staid. Nothing particularly outstanding was happening. And then, something is said – we’re on the same wavelength and something clicks – then we’re both bent over in raptures of laughter. Take a peek at each other and again we’re falling around. If you’re lucky enough to have that kind of bond with somebody, then you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Naturally, I’m a very serious person. I laugh with people I can relax with. That includes my children and my sisters. There are only a few friends that I’ll find myself laughing with.

I didn’t grow up with a wider network of family. It was always Mum and Dad and my siblings. All aunties and cousins lived in another country. And so, I didn’t develop strong bonds there.

My husband and I just spent a day with a cousin and his wife. We’ve been developing friendship over the last few years, mainly via Facebook; and we visited with them in 2013. But we laughed and laughed this weekend. It was very natural and friendly; non-judgmental laughing at each other and ourselves. A lightening of spirit experience.

The endorphins released from laughing are real. You can feel the release and relaxation after a good bout of laughter. It must be why there are laughter therapy classes, why comedians are so popular and why everyone loves the Simpsons! 😀

If you’ve read this, hopefully you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you enjoy loud and proud laughter regularly. If you don’t get enough laughs – search it out! What makes you laugh?

I’m including a link here to something that still makes me laugh. I hope you’ll get a good chuckle out of it too.

Friday Fictioneers – Connection



“Those need sorting,” Janet muttered to herself as she passed the dusty collection of photos. Her only connection to a mother she barely knew; to a life she yearned for.

Stirring the pile, Janet chose one photo and wondered: “Is that me, in the arms of my mum?”

So many strangers, who might not be. It was disquieting and intriguing!

Fear, her constant friend, hollered “Don’t ask; don’t seek. They won’t want you!”

Hope, a new quieter voice, whispered “Love is worth the effort!”

Trembling, she turned the photo and read out loud “Sister Annie, with Janet, 1953”.

Aunty and child.

Janet smiled.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here


Friday Fictioneers – Before


A blazing flash of light and I thought; I’ve been here before!

It was an important day; for my husband. A record 56-game hitting streak. It looked different then.

I was wearing a dress made famous by a film clip, over a subway tunnel.

Stunning white material, over long pale legs, blowing around me!

He cried hard at my funeral. They all did, my mother, the crowds. I can remember it, like it was yesterday.

He wasn’t there. The politician.

Funeral? Husbands? The memory is clear as glass. But it doesn’t make sense.

I’m only a boy, aged 10. This is my local playground.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here.

Walking Etiquette

Is there such a thing? I’m thinking urban, city-street walking. At the moment specifically tourist cities, where there is a co-mingling of cultural differences and counter-movement of expectation when encountering fellow walkers of the street.

What the hell are you talking about Trish, you may well be thinking 🙂 ?

Look, from my perspective as an Australian, we drive on the left hand side of the road. Therefore, it makes logical sense (to me) that we walk on the left-hand side of the footpath. And so people walking toward me are to my right hand side. No?

At home that is what I assume. And I get cranky when I’m walking along, perhaps in my own thoughts, and I have to pull out of them because some moron is coming toward me on the left. And we have to play, who gives way to whom. I shouldn’t even have to worry about it. My radar is on, of course, to deal with obstacles. People coming out of the shops, for example. They can’t see ahead and it is therefore acceptable that I’m also keeping an eye out. Although, I have to say, that the number of people who practically fall out of shops without any seeming sense of self-preservation is amazing!

So, I’m in Galway (still) and as I say, a multicultural collection of trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic, trans-Irish Sea via English Channel – with a range of different psyches. Especially when it comes to what is acceptable regarding manners, politeness, and sense of social etiquette in relation to where you now find yourself.

Add in very narrow, one-at-a-time pathways. Add in the couples who just cannot let go of each other long enough to navigate with respect and thoughtfulness the changed situation. Add in a general lack of foresight. Add in general bullheadishness – I will not give way, I will not give in, I was here first, I’m in a hurry, I’m oblivious and walking slowly; or walking fast – and it seems chaotic.

I did overhear someone in a group ask the question of their guide. What’s the rule for walking? Which side of the pavement? The guide laughed and said there wasn’t really any rule.

But let’s take Shop Street, Galway City, middle of summer tourist season, way too many people in the street. We’ll orient ourselves down from Eyre Square, which is the default landmark reference in town. We walk down Williamgate Street, on to William Street, which leads on to Shop Street, then on to High Street, further on to Quay Street which then ends at Spanish Parade.

The crowds move all which way and whatever! I walk into this mass of bodies and if there was a clear understanding of walking-the-street etiquette, it could be an easy and relaxed stroll.

The streets are cobbled – obstacle one. The streets meander – obstacle two. People pop unexpectedly out of shops, restaurants and pubs – obstacle three. People walking in groups, want to stay together. Middle-aged, elderly or poorly couples want to hold on to each other for safety. Suddenly, it is raining and there are now puddles, actually (most likely) the street is now flooded. Galway is a Medieval city. Bad tempers rule, thoughtfulness recedes. Obstacles four, five, six, seven and eight.

And I personally have seriously reduced vision in the right eye, so I’m almost oblivious to everything and everybody on that side. It also means my depth perception is ineffective and therefore I have eyes on the ground, in general. I wear glasses and (as all glasses wearing people appreciate) we could use wipers when it is raining, and so my head is down even more to protect my face. Therefore, I’m not as effective at watching where everybody else is in relation to myself. Obstacle nine!

Obstacle 10 is a lack of general consensus.

Seriously, if there was consensus that ‘when in Ireland’ we all walk to the left-hand side, because that’s the side of the road we drive on, then the risk of inconveniencing others, of causing a collision or an injury, would be mitigated. And of course, we’d then carry that awareness into other countries, based on their road rules.

Movement in the street would be easier and everyone could relax more with a consistent message.

See, I tell myself; it is a logical conclusion to have a walking etiquette built around accepted local road conventions. Now can I convince everybody around me?

Yes, I know. I think too much. Enjoy the holiday Trish 😀

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