Buy Irish, Buy Geeky: my contribution to #dorkmas shopping

So it’s a week out until the Big Man gets in his sleigh and sets off around the world (I’m putting skepticism on a hold for the Christmas season, go with it) and, like some bloggers I could name *ahem*, you may not have quite finished your shopping.

Excellent. Let’s go.

We’ll start close to home: Dublin, that is. designist is a Dublin-based producer of all things fabulous. Look at the This Is Dublin poster; the Grandfather and Cuckoo clocks; the gorgeous glow-in-the-dark Star Map; the sadly sold-out but worth waiting for Irish Mammy tea-towels. Wonderfully smart-arse and obviously revelling in their hometown, and sure, why wouldn’t you be?

designist’s Love Dublin tote bag is on sale at the Science Gallery, which is our next stop. This year’s geeky holiday card explains why we’ve never received visitors from the vicinity of Vega: clearly they think George Michael is the pinnacle of Earthling culture. Perhaps they’ll change their minds when Fairytale of New York gets there. Some more Science Gallery gems: the Morse Code torch and card for young spies; lots of experiment kits for the geeklings in your house (messy, yes, but at least they don’t need batteries and most of them are quiet); a box of Pantone postcards.

The Science Gallery also sells a lovely selection of books from every stop on the geeky spectrum. Turning to books in general – I’m trying to stay as close to ‘buy Irish’ as I can here, so anything I mention, even those whose creator is not Irish, should still be findable in an Irish shop. Science Ink is a beautiful photo book of science-based tattoos – a pleasure to flick through or to sit down and read. Caitlin Moran’s Moranthology, a collection of her Times columns, is the most enjoyable book I read this year. The Science Magpie looks like an engaging collection of anecdotes and stories for all ages. Ar Strae Beagán is a sweet story for Gaeilgeoirí beaga, as is Tomhais Méid Mo Ghrá Duit (the Irish-language translation of the perennial and adorable Guess How Much I Love You). Back to the grown-ups: Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma (a head-melting work of staggering WTF) won’t be the merriest book you’ll read this year, but may possibly be the most necessary. I am very much looking forward to reading Mary Robinson’s Everybody Matters. I wish I’d had The Young Atheist’s Handbook by Alom Shaha ten years ago.

Crafty Ireland is a collective of Irish-based Etsy shops – they’re new to me and they have far too many things to see all at once! BeeLicious crafts, based in Cork, has adorable crocheted creatures (I particularly like the axolotl and the narwhal) and Clockwork Child’s corvid prints appeal massively to my goth side.

I’m writing this on the 17th of December, and I can’t vouch for delivery dates for any of these business either inside or outside Ireland. You should still be in time to order internal delivery, but if in doubt, email and ask.

And last but not least: I plan on buying a set of these and hiding them around my friends’ houses next time I go to visit.

Merry Christmas. Don’t blink.


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