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My bedroom has been taken over by my teenage niece and her friend for the week. They flew over from Germany yesterday evening and even though it hasn’t even been 24 hours yet I can already see the week is going to be long.

Getting them to talk is a challenge in itself, it’s like pulling chewing gum from between their teeth, you have to pull, pull and pull some more. Trying to figure out want they would like to do is like going on an excavation, you have to scoop out the information while digging down into their psyche that is hidden behind walls of silence, shrugs and grumps.

But as soon as I leave the room or have even just turned my back it as if a switch flips and they chatter, giggle and prattle on about this that and mainly other people. And no matter how quietly I reenter the room or how how slow my stop-motion turning around is, the moment I am back in the picture silence falls down heavily on them, like a thick blanket covering up all their teenage secrets.

And while I have been racking my brain to figure out what to do with them today the only ideas I have come up with that seem to appeal to their teenage nature is shopping, possibly (with lots of trepidation) going to a nail salon and more shopping. So when my sister called me this morning to make sure the two still sleeping beauties were okay she told me to just lay down the  law and make them do some culture.

Feeling good with the backing of a mum I have decided to go to a museum or two and maybe, just maybe a pub. A little visit to a touristy watering hole in Temple Bar defines what foreigners think of as Irish culture and might just earn me few cool points.

After all I have no delusions about the fact that I am totally dorky, embarrassing and uncool in their eyes, so maybe I should just play up to that and make them cringe. But for now I have to get these tedious teenagers out of bed and down to the breakfast table, I wonder if I need pliers and a wrench to get them to budge.

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