The time has come to move on to the next chapter in my blogging life. Theriaka//Double Dose has been amalgamated with another of my blogs, The Ebook Apothecary. All posts from both blogs can now be found on my new website: www.bethhobson.com

I have decided that it was time to focus more on my freelance writing and fiction projects and I believe that this move will assist in that endeavor.

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read my odds and ends. They will continue, just under slightly different surroundings.


P.S. The RSS feed for my new blog is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BethHobson



Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

My recent admiration of the popular Irish drink has led me to do a bit of research on why exactly it has done so well all over the world. Many would argue that its taste and feel sells itself, but as a company with an extremely high cost advertising campaign, I think that might have a little something to do with their success.
Like many alcohol commercials Guinness strive both to entertain and make you aware of their product. While many companies do a very good job of this I would definitely give who ever runs Guinness advertising a pat on the back. Over the years they have pumped out ad after ad that caught the eye, and became a topic of conversation for anyone who had seen it. Exactly what you want when trying to catch the public’s attention.


Author: Dan Brown

Everyone knows Dan Brown as the author who wrote the controversial semi-religious thriller, The Da Vinci Code. And as intriguing as it was, what about his other books? Angels and Demons the prequel to his famous book cum movie is probably the second best known.
Regardless of the popularity of these books, I found myself enjoying one of his other books the most.
The title is Deception Point and it combines believable futuristic technology with a remarkable ‘keep you on your toes’ storyline. As well researched as his other books I would definitely recommend it for an afternoon (or evening… morning… late night…) read.

The only thing I’d say to him is he really needs to get another book out there, as it is getting harder and harder to find good, well written books that I haven’t yet read.

Common Danny Boy! Don’t disappoint the fans!


Dublin, Ireland

My first impression of this famous city sounded something like this.


After barely managing to prevent myself from blowing away it also occurred to me that it was cold.

Luckily the weather decided to play it smart for the rest of my time there and aside from spontaneous downpours each time I’d take the effort to straighten my hair, it was actually quite nice.

I arrived in Dublin early on a Tuesday morning and didn’t depart until late that Friday effectively giving me four days to explore. To prevent the length of this jotting from equalling the obscene amount of pictures I took I’m going to only write about a few specific things. Each one will be under a heading, so if you want to know about anything one thing just scroll down until you find one that sounds interesting. Enjoy!


It’s amazing what you can learn when you actually pay attention to the tour guides. And I’m not going to tell you all of it. Instead I’m going to recommend that you actually travel to Dublin. Hop on a flight, and check the city out. Take the open top bus tour, because you’ll get an awesome Irish tour guide, and once you actually figure out his accent he’s likely to be quite entertaining and very knowledgeable. (not to mention you’ll have an awesome view of the city and get to see all the good sights) I wouldn’t want to live in Dublin, or stay for any length of time, but it is definitely the perfect place to go for a couple days when you want something new. You’ll never manage to see everything on your list, but you’ll leave feeling like it was worth going and that you wouldn’t mind taking someone else some time to share the experiences you had with them. One piece of advice though, if you decide that you want to see the seaside, get a bus. Or a taxi. Or some form of transportation that doesn’t involve your own motor skills. Take it from someone who knows, if you’re trying to walk towards it, the coast will actually run away from you. So it’s ALWAYS going to be a little bit further. And you’ll never make it. (my only regret)

Temple Bar

If you are going to Dublin and you’re between the ages of 18 and 99 you’re definitely going to want to hit temple bar. This is a section of the city that contains mostly pedestrian lanes, massive amounts of pubs and eateries and is the hot spot for tourism and nightlife. (Just about a block from the edge of the River Liffey it was only a 20 minute walk from my hotel) When you manage to find a seat in a pub, hopefully playing live Irish music, taking a few good swigs of your drink of choice, you begin to feel really good about your trip. That’s when it really starts to feel like a vacation. The people are friendly, very likely to adopt you for the night, show you the sights, stick around to have a good time.

Aside from the man, dressed as a woman, with a sign saying his name is “Mandy” and a face full of stubble… You have nothing to worry about.


The Irish are sheep obsessed. White sheep. Black sheep. Sheep with shamrocks. Green sheep. Sheep emblazoned with the colors of the Irish flag. Grumpy sheep. Happy sheep. Kissing sheep. Sheep playing chess.

After a day there I started having dreams about sheep. If I spent more than a few days I probably would have begun seeing them. I’m sure they have a saying about “When sheep fly” and a poem that begins something like this, “Hey diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The sheep jumped over the moon….”


For anyone who is wondering, it’s a whiskey. An Irish whiskey. I took a tour of the old Jameson distillery, which was more than worthwhile and a very good time. I was one of the few lucky people also chosen to be a whiskey taster, and was given the opportunity to sample and pass judgement on the most popular American, Scottish and Irish whiskeys.

I learnt one very important thing that day which will stick with me forever.

I really. Don’t. Like whiskey.

Tim Hortons

Not exactly something you’d expect when I’m writing about a place in Ireland. And trust me, the little sign pointing down the path with the familiar red lettering wasn’t something I expected either. My initial reaction was to point and screech “LOOK LOOK LOOK!!” To the horror of passer-by and confusion of anyone who actually obeyed. My shaking finger wasn’t pointing at the blue sky, or a strange animal that inhabited the Zoo I was in. No. It was pointing at a sign that told me that somewhere further down the path I was on, I would find the one thing that all true Canadians accept as being truly ours. A Tim Hortons.

How I have missed thee.


A little fact that Wikipedia states as true:
“In 2006, Canada was the fastest growing Guinness draught market in the world and on St. Patrick's Day in 2006, more Guinness was sold in Canada than in Ireland.”
That is amazing considering just how much the Irish can drink.
But that’s just statistics, lets get down to the more personal side of Guinness…

You start out hating the vile stuff. Dark, bitter, how could anyone enjoy it??
Brown. Beer-ness. Exactly the one thing you have been campaigning against your whole life. Gin. Wine. Baileys. That’s where it’s at. You’re too civilized for drinks that regular folk consume.

But suddenly you find yourself in Gravity Bar atop the Guinness storehouse in Dublin. The entire city spreads out before your eyes, a mass of ancient structures mixed in with modern marvels. The brilliant sun is lighting up the morning and warming up the bar. The room wavers for a minute, reality lurches, reasserts itself, and you realize the world has changed. The ice cold glass in your hand becomes appealing. You stare at the perfect separation between foam and liquid, feel the cool glass pressing against your palm. You’re drawn to it in a way that you cannot possibly explain, the pint glasses raises to your lips of its volition…

You take a sip… and fall in love.


A Wish Upon A Snowflake.

The curser blinked slowly, waiting for her to write something, anything. The blank white box of MSWord mocked her in its stark emptiness. Faint whispers of Jazz music floated out from the small speakers in her laptop. Slightly tinny, but it wasn’t any big bother. Nearly drowning it out was the patter of rain on the living room window.

She was slouched on a shabby blue couch in her shabby one bedroom apartment. Her toes freezing cold despite the enormous fuzzy slippers that currently adorned them, honestly she didn’t think they had been warm since the moment she stepped into the country.

But no matter, her lap was being kept toasty by the little firebox that wished to consider itself a marvel of technology. Whirring away. Still an empty screen.

She peered past the rain at what on a good day would have been a remarkable view.

Remarkable to her at the very least.

To a small-town girl from Canada the ancient buildings and townhouses that made up this section, and honestly most of the city were something incredible. Her own apartment was a renovated factory, used in the manufacturing of the famed Nottingham lace. It was converted into an apartment building many years after it shut down.

Nottingham. The English city she had chosen as her place of residence for the next year. Partially because other than London it was really the only city she knew anything about. And that only because it was the epicentre of the famed Robin Hood story, and the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham.
And partially because it really was part of a fairy tale, something she only imagined for so many years, it was still somewhat hard for her to believe that it actually existed.

Three weeks she’d been living in her fairy tale and still, there was nothing. She watched as daily the money she had saved and hoarded for this trip disappeared in a steady flow. She could get a job to allow her to stay longer, that was true. But that wasn’t the point of this trip. She wasn’t planning to stay here forever. It was supposed to be a six month leap of faith, somewhere new, some place that her muse couldn’t fail to find her. No work other than concentrating on what was supposed to be her big break. A novel that was going to jumpstart her career as a writer.

A blank page.

For three weeks it had been like this. It was ridiculous. The story was there on her fingertips, it was always there, hundreds of plotlines and ideas chasing each other around in her brain but never quite making it out onto the page.

She still didn’t even know what this story was going to be about, she could pick from any genre, but hadn’t even done that yet.

I guess I just thought it would be so much easier.
That her fingers would write by themselves and without any difficulty to herself she would be able to create a masterpiece.
And so she waited, the rain continuing to drum down.

It was a beautiful country.

Yes, it is. And I have no muse.

In frustration she tossed the laptop onto the couch cushion. Gently of course. Despite her unhappy mood it was still her best friend.

Best friend? Or only friend?

What, really, was the point of writing a fantastic book if you were miserable while doing it?

She glanced up at the only thing adorning her walls. A piece of white printer paper with big black letters scrawled on it, stuck up with scotch tape.

“No one ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one.”

The quote had in recent months taken on a whole new meaning.

She threw her body back on the lumpy cushions, stretching up until her toes curled.

It would be nice if my toes curled for another reason.

But what was the point of thinking about it? That wasn’t why she was here.