The first caller to The Palace Bar in Fleet Street was looking for before hours.
I'm here in Dublin on the day pub/restaurants are opening up, but The Palace is closed.
The rules are that only pubs that serve food are allowed to open. The Palace is very much a drinking bar, with a concession to food by way of a toasted-sandwich maker.
My colleagues Patrick Kavanagh, old Sam Beckett, Flann O'Brien and Brendan Behan supped here. Con Houlihan drank brandy with a sup of milk put through it for the heartburn.
But the early caller was no literary giant. He was a stressed barber who needed sustenance on a day when there was more hair cut than the time the Irish joined up to fight for the freedom of Belgium in WWI.
The Palace is owned by The Ahern family, publicans here for 100 years.
Willie Ahern partners with his dad Liam. Willie is supervising the redecoration. I didn't have the heart to tell Willie that I had John B's painted a few years back and no one noticed.
The Palace is a barman's bar. They'll talk to you in The Palace, mind your stuff and mind you too.
Liam is big and amiable, decent and slow to anger. Willie does most of the heavy lifting now. The Palace on championship Sundays is packed inside and outside. But that was then.
We take tea, as one does in a palace. Willie is confident old fashioned pubs like The Palace and John B's will survive.
"I'll be opening on July 20," he says above the chippy's drilling.
The reduction of the distancing from two metres to one was the difference between us being able to open or stay closed. Willie planned well. He will get in about 50 customers come July 20.
We call to The Bank, just across from The Palace.
David Chawke, Charlie's son, is getting ready.
The Bank has the most beautiful pub ceiling. Michelangelo must have had a crick in his neck from the work.
There are hand sanitisers and dividers. The pub doesn't look like a crime scene, and the staff are bubbly.
The Bank is heavily booked for the week.
We head for a luncheon appointment in the Tolka House, beside the Botanic Gardens, on the Banks of the Dodder.
On the way we spot two young girls knocking at a sunbed shop which advertises itself as "hotter and stronger".
An older lady takes off the husband's Liverpool hat outside a barber shop and discovers what it is like to pet a hedgehog.
Tolka House is partly owned by the Brogan family. Alan Brogan won three All Ireland senior championship medals.
His brother Bernard Junior won seven.
Bernard and Alan were footballers of the year. Brother Padraigh also wore the blue of Dublin with some distinction, but had no luck with injuries. For sure there would have been no Dublin five-in-a-row but for the Brogan boys.
Alan orders the chicken wrap. His dad Bernard and his lovely wife Marie, my next door neighbour, join us.
Bernard Senior only won three senior All Irelands. My beef is tender and the gravy is a mam's recipe. Alan's son Jamie, a gas, lively young lad wearing a Dublin tracksuit top, drinks an orange in two gulps.
The pub has been redecorated and is shining. Customers come in through the rear, and exit through the front. It's a one-way system.
The punters are all seated. The staff wear visors and send in the orders by tablet. The bar can hold 150 and there is plenty of room. No worries here about distancing.
There was a relaxed atmosphere in the pubs I visited and the customers played ball.
The three months of training will stand to us now. It's all about trust.
The city centre pubs weren't packed by any means but it is only Monday. Tolka House manager and part owner Tim Giblin says bookings are very good for the weekend.
Willie Ahern lunched in Briody's. I might have a second dinner later on.
It was like coming home from a dry state like Saudi Arabia. We are a nation of talkers, laughter makers and part-time pagans. For most of us it was never about the drink. But the drink never tastes as good at home.
Alan Brogan says exactly the same thing Willie said to me in The Palace. He could be giving the half-time talk in the Dublin dressing room: "It's all about keeping up our discipline."
Ireland needs a little bit of luck too, and we can make our own luck by following the health advice.
The future of the pub is in your hands, and ours.
We know for certain, there is no way you will let us down. As the man who used to be Taoiseach said lately: "We are in this together."