Well, this has been pretty surreal...

Strange but true fact - apparently, celebrities really like visiting Ireland. The Irish tend not to bother them in the whole screaming-crowd-of-fans way, probably because no one can quite believe that it's really them, and not just a lookalike - and if you actually go up to them to say hi, you'd be mortified if it turned out to be someone else. Anyway, I have a point to all this.

I was in one of my favourite restaurants today along with a few rowdy friends. As we order and chat and generally make a nuisance of ourselves, I notice a guy sitting down at a nearby table who looks oddly familiar.

I'm pretty good at remembering faces. I tried to think of where I'd seen him before, and straight away I placed him as the guy who was in an episode of Chuck once, playing a rock star. I point him out. There are some doubts which lead to a discussion and some random smartphone searching on IMDB as we try to figure out his name; I, of course, had no idea who he was, only that that was the guy who played that character and there could be no mistake.

One of our friends looked at him and said in a very offhand kind of way, "He looks like that guy from Lost - you know, Dominic Monaghan."

Realisation dawned.

Dominic Monaghan. He played Charlie in Lost, and Tyler Martin in that episode of Chuck I remembered, and... holy shit, one of the hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

He was dressed exactly like the character from Chuck, and he even had his hair roughly the same way. So we start some excited debate over why a famous actor is in a backwater town in Ireland, and after a while, someone notices that one of his friends also looks very familiar...

I wish I was making this up, but no - for some unknown, demented reason, Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan decided to come to Cork and go out for noodles at Wagamamas. Two Hollywood superstars, the like of which fangirls are known to wet their panties over when they show up at a geek convention, just sitting over there and eating ramen or whatever. And the whole place was just puttering along as normal. I'm pretty sure half the people there didn't have a clue who they were.

I'm proud to say that no one bothered them during their meal. We certainly didn't. It's just rude, of course. But it was still pretty surreal, like seeing a unicorn prancing by and no one commenting on it. There was much talk amongst us, the nerds, but nothing more. I'm still baffled as to why they'd come to a place like Cork at all, seeing as they have oodles of cash and presumably the choice of any holiday destination in the world. They could certainly choose a warmer and less rainy vacation spot.

I think they must have been visiting a friend. They had a third guy with them who we didn't know (although he was wearing a rather fetching gray hat that I will certainly remember).

What a way to start the new year...