Category Archives: Travels to work

The man on the bus and the unmarried Mammies

"The Home" in Tuam, Co Galway, Ireland. Pic  Tom Honan.

I am trying. Trying valiantly not to stick my ungainly hoof into other people’s business. This morning was a challenge. I have not spoken about him before but I share a bus route to work each day with a bearded gentleman of around my own age. He has always struck me as slightly odd – in both his appearance and his demeanour. The fact that he wears a wedding ring was an indication that somebody somewhere had enjoyed his company at some point – perhaps they still do. Continue reading The man on the bus and the unmarried Mammies

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Dublin Bus 40D – the emblem of failure

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I have written previously about how shockingly difficult it is to reach one of the largest industrial estates in the country, on public transport, during rush hour, every morning. A place where tens of thousands of people work, served by such a primitive and unreliable service, clearly ought to be regarded as a problem. The problem is simple – the 40D bus from Parnell Street to Ballycoolin Industrial Estate is ‘The Bus that Never Arrives’. If I arrive at 8.25am for the 8.30am service then the bus will arrive at 8.44am. If you crawl out of bed early to make the 8.15am service then it will rock up at 8.44am. Continue reading Dublin Bus 40D – the emblem of failure

The wastelands on a snowy winter’s morning

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Like the wailing from the lost souls in hell, my alarm clock started ringing at 6.30am. For most daytime dwelling, commuter folk – particularly those with offspring – this is a normal time to start the day. Not for my good self. I have my morning routine, refined to a precision that would make an Olympian proud. A simple matter of misplacing my keys for thirty seconds can mean the difference between catching, or missing my bus to the grim, industrial wastelands of North County Dublin. Continue reading The wastelands on a snowy winter’s morning

Class reunion 2018

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January is complete. This is always a nice psychological boost. It feels like spring is on the horizon. As you leave work there is still a tinge of daylight in the air. If like me, you have time measured by the second in the morning to ensure the longest possible lie in, then you notice that it is bright by the time you rouse yourself from your slumber-pit. Spring is approaching. This feels good.

Then you remember that February is pretty damned terrible as a month also. Cold, harsh, bleak and grey. With nothing to brighten your mood except for a Hallmark inspired, fake celebration of couple-hood in the middle the month.

And you are single
Continue reading Class reunion 2018

My dizzying rise to the middle

Royalty-Free Stock Photography by Rubberball

Patience is a virtue from which I do not suffer.

I am aware of this personal limitation and I endeavour to overcome it. Nevertheless being in a queue for the checkout at the supermarket drives me positively demented. It’s not that I regard my time as any more precious than anyone else’s (well I do – but only in the sense that my time is the only one I experience). I just hate being delayed. I loathe the sensation of being trapped in a never-ending queue. This feeling of powerlessness may stem from my experiences at the diabetic clinic as a four year old. Trapping a young child in a waiting room for hours on end, could potentially lead to anxiety issues about waiting, later on in life.
Continue reading My dizzying rise to the middle

It’s Panto season : The Dublin Bus edition

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Morose I sat, on the bus to the wastelands. Outside the window, a gentle shower of snow was forming a grimy sludge by the roadside.

It was Friday. In less than a fortnight the days will be getting longer again.

Suddenly my interest was piqued. Who were these three individuals boarding my bus? I didn’t recognise them – and I tend to know the regulars on this journey. They seemed fairly ordinary looking, but had a little extra panache that is unusual around these here parts. Continue reading It’s Panto season : The Dublin Bus edition

Love on the No. 40


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Now that we are plumbing the depths of winter, with daylight a distant, hazy memory, and climate conditions that would chill you to the bone, my trek to work to the industrial wastelands has become virtually intolerable. My work place itself, is in the November of locations – a singularly dank, grey, miserable, depressing, ugly part of town.

The journey has become a relentless obstacle course.

For starters, you never know when or whether the bus is going to arrive. The road which was closed while the tram track was being built, has now reopened. It’s since become a lottery whether or not you’ll end up standing by the side of the road, like a streetwalker, waiting for half an hour. In the dark, biting cold. Continue reading Love on the No. 40