Fly, lesbian seagull. Fly

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I flopped out of bed, and I staggered to the shower. Staring into the mirror while brushing my teeth, my eyes looked bleary and bloodshot. It had been a disturbed night’s sleep, thanks to a wonky shoulder. Only after my alarm started its melody of doom, did the urge to fall into a deep slumber overcome me. I resisted. I have to be at work by a certain time. Even though my boss is on summer holidays for two weeks, I still have to show my face and appear alert. The industrial wastelands never sleep you know. Continue reading Fly, lesbian seagull. Fly

An unplanned evening

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The trouble with modern technology is also one of its strengths. It makes you accessible.

Long gone are the days when you’d make a plan to meet on Saturday night – in front of Brown Thomas on O’Connell Street – two days in advance. If something came up, then you’d call on Saturday afternoon, hoping you’d be able to speak to the other person, in order to cancel. Occasionally you’d end up, waiting, like a marriage proposal that never arrives. You’d hope the person was just late. And you’d stand there. Waiting. Half an hour was about my limit. Days later you’d get a phone call – on the landline – with the other person apologising profusely, explaining that they’d been unable to reach you,. Alternatively they’d say ‘ My bike had a puncture in the tyre, so I had to walk, you weren’t there when I arrived.’ Continue reading An unplanned evening

Pride in the name of Manchester

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The phone buzzed. It was a Facebook message – I could tell from the tone.

I was sprawled out, like an ungainly heap on the sofa, reading Hillary Mantel’s book – ‘Wolf Hall’ – about King Henry Tudor and his headless wives. It is taking longer than anticipated to read. Perhaps it is because I feel sorry for Queen Katharine and want her to cling on to her position (I know that this is not logical – this book is based on historical fact – it’s not going to have an alternate ending). King Henry did Katharine wrong, when he decided to install that TROLLOP Ann Boleyn as his new bride. Mind the head though, Ann – who knows what is coming? It could be an axe.

I unscrambled my limbs into a more respectable position, and reached for my decrepit phone and swiped to read the message.

It was a simple request.

‘Want 2 go 2 Manchester 4 Pride on last wknd in Aug.?’ Continue reading Pride in the name of Manchester

‘NO REGERTS: Only God can judge me’

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Remember the old days when tattoos were exotic and mysterious and implied a slightly dubious character? Before they became mainstream, millennial and dare I say it, bland? The glory days when a man with a fading green anchor on his forearm; or a delicately inscribed ‘L-O-V-E’ and ‘H-A-T-E’ on the knuckles of each hand caused a frisson of unease. Were these people sailors? Or bikers? Had they been in prison? A tattooed woman was even scarier. Was she a wasp-chewing gangster’s wife with a flick-knife hidden in her backcombed wig? Was she on the game? Was she CHER? Continue reading ‘NO REGERTS: Only God can judge me’

Terminal 3… flight’s on time

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Yesterday’s blog post was a touch maudlin , as I was feeling somewhat downbeat about the life choice I made two years ago, when I decided to move back to Ireland.  (meanwhile a tiny violin dramatically plays its forlorn melody somewhere).

So much so, that as soon as I got home from work, I booked a long weekend in Amsterdam, at the end of September / start of October. For four nights only, I will be visiting my old haunts and seeing my old muckers. There’s nothing quite like spontaneously booking a flight to lift your spirits. Continue reading Terminal 3… flight’s on time

Home, sweet home.

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In a couple of weeks I’ll be witnessing the two year anniversary of my return to Ireland, after fifteen years in Amsterdam.

When I parachuted back into Irish life, in August 2015, I was clear in my head, that this (hopefully) triumphant return was merely to test the waters.

I had only ever intended to stay in the Netherlands for a couple of years. The fact that my time there ballooned to decades, didn’t alter my feeling that I was a transient. A temporary resident in the land of the clog. I knew that before I could acknowledge to myself, that perhaps I was now a permanent fixture in Amsterdam, that I would have to attempt living in Ireland again first.
Continue reading Home, sweet home.

Top Tips: Public transport etiquette

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I mopped the flop sweat from my brow as I arrived at the office. I was flustered beyond measure. My experience on the bus was unpleasant this morning. Nothing more than usual I would guess, but with my sugars low my rational mind was on a little break. I logged on to the computer (so people would know that I was in the building) and dashed downstairs for a slice of toast, a boiled egg and a banana (as always, a creature of habit). To address the sugar crisis, I added a cheeky bowl of porridge to my tray – purely in the interest of restoring my mental equilibrium.

As I was wolfing down my bowl of gruel, I got to thinking about my daily journey to work and how it could be improved. The two obvious solutions are not currently possible – working from home (which would eliminate the need to commute) is a luxury not allowed to us plebs. Management seem to believe that this grim and hostile industrial estate is good for our souls.  The other alternative – driving my very own automobile  – might be an option one day, if I ever pass my driving test. For the moment I use the bus.

There are some simple ground rules however – not just for my journey on the bus, but for all public transport adventures – that would make for a far more pleasant trip. I am sure there are many more, but these are my personal Top Tips for Public Transport users. Continue reading Top Tips: Public transport etiquette