- Transport: Good for short trips, can also be intensely depressing, but it’s a bland depression. I mean, when I travel on the tube and think, as one inevitably does: “humanity shouldn’t live like this” or “this is a grim post millennial existence” I chastise myself. Thinking this on the tube is like thinking “I am getting wet” in the rain. These are the moments that spawned a million awful articles, albums, and ideas. The blandest resistance imaginable. Plus the tube is convenient!
- Food: Supermarkets are cheaper than Dublin, crap sausages though. Marks and Spencers is pleasantly everywhere, things like sandwiches and lunches are about a third of Dublin prices here.
- Multicultural cities: I trained for my job with a group from very different backgrounds. It might paint a falsely backward picture of Ireland to say that I’ve very rarely spent time with people from other religious or racial backgrounds, but it’s true. I suspect it’s true for many Irish people. What’s interesting is after discussing this at a really big training event one guy, a Londoner with Indian parents turned to me and said “don’t think you’re not a minority too, you’re the fucking Paddy!”That felt very odd as I’d kind of self identified as being exactly the same as the English people, but of course I’m not, in whatever sense race matters or differentiates.
- Work: I’ve never done a job before where I worked this hard, I am completely shattered already.
- Alcohol: 3 weeks in a hotel means you drink so much that you then have to swear to go off booze for a month.
- Dublin: I am missing it already! Not the places by any means, but the comfort zone I had there, my friends and family and the ease of not really doing anything with my life that mattered.
- Bertie Ahern: The first person I thought of when I read this was my mother, who absolutely fucking hates Bertie. I mean just point blank despises him to the point where other members of the family would say “He seems a good guy really” just to wind her up. My mum is staunchly Fine Gael and she thinks of Fianna Fáil in the same partisan way a football fan might hate their local rivals. So when I heard Bertie was set to go I was more interested in what my mum had to say than Gerry Adams, Tony Blair and the rest. Her take: “I’m so pleased!”
- Uniqlo: I love this shop, it surely will be in Ireland soon.
That’s all for now, hopefully I’m back on the blogging train now, but it’s never easy to be sure at the moment!