In Uncategorized on May 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm
The River Liffey describes a bowed shape through the centre of Dublin city – almost a straight line but not quite. Dark water divides the north of the city from the south as it widens towards the port and the Irish Sea.
None of the bridges that span it – Sean Heuston, Rory O’More, James Joyce, Father Matthew, Samuel Beckett – can dilute the divisive power of the thing. For many generations now the blue collar inhabitants of the northside have considered their Dublin a different place to the leafy, Georgian southside. The city is founded on the river, and cursed by it.
They pulled a body out of the water this week that used to belong to a friend of mine. I have been crying with K, who loved him too. We are far away. We are no help, no comfort to his family. We cannot squeeze more tears from our mutual friends. We are no help.
We sit and squeeze each other, and the tears come.
The heart is a busy organ – and very serious – when bereaved. Remembering is difficult work; our emotional mechanisms shift up a gear and we bend inward with the strain – replaying the scenes, mouthing the words, laughing the laughs. More
In Uncategorized on February 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm
January and February. The eleventh and twelfth most popular months of the year, in no particular order.
It’s been a schlepp. The year has begun with some important changes for us, but what a schlepp. Up to our necks in boxes, budgeting and assorted banalities. Also, bunny replacements. We’re just getting over it now – lifting our heads and looking towards the horizon again, the year ahead.
Mentalities opening out like spring blossoms.
The cold hasn’t helped. Siberians – why can’t they keep their weather to themselves? We’ve been cold down here at the southernmost point of mainland Europe for weeks. Process that for a minute. Southernmost point. Cold.
Of course when I explain to our cousins in the north that we’re getting daytime highs of 13, 14 and 15 degrees the sympathy is limited. Those are just the highs though – our lows have been low and the houses down here are built to refridgerate, so when it’s 6 degrees outside, it’s 5 degrees in the living room.
For fahrenheit people, simply take the celsius figure and dip it in hot water, leave to dry naturally at room temperature for two hours and then soak again overnight, More
In Uncategorized on February 28, 2011 at 11:52 am
When we wake our small window is an uninformative opaque screen of condensation. It gradually clarifies to reveal the very narrow lane where we live and the one shaft of sunlight that reaches in at that hour of the morning. The misted glass clears at the same rate as my morning head and without the aid of a coffee.
On mornings when the sunlight is there and when a craned neck reveals blue sky it seems a shame to be headed to Algeciras for work. Sad to be leaving all the prettiness behind for a day in the industrial sprawl.
I’ve heard Algeciras described as a scruffy port town, a nothing, a bore and in one instance – in a national British broadsheet no less – as a dreadful place. It is a salty port city that is pretty much as far down as you can get in Europe without leaving. Only the villages of Pelayo, El Cuartõn and the town of Tarifa are further south and then only by a few kilometres. It’s also pretty much as far down the scale as you can get in terms of attractions and, some would say, attractiveness. More