Let us turn our minds to living in Ireland.

In the gathering darkness of November it is perhaps timely to consider what it means to live in Ireland.

This green and soggy land. This depressed and depressing isle. A place where you’ll never be short an excuse to wear your waterproofs, or carry your umbrella. Where you can mark the passing of the days, by counting the cars gently floating off the quays, and into the Liffey.

This nation clothed by Dunnes, Roches and Primark. A citizenry for whom the height of fashion is to wander the town, pushing a buggy, while wearing your pajamas. A nation where the wearing of fabric boots is a patriotic act, after all how else can we clean up after the floods?

This nation which puts the fear of god into pigs everywhere. A land where if we don’t have cabbage, sure we’ll boil a head of lettuce instead. A culinary tradition best summed up by the great Denis Leary, “Boil it ’til it’s grey, then suck it up with a straw.”

A small dot on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, where we have thousands on housing lists, and empty houses by the truck load. Nothing says “A vibrant economy is based here.” like more houses than are needed, but never ever spreading the wealth with those in need.

A wonderous state where all the political parties are completely different in make up, ideology and ideals. Unless their names are the Greens, Labour, Fianna Gael, Fianna Fail. This country where even a retired terrorist with gallons of red sticky stuff on his hands, (but not blood for heaven’s sake, it was strawberry cordial), can grow up and aspire to get his ass handed to him in the presidential elections.

This land of equality, where in the same election a Gay man can get hauled over the coals like all the other candidates. But better still he can be sure of having preferential treatment, when they also shove some of those coals up his ass for being an uppity queer. “Honestly the cheek, doesn’t he realise he’s supposed to stay in bus, and train station toilets like all the other bent fuckers? How dare he demand the same rights as real people!”

And what of the cities? Those shining jewels. Where the streets glisten each morning with the urine of last nights drunks. And on every street corner a work of street art, cunningly created from regurgitated doner kebabs, cheap beer, and unbridled patriotism.

Those marvelous places filled with caring citizens, always ready to lend a hand or a boot to anyone on the ground. Where any man or woman regardless of age or infirmity, can be certain of absolutely no help what-so-ever should he or indeed she trip and hurt themselves.

And the countryside. Nothing but rolling hills, small towns, sparkling rivers, and historic ruins as far as the eye can see, between the bypasses, motorways and empty luxury hotels. Best if you don’t try to go into those historic ruins by the way, they’re often used as cattle sheds, and so the ancient flagstone floors are usually sunken beneath many inches of bovine delight.

Yes it’s a great country to visit, and to live in. Just don’t look too closely at the details.

6 Comments to “Let us turn our minds to living in Ireland.”

  1. Spoken like a native. : )

    I sound the same when talking about California, or America in general. But people from the UK tell me how much they’d love to go live there and can’t imagine why I came here.

    I saw only three days worth of Southern Ireland, and I can readily admit to loving it as an outsider. Newgrange took my heart, and taking the train down the coast made me smile for days.

    But I don’t live there. And that seems to be key about our feelings about where we live.

    • Oh I am definitely a native. The funny thing is though I do love Ireland, I’m very patriotic, and happy about living here. But I refuse to have a rose tinted viewpoint of the place I live in. I kind of wrote this post as a exorcism of all the crap that’s been building up lately from seeing the horrible stuff about Ireland all the time. And it worked. I was actually able to look past it since I finishing writing about it.

      But yes you are definitely right about how coming from somewhere colours our viewpoint forever.

  2. You’ve just described Yorkshire and North Wales. And London too. And Wiltshire. It’s the same everywhere. Heightened by the fact you were brought up here. People find their peace in different places. I certainly wouldn’t recommend London or areas of Wiltshire to some for the same scenarios you describe here.

    At the same time though I could have a lot of fun observing the Irish/ireland from an outsiders point of view too. Without the rose tinted romanticism of so many people. My initial move to the emerald isle certainly wasn’t all warm welcomes…! I think I might- if you don’t mind me reworking the idea of course?

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