I woke up in the suburbs of Limerick, this January morn feeling happy. I had a day of activity planned. That’s the beauty of suburban Limerick (or suburban anywhere I suppose). If you want interesting times and experiences, then you need to plan them.
My day’s activities were relatively modest.
I ate breakfast. I caught up with my daytime TV talk shows from the US – I am a passionate fan of Wendy Williams – probably the trashiest TV talk show hostess in the history of TV talk show hostessing. And I love her.
After a meat-filled, processed-food fuelled lunch I walked to the Boston Barbers to get my hair seen to. I have a card with them – if I pay for 9 hairdids, then I get the 10th free. There was some moron in front of me getting the wet shave experience – whereby the barber plucks each follicle of stubble from his face individually. I was in a rush. I felt a lot of inner resentment towards the gentleman in the chair. He was of a hairy nature. I thought to myself that he would be sprouting facial hair within 8 hours so the money was being wasted – I am the lucky sort – I have a shave every 4 days, whether I need one or not – and I can usually stretch it to 5 days before people notice the stubbliciousness. .
After this I went to the cinema next door where ‘Room’ was playing. The novel is by Emma Donoghue – a supremely talented Irish writer. I read the book about 3 years ago. I bought it in the North Lanes in Brighton in a 2nd hand book shop. The book is stunning. There’s no need to explain the plot of the book or film; but the good thing was that as it has been 3 years since I read the book, it was not fresh in my mind, and I could see the film with an untainted opinion. Often when you see a film based on a book, the film tends to disappoint as it is generally less detailed. That is probably also true of ‘Room’ but it’s been so long since I’d read the book, I was looking at it afresh. Brie Larson has deservedly been nominated as Best Actress in the Oscars. But why hasn’t 5 year old Jacob Tremblay been nominated as Best Actor – he gave a spectacular performance.
As a Limerick native I thought I knew how to take a short cut into town. However as it has been 20 years since I lived in Limerick, I ended up walking along the ditch of a motorway, wondering where the footpath was, as I made my way to Dolans. Luckily the road was quiet. This was convenient – I had imbibed a bucket of Diet Coke at the cinema and I need to go. If you need to go, then I can recommend the side of a motorway in winter in Limerick. No-one notices you. At least I hope not. If my face is on the cover of the Sunday World tomorrow under the headline ‘FREAK’ then all I can say is ‘Fart’.
I got to Dolans where Villagers were playing. I saw them on Thursday in Vicar Street. I have seen them many times at this point and I love them like a teenybopper loved Elvis. They sing such sad and beautiful songs. The fact that I am going to a gig alone may be a little desperate. But jaysus, I am 41. I haven’t lived in Limerick since the mid-90s. I don’t have a network of people to call up to do stuff at short notice on a Saturday night. The best option is to please yourself. I am glad I did. I was crying by the end of the night, as I always do with that band.
If I was 12 again, I’d be wondering if they had a fan club.