A suburb without pity.


It was a late night and the quality of sleep enjoyed was somewhat patchy. That’s as a consequence of last night being tech and dress rehearsal for ‘Miss Julie’ which begins in the Pearse Centre today and runs until Saturday.

As a result I slept in late, this morning. Not by much – only by about 15 minutes. The speed with which I did my morning ablutions was impressive.

My body was still creaking into life but my brain was in overdrive. Nothing like a little panic to alert your senses on a miserable Tuesday morning.

I took the executive decision that I was going to take the tram to O’Connell Street from where I could walk to my bus stop. I usually walk but thought that there was a vague possibility that I could still catch my regular bus.

As the tram trundled along to O’Connell Street the chance that I would catch my bus became vaguer. This wasn’t going to happen. Never mind – I’d get the next one and arrive fifteen minutes late.

But look – what was this? It was the bus that I used to take from Castleknock to work when I was on day release from Flatenemy’s lair, to enable to me to find the cash to pay for the exorbitantly priced box room which Flatenemy used to love to explore when I was out.

I gave a nervous glance at the watch. There was no chance he’d be on this bus as he started work earlier. The departure was fifteen minutes earlier than the next scheduled departure of my regular bus.

What a quick witted and resourceful young man I am.

Or so I thought.

I had forgotten how tortuous this route was, and how the roadworks would delay it even further.

I had also forgotten how it is only at certain times that this bus passes through my hellishly dull business park.

I was ejected from the bus at 9.10, in the housing estate that colour forgot. The grey, pinched, mean, anonymous houses glared at me with their sullen aggression.

And so began my hour long walk to work. Just to get things really jolly it started raining. Well of course it did. And why wouldn’t it? I’d not brought an umbrella.

I was thinking murderous thoughts as I flounced through suburbia. Who would want to live in a place like this I thought? Well thousands actually do live in a place like this judging by the number of houses. Whether they want to live here is another matter. It felt like the estate that hope had abandoned. People might say that suburbia is a safer environment for children. I think they just mean it’s cheaper to live there. Because it’s not like there is anything to do or see. As for being safer. Well this suburb looked like the perfect hatching ground for a serial killer.

The rain was getting into my eyes and started to sting.

Finally I emerged from the residential estate and entered the industrial estate.

Now I was really in the seventh circle of hell. The threatening grey buildings. The withered grey grass in the fields – there are fields, but no lush, green, fertile land. Unused scrubland that might be turned into an offices is the best description.

As this is an area where pedestrians fear to tread, there are no footpaths. I trudged along, walking on the double yellow lines at the side of the road. A car sped by through the puddle beside me.

I had my second shower of the day. I was now the same colour as the landscape – grey.

I arrived at work an hour late with glum inevitability.

And I went the canteen immediately. Where to cheer myself up, I had not one, but two – yes two – boiled eggs for breakfast.


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