Winter wastelands


In eight days I will be paying a visit to my old stomping ground of Amsterdam for a friend’s very important birthday (i.e . the celebration of an age where the second digit is zero). It will only be a flying visit this time as my gluttony for leisure went unchecked this year – I have only twenty six minutes holiday leave remaining, for the rest of 2018. It’s unlikely I’ll see all the people that I would like to, but I will do my damnedest to see a few. It comes at a particularly appropriate time as I am currently wallowing in a pit of glumness, as November draws to a close. Having spoken before about how utterly soul-destroying the final fortnight in November is, I am reminded of the brutal reality as it is being endured. A trip to the Lowlands will be a tonic. The thundering incompetence of Dublin Bus comes into sharp relief each November as I wallow in rainy, dark misery on Parnell Street each morning for the 40D bus – also known as ‘The bus that never arrives’. This morning as I boarded, my nostrils were assaulted by a noxious odour of halitosis. How could anyone not be aware of the brutal reality of their oral stench? My eyes were watering by the time I finally disembarked in the eternally grey industrial wastelands of County Dublin.

However there are a few rays of sunshine to brighten my mood over the next week, before my departure to the city under the sea. Firstly there is a national housing demonstration, convening at 2pm this Saturday at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square to protest the government’s ideological refusal to address the national housing catastrophe. I enjoy a good protest. It’s been weeks since I’ve attended one, so it is due.

Even better is that next week is the Christmas show by the Acting Out theatre group. It is called ‘Make the Yuletide Gay’ – a collection of short plays and sketches with a seasonal twist. I have contributed a piece to this called ‘A cordial invitation’. It will be interesting to see it, as I haven’t been involved since submission. Curious to see who is performing in it – particularly the character of Monica who is the daughter of leopard-print lovely Maureen Moore in ‘Mother’s Little Treasure’ from earlier this year. Monica was name-checked but never appeared on stage in the earlier play. There are ten pieces in total so you should all come to Outhouse at 7.30pm next Thursday or Friday for the show (the Wednesday show is already sold out so best book early).

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