Friday, January 28, 2011


I'm leaving the country on Sunday, all of three nights away somewhere cold and northerly and Stockholmish.

While I'm looking forward to it, the prospect of Dublin Airport at any time fills me with the fear.

It's more a resignation to my fate, a realisation that soon will come baggage checks and charges, queues and queues of bastardly queues, carousels and passports and the fear that I've lost my boarding pass.

Arse pocket.

Airports. Fuck. I hate them so. I have a peculiar phobia of Sky Clowns, them with their remarkable poise and painted faces and 'have a good trip have a good trip have a good trip.' Remarkable poise. Not natural. Freaks me out. Fucking Sky Clowns.

Still, I'm a sucker for a place where winter meets efficiency. A place where a few sheets of snow doesn't mean shutdown. I've never been to Sweden before and it will be good to get away from all matters Kildare Street and the couch, this couch, with its unrelenting grasp of my person.

It's been a long time. September 2008 saw my last time out of Ireland, the culmination of several trips to Europe that had me walking around, alone, pretending to be a lot more interesting than I was, to nobody in particular.

Paris had the best of me then, Vienna the worst, but two years and a bit years down the line I'll be swapping such solitary confinement for the stories of my elders.

It will be worth a couple of airports.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sky Atlantic

I wish Dustin Hoffman would stop taunting me.

Him with his lovely background piano background music, standing on some skyscraper rooftop with that faraway look in his eyes. It's the kind of look I get when I find out there's apple tart in the oven for later, all slavering anticipation and distraction.

The ad bothers me, mainly because I have a problem with my favourite actors chasing the marketing dollar but MAINLY because I want that Sky Atlantic dealie and UPC are providing me with the Living channel and 'Mike And Molly' instead.

I want 'Boardwalk Empire' and new 'Entourage' and the fifth series of 'Mad Men' and that thing with Tom Selleck's moustache in it, not to mention 'Treme,' and I hold no truck with using the interstream for such ends. No Wi-Fi here, just my trusty Vodafone flash drive that's good for the Gmail but not so much for the streaming.

Fuck off Dustin, you superannuated sellout, you've fallen far from Ted Kramer and Carl Bernstein and I'm left waiting for box-sets I can ill afford, but will pay for anyway, to arrive some time around the next November whiteout.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Green sweets

What was I doing in the Westbury anyway? A heaving crowd in McDaid's must have been the reason I found myself supping with McGoo on the nicely upholstered couches, eating disgusting bar nuts and talking about the correct way to swill a brandy glass.

There we were, drinking lager beer for the price of a small remortgage, when he spotted a fifty euro note on the floor beside me.

I bent down, picked it up, discovered it to actually be two 50 quid notes folded up, called over the waiter, handed it over, went back about my drinking.

In these straitened times, more fucking fool me. Too honest for my own good.


Cut to today, and town, and walking around with no cares and a high sense of anticipation for our first weekend away. It's a surprise, a delayed Christmas present from myself to herself, and I can't have it come quickly enough.

I keep telling her it's Roscommon, it's Bray(ruit), it's a night in Borris-in-Ossory's Leix County Hotel.

It's none of the above, but I can promise barefoot trekking and religious keening. She'll love it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I said that I love January but I was lying to your face

You'd swear I'd been busy. I haven't been blogging much, or doing much of anything, over the last while. Even my last, lazy, vituperative little missive was posted in place of something much more literary but a lot more private. I'm glad I never sent it internetwards.

A drinkless weekend where I got acquainted with the white leather as never before. The couch, you miscreants.

A drinkless weekend where I swore blind I'd go out and see the world but only after the next cup of tea, the next mug of coffee, the next episode of Peep Show. The next, the next, the next to the point of midnight and not a child in the house drunk.

I did work, I suppose there was that. Golf leaderboards and football score updates. Stuff of my childhood dreams. The stuff of my childhood dreams punctured by a disgusting pastrami melt from the Pig and Heifer and yet more tea and biscuits and banter.

Back home. Friendless for the duration, girlfriendless for the duration, just countless episodes of the bespoke Channel 4 classic and the voices of Mitchell and Webb in my head as I dozed off to sleep in fresh sheets.

I've begun narrating my own life and making great drama for myself out of the washing up, the morning ablutions, the people walking up and down outside my balcony.

I gave myself the willies by watching 'Catfish' on DVD too, creepier than any horror film, and spent too many minutes pondering a Chinese takeaway without ever seeing it through. It would have been a Kung Po, but I always say that, so it would really have just been a chicken curry and boiled rice.

That all turned into two toasted pitta pockets with cheese and sectioned pickle, and the sight of Cowen fiddling while everything burned around him.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Bigface came up to the office today, you'd want to hear the fuss made over him.

"Oh Bigface, you're so funny."

"Oh Bigface, your face is so expansive."

"Oh Bigface, which one of us would you like to fellate you first?"

They fucking hate Bigface. They told me in hushed tones.

Today, and I shit you not, it seemed that they were in thrall to the man because of a visage that doesn't seem to stop and a six figure salary.

Well, I don't like him so nobody else should.

Monday, January 10, 2011

You go by and you go by...

What a bore of a day. How do I recognise it? When I find myself scanning for the entertainment news, then I know my life has descended into tedium.

I can't avoid it. Were I a better educated man, I'd have long since identified the part of my brain that cares - ever so slightly - that Rihanna has reunited with her estranged father. I'd locate that particular piece of matter and get it spliced out, replacing it with the will to go out and see and think and talk about higher matters entirely. Perhaps become acquainted with an art gallery or seven.

This, however, is my lot, this lethargy leading me to know that JLS are starring in their own 3D 'movie.' This knowledge that Frodo is going to star as Frodo again. This seeing of something about 'Deal Or No Deal' being fixed, except that it isn't.

I need a proper job, one that ìnvolves getting up of a morning and becoming a person just like other people. I'd hate it but it would keep me away from myself and give me things, proper things, to rail against.

I work, yes, but it's a three-day-a-week affair that's occasionally punctured by bouts of teaching, of pretending to know what the fuck I'm talking about, of deception. None too lucrative, either, is my life. I nearly had to call the receivers in last week before getting bailed out. For Indian chicken producers or your garden variety Arabian billionaire, read the nice woman at the Credit Union, saving me from fiscal extinction.

Yeah, a real job, like other people. My new mantra.

Fuck, I'll hate it. I'll hate any situation that won't let me chew my own knuckles off to the strains of Sky Sports News but at least I'll be able to afford that iPhone I've been jonesing after, and I'll stop writing blogs about ne'er a nothing at all.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Walk to work

8am. Fuck. Due in at 8am and here I am, mattress stuck and gunk-eyed. Right. I take a shower and wash the last of those 24 hours away from me, 24 hours that felt like the best kind of drinking. They were sober.

I wash those hours away from me, take a drink of water, register the darkness of the hour and head out.

Miserable heads. Properly miserable heads clutching cardboard coffee cups and nobody smoking for at least another three days, when the sameness-as-last-year will hit them and they'll reach.

I don't soundtrack it, I forget about the music in my pocket. I just walk in some middling funk. I forget about the music and the fact that I'm not hungover. I feel like I should be.

The same heads, or at least they could be. I only see suits of a morning, never faces.

I hope I can turn on the lights, on some pretense of being on time, before I realise I don't care. I need a real job anyway. Something non-dickhead but lucrative. I need to resolve but this is no time for resolution, this is just another day where I come in, bang on the headphones, cut myself off and live in an idyll while everyone else treats it as the end of the world.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Three or four minutes, maximum

I'm on the clock here. There's a potload of pasta on the go and it's not that shitty, dried out shite that takes ten minutes to become edible, it's the fresh stuff filled with some sort of wonderful cheese substitute.

Yeah, I'm on the clock before Lloyd Grossman bestows his tomatoey chilliey sauciness on my plate of bland.

So what to write about? I'd typed out a redux in my Christmas cups at some point, but it all was as it always is so I didn't bother posting it. Fewer Roses this year and some controversy over who won the Trivial Pursuit, gifts given and received and... but I'm not writing about that.

Nor will I get to moaning too much about the stomach bug that threatened to scunder my Christmas Day dinner before I bested it before it bettered me again a couple of nights later. Ugly scenes.

I'll probably just write about how I hate the word 'Crimbo' almost as much as I despise the word 'hubby,' and make tell of the fact that today I ate an apple and an orange in an attempt to stop the madness. Wine and whiskey and beer and stout and ale and meats and cheeses and...

Now for the pasta and the factory-processed sauce, my body a temple...