I spent much of this summer talking about how cold it was. It was, in fact, the coldest summer at Dublin Airport in the seventy years since records began in 1941. But now it’s already November, and I am wearing two jumpers today for the first time since the spring.
A disappointing summer is like a love affair that is not quite right. When you’re in the middle of it, you can’t stop thinking about how much better it should be. But then it’s over, winter comes, the cold cuts right through the whiskey and into your bones, and you realise that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
About a year and a half ago, before the world went up in smoke, I already recommended Gerald Brenan‘s book South from Granada.
Today, I talk some more about it on the Context Travel blog, along with some other Fiction Desk authors, as we go on a bit about books with a Sense of Place. Go read.
I tried, for a while, not to like Brian O’Driscoll. Back in the days of his shiny golden locks and his celebrity magazine romance with Glenda Gilson, he seemed to take too much enjoyment from his being the poster boy for the middle class, private school, fake-tan-sporting side to rugby, particularly Leinster rugby, that I couldn’t identify with.
That seems like a long time ago now, though. In the face of too many tackles, trys, brave victories and dignified defeats, I had to accept that my attitude stemmed more from my own bitterness than anything he had really done wrong.
This morning, at the press conference following Ireland’s defeat to Wales and our elimination from the Rugby World Cup, he had this to say:
We had high hopes going into the game. We thought we were in good form and we just got outplayed on the day… It’s disappointing, collectively and personally. I won’t get this opportunity again, and that really sucks.
I am almost as disappointed for him as I am for myself.
This is my first post for a while. Since handing in my MA thesis, I’ve been mostly occupied first with looking for paid employment, then with paid employment – I started a Full Time Job a week ago. This is the latest Major Turning Point my life has reached, and one that I have approached with much fretting and agonising and, then, some acceptance and resolve.
But I wanted to talk about the events in New York this weekend. Ten years on from the collapse of the Twin Towers, the world’s media was hijacked by reports of the September 11th commemorations. Continue reading
Today I handed my MA thesis – five short stories, coming to 15,000 words of fiction – in to UCD.
While I’ve learnt a lot over the course of the year, and have become a much better writer, the best thing about doing the course was it gave me a year out to focus on my writing, to give my ‘voice’, as they like to say, a chance to emerge.
Now that I’ve finished, and that break is over, I’m confronted again by the ‘real world’, as they like to say. So as I was walking back to my car, I was thinking: Where will I go next? Continue reading