Saturday, 16 October 2010

Irish motorway service stations.

Bloody hell, it was a funny old day. This is probably the most controversial post ever in Gombeen Nation’s illustrious 3-year-plus history of giving out about everything Irish and to do with Ireland. …I’m actually going to say some nice things. Bear with me, now.

First of all, let me praise the gardai. I won’t go into the details, but nobody wants to see flashing blue lights in their rear-view mirror if they’re a few (!) klicks over the speed limit, even on a relatively empty motorway. It’s an awful sinking feeling, altogether. But nice to see some of the lads in the unmarked cars have bigger fish to fry. I’ll say no more. Cheers lads!*

Went up to Newry yesterday, as I needed to get some jeans. I’m a bit old fashioned in that respect, as I firmly believe that a pair of jeans should only have one hole in them. The ones in my possession contained more than that – even when hanging in the wardrobe. I had a look in Blanch the other day and made a solemn vow I was not going to pay €109 for a pair of Levis. And what with the Gombeen Man wallet swollen from some shrewd play in the currency markets when Sterling was still cheap, I took off up to the brave north.

Said apparel was purchased in Debenhams, priced at £55 each, and the toy car (above) was spotted. I can only imagine it is the result of some bizarre form of “localisation”, although in reality it is highly unlikely, given that there isn’t even a Porsche dealer in post-boom Ireland, let alone a deal to supply squad über-cars.

But here’s the second bit of unlikely praise: the service stations. Despite initial resistance from the NRA, it finally bowed to common sense and conceded that the European best-practice idea of motorway service stations might be a good one.

The two on the M1 are exemplary. So far, anyway. You can get fuel at a good price – unprecedented for the genre – and can grab a coffee and a snack at a price not that much higher than that of the local Tescos cafe. I don’t think I have seen that anywhere else – usually you pay a premium due to their proximity to the motorway.

Incredibly, they are the best service stations I've ever seen, anywhere.

Let's wait until they catch on.

* I reserve the right to change my opinion diametrically if I get anything nasty through the letterbox.


Ponyboy said...

GM - I have to say that you really are a tonic - not 100% sure what that means but it was a favoured expression of my mother and I think it means what I think it means. I love your blog and your tenacity in keeping the bastards honest. I was touched by your honesty regarding your family and the inhuman shiftwork - I knew the effects of that regime all too well. Per Incuriam is a wanker along with that other Gaeilgoir whose name I thankfullly can't remember. On the up side though you have been a catalyst for the likes of us - ella anna dakota - old BH and many others to focus on. Thanks for that and keep up the good work. No I'm not pissed and all nostalgic nor have I juxt been diagnosed with the BIG C but I think sometimes it's no harm to let the good guys know that they are appreciated - a bit like that time that Gay hosted a Late Late in memory of Maureen Potter. She wasn't dead so she got an invite too and got to hear all the good things that woulda been said about her if she had been. As Ali G would say - "Respect GM"

The Gombeen Man said...

Cheers, Ponyboy. Two things that make the blog worthwhile for me - yourself and other good people you mention. And the fact that it pisses off our Gaeilgoir fundamentalist friends.

BTW, "tonic" was an expression of my old dear's too!

Dakota said...

I'd really like to second that PB!! GM's blog is certainly a tonic, best on the web by a mile and GM, I also have to say you're one of the good guys! Peace and strength to you my friend.

The Gombeen Man said...

If there's enough good guys we can make a difference, Dakota. Or maybe that's a bit naive? Thanks anyway mate!

Ella said...

Yeah, GM is my main man, keep it real, Maxium respeck to the posse (of commentators!)

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks Ella. Thanks the lot of you.

anna said...

hear,hear!!! keep on blogging in the free world!

The Gombeen Man said...

Aaagh. I'm getting awful big-headed here. But at least it's for a good cause. Thanks Anna.