The Other Half is out of the country at the minute. Among other things, this means I have had to look for the quietest time to do my shopping, due to a natural dislike of large, medium and small gatherings of people.
Do you know what I found? No time is the quietest in Ireland... not around here anyway.
The shops are always Christmas-eve packed and the roads are always thronged with vehicles, no matter when you do it. At least if you do so within drink licencing hours... admittedly, I haven't tried it at 1 or 6am.
It's heading for 10pm as I write this, having come back from Tescos Maynooth, and the roads were congested with throngs of motorists. At that time. I naively thought I'd have a nice relaxing spin to pick up some essentials in relative quiet at that hour, but it was not to be. And no, they didn't all have the same idea as me - this is just "normal" west Dublin 'burban traffic.
I've asked this before... how is it always so busy? Always. Petrol might hit the €2/litre mark soon, with diesel not far behind. People are supposed to be up their hoxsters in debt, the dole queues are swelling (though maybe not as bad as late seventies/early eighties just yet), people are supposed to be feeding their famished - but still somehow overweight - kids cornflake packets, and goodness knows what else.
If you ever get the time to listen to the gobshites who ring up Joe Duffy, you'd swear everyone is going around without an arse to their trousers. Or knickers, or whatever.
To me, it still looks as though the bubble never really burst, in this part of the country at least. Apart from slightly more realistic real estate valuations.
There is still something apparently inexplicable going on.
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