This blog didn’t publish yesterday.
There was no warning. After a flurry of postings this year, the author missed a day.
Is this the start of a slippery slope?
No. I drove to Dublin and did an inventory of the house.
The last time I drove the road to Dublin I was wrapped in curdling depression. There is nothing in my diary to remind me of the date but it was autumn 2006. I remember a few things: having a panic at the entrance to the ‘motorway’ - Fermoy by-pass - when I couldn’t figure out which lane to use. I couldn’t understand the signing, got stuck in the wrong entrance and had to get out of the car and run across three lanes to a man to get change. I held up a procession of cars. This seemed proof that I was incapable of doing even the smallest thing properly. I was alone in the car, flitting from station to station, desperately trying to kill the time.
Although I can’t remember doing it, I’m sure I looked at various bridges and speculated whether I could drive into them at high speed without ricochetting into other vehicles.
I had a focus, a piece of paper on which I had written the task and broken it down into little bits. I knew I had to collect keys from Sherry FitzGerald (estate agents), clean the clutter in the house which tenants had left, go to a shop to buy sheets, duvet & duvet cover for three beds, put them on and find my way out of heavy traffic back to Cork - in one day.
I’m proud that I did it.
I hated every minute of the time it took. Hated every conversation. Struggled with every system I came across, including the marvellous system for finding your car in Dundrum Shopping Centre car park. The drive home, alone, in the dark, over 165 miles - I kept going mile by mile, all the time self-conscious. I don’t think there was a minute of that day that I wasn’t primarily self-obsessed, full of self pity and pain.
But wasn’t it amazing that someone feeling that bad could succeed with such a complex operation…
Yesterday was totally different.
This time I asked my friend Adrian if he’d like a day out in Dublin, so that I’d have someone to chat to in the car. I knew it would be a long slog and did something to make the journey enjoyable. The time flew.
I went into the house and was impressed at how clean it looked and how there was no clutter: I’d done a good job last time. I realised that yesterday. The house looked in good nick… (Anyone want to buy a lovely house within walking of the Dundrum Luas ?) The garden which had looked like the inside of my mind (a cesspool) last time, simply looked like all other winter gardens, in need of a decent trim for Spring. No problem there. Hopefully it’ll be sold by then.
I had my first ride on the Luas, into St Stephen’s Green, into Neary’s, into Davy Byrne’s, into Lewin’s shirt sale, into Hodges Figgis, which has a bargain basement you should not enter if you are already laden down.
I bought (1) first edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (one of my heros), (2) “Promises Promises” by Adam Phillips (because the first essay is called “Poetry and Psychoanalysis”) and (3) “Kiss & Tell” by Alain de Botton (because he wrote the most brilliant book on Proust).
Geeses… is that the time! I have been in reverie…