Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Summer is here. Well, sort of. It's behind those clouds somewhere and it's threatening like a Fine Gael minister to burst through at any minute. I can feel it. The attic is warm. For a change. It broke out yesterday. I'd barely time to change into more suitable attire, but it was gone again. Various weather girls are saying it's here for the week. Getting stronger every day. Like the 'No' camp in the fiscal treaty debate.
   The debate itself - well it's scandalous - to say the least. If the answers to our current crisis' - and they number quite the few - lie within the political structure of this country, well, I'm sorry to say it and be blunt - but we're fecked. Totally and absolutely. Many would say we are already. Many would be right. Between derogatory remarks about the Greeks and talk about having to go to the polls again if we fail to comply with the directives on offer - the whole thing is a farce.

Sonny Skyped me on Monday night. He'd felt the quake that rocked Italy that morning. He looked relaxed. Best I've seen him in a while.
   'I felt a tremor. Amanda slept through it,' he said. Things patched up so! He said there was a steady stream of people going through his brother's artists commune down there nearer the equator.
   'I'm thinking of getting into vibration,' he said - before Amanda came into the room he was in.
   'You look terrible,' she said. Thanks for that. Nothing like a box just under the ribs, is there? Knock the wind right out of you.
   'Thanks,' I said.
   'I didn't mean it in a bad way,' she offered.
   I could have bought that. Cheered myself up a little.No hard feelings. I bit. But not hard enough.
   'How did you mean it, so?' I asked.
   'Touchy,' she said - turning to leaving. 'I only meant you look a little pale.'
   'You do,' confirmed Sonny, as she left the room. Like he wouldn't take her side. The power of a certain part of the female anatomy. The sucker.
   We swapped tales - my dreary ones - his ones, like the Sonny of old. He's going into 'Meditative States' - doing a few courses. Online. From some rogue university. He plans to use the arty tourists that stop by to bring his new product - which he hasn't 'refined' yet - to the world. Word-of-mouth.
   'Life's simpler here,' he said. Was that a chicken I heard in the background for an instant? Good old Sonny. Started a motivational business - and then got depressed. Only in Ireland!
   'Luke's bottling his own wine next year,' he was saying. Luke being his bro. 'It's been aging for seven years.' I couldn't imagine that sort of patience would have agreed with Leon.
   'I could get you a few months work during the summer,' he said.
    I'm sorry, Sonny. Vibration isn't really my thing.
   'Picking grapes,' he continued. I took a deep breath. Like Kenny Cunningham does. Between sentences. I didn't want to appear unappreciative. Or lazy. I'd refute such claims. I picked strawberries for three summers running when I was a kid. I ate more than I picked.The five-mile walk didn't help either.
   'Couldn't leave herself,' I said. 'She won't last the year.'
   'Maybe next year then,' he said. The cold fecker!
   The broadband began to act erratic and we barely managed a goodbye before the call ended with a noise from the computer that belonged on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. No. Not Richard Bruton's department. Boldly going  - nowhere!
   Stress Booker.

I haven't seen much of Gustav this past week. He started work at the supermarket. Working the night shift. He popped in at 6am the other morning. I was coming near the end of an eight-hour session. A writing one. He said he'd noticed the light on in my attic. I must turn that off.
   'So how did you get on with Linda,' I asked him.
   'A gentleman never speaks,' he said, before changing the subject to his new job. A sheepish smile gave him away. I think!
   He's been designated a 'lane' at the 'store' and it's his job to stock it completely through the night.      
   What ever happened to aisle and shop?
   'The one with the freezers down it,' he said.
   I'm sure along the way Gustav's tribe met an Irishman somewhere, and there's a bit of Irish embedded in his old DNA. Last week he was complaining he didn't have a feckin' job - this week it's worker conditions. What next? A run for the Dáil?
   'It is like homeland. In winter season,' he said, smiling. Sweet Jesus! I think he's in love.
   Whatever does it for him! He was gone in less time it took to warrant the intrusion.

A photo emerged over the past few days of British PM, Dave Cameron. At the US president's, weekend retreat - the suitably named - Camp David. As you can see from it, Dave, extends his sweaty armpits wildly into the air as Chelsea claim the mantle of Europe's footballing best.
   The first notion that springs to mind straight off the bat when I saw it was TWAT - but that seriously can't be helped. It's not an exercise in controversy - it's just a factoid within these here walls of mine.
   There are many far-reaching explanations - by many i must add - on how to draw on that politically-incorrect summation. For me it's simple.
   Dave is an Aston Villa fan. While not condemning that, it did make me wonder if many Villa fans were as boisterous as Dave, just as Didier Drogba slid home the winning penalty kick to make Chelsea the unlikely, and slightly fortunate, champions of Europe for the first time. My guess is few.
   Dave may chant nationalism as an excuse - but to any real football fan there is no excuse for that behaviour even if you are trying to get one over the German chancellor - who undoubtedly was rooting for Chelsea's opponents - Bayern Munich. Dave looks like a child who doesn't know who to follow - changing teams. Following the trophies. Like Dave's oil and economic pursuits. Stretching his society every which way in the meantime. Like Enda and Eamon are doing to ours. Minus the pursuits!
   That aside, it was a light-hearted moment as the worlds most powerful leaders met to strategically plan how to further ruin people's lives and keep their military complexes happy. I sense it does not matter too much to Angela Merkle. At the very least her economy isn't in the gutter. Then, Dave's isn't as far down as ours. Good job Enda wasn't invited to Camp David. He'd probably have been  swinging out of someone.
   Obama looks American in the pic, doesn't he? In a soccer sense. A commendable attempt at trying to fit in. A good pic. In election year. To show commonality with us average suckers.
   I can only imagine what's going on in the head of new French President, Francois Hollande. He looks like he's wondering what he's doing there. Europe in meltdown - and they're watching soccer.
     Are these people mad? he must have thought. 
     He seemed to verify it the very next day when he continued the strong start to his presidency by announcing a complete withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and a 30% decrease in minsters pay.  Way to go!
   It's his forthcoming battles with Merkle I'm looking forward to. The Iron Lady of Europe has had it her own way for quite a few years now. The direction Europe is going right now is one engineered to drive down living standards and implement draconian cuts to public spending. The squeeze in on.  The far-right in France are on the rise. To cut them off, Hollande needs to drive something new. And quickly.
   Austerity measures and the consequences that go with it are breeding grounds for extreme populous movements. We saw in the recent Greek election, Golden Dawn, winning 7% of the vote. The party has been widely labelled fascist and neo-nazi. Who's to say in this X-Factor world that some voters weren't trapped by just the name of the party?
   A promise of something new other than having to forage for scraps in bins to eat. But there's no promise in extremism. About as much as the promise that comes with austerity. The world's been there before. Many times. Humans ain't the kindest of species - it doesn't take much to push their buttons. We ain't the cleverest either - we seem to repeat our mistakes over and over again. In a world of plenty only a few have it all. The rest of us the reason they do. That's inspiring forward thinking in these strange times. 

It's nearly 2am. I'm convinced I can smell that sun. It's coming out tomorrow.
   All day - and the next...

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