There are moments during the 30- or so minute drive from Cork airport to the luxury Castlemartyr Resort when the industrial parks and one-off houses fall away and the horizon expands. At such points, it can feel you are living life at a slightly accelerated pace and that the future is rushing forwards to meet you.
So it must have seemed to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in the summer of 2014. That May they are rumoured to have flown to Cork straight from their wedding at Fort di Belvedere in Florence for their honeymoon.
Celebrity marriages often have the lifespan of a trending topic on Twitter. But at the start of it all, as they set off on their first holiday as husband and wife, Kim and Kanye must have felt on solid ground even as they (allegedly) negotiated the potholes of East Cork.
That was very much then. This week doubt has been cast on West's emotional stability and fears expressed for the strength of his marriage. Fuelling the concerns is the surreal opening to what is surely West's doomed bid for the US presidency.
He brought the curtain up on his campaign with a bizarre press conference at the Exquis Event Centre in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday.
Appearing on stage in a bullet-proof vest, in the course of the address he shared highly intimate details of his marriage. Kardashian is said to have been distressed at having her private life exposed in such a fashion.
West wept profusely as he revealed that his father had encouraged his mother to abort him - and that he and his wife had similarly contemplated terminating their now seven-year-old daughter North West.
As the tears streaked down his face and his voice cracked, a hush descended over the conference hall. He did not come across as someone in a particularly stable place. And if the internet gossip mill, which went into overdrive following the rally, is to be believed, then Kim and her family have reached exactly that conclusion.
West's private struggles have been unspooling in broad daylight for many years now. In 2016 he had a public breakdown after abruptly ending a concert in Los Angeles. The following day he was committed to UCLA Medical Centre after reportedly experiencing hallucinations and paranoia.
The rapper would later state that he had bipolar disorder. Elsewhere, he asserted that he had been suffering an addiction to opioids, which he had started taking after liposuction surgery.
However, just two years ago he seemed in a strong enough place to apparently poke fun at this phase in his life. "I hate being bi-polar," he scrawled on the cover of 2018's Ye album, but then added, "It's awesome".
"Awesome" is not a word that leaps to mind watching footage of West at the Exquis Centre. The following day he wrote a series of tweets that appeared to suggest Kardashian had flown out to be with him at their ranch in Wyoming.
She was seemingly accompanied by a doctor and encouraged him to voluntarily check into a hospital.
"Kim, the family and Kanye's friends are worried about him... Kanye isn't in a good place and isn't listening to anyone trying to talk him into getting help," a source close to the Kardashians told Entertainment Tonight.
"At the end of the day people close to Kanye want him to end this presidential run now before he does more damage to himself, his brand and the family."
Kanye added to the speculation by taking to Twitter in an apparent attempt to reach out to Kim and to his mother-in-law, Kris Jenner.
"Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughter's life yesterday," he tweeted, referring to the horror movie in which a black man is kidnapped by affluent whites who want to control his mind. He also shared a screenshot of a text he had sent to Jenner in which he pleaded with her to call and "stop ignoring him".
The drama seems to have severely diminished West's chances - such as they were - of mounting at least a semi-cohesive presidential campaign. Many of those at the Exquis centre were there for a car crash, which is exactly what they got.
West had come out wearing a bullet-proof vest and was clearly distraught.
"My girlfriend called me screaming, crying. I'm a rapper. And she said I'm pregnant. She was crying," he said at one point.
"My screen went black and white," he continued, recalling that he had been creating music on a his laptop in Paris when hearing that Kim was pregnant. "And God said, 'If you f*** with my vision, I'm going to f*** with yours'. And I called my girlfriend and said we're going to have this child."
He went on to make controversial remarks about abolitionist Harriet Tubman. West suggested that she "never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people". You can imagine how well that has gone down on social media.
West, a born again Christian, also appeared to reveal that he had recorded a new album, Donda, and would release it Friday. "Donda" was his late mother's name (her passing after surgery inspired one of his last great albums 808's & Heartbreak).
That announcement led to speculation that the entire rally was simply a publicity stunt. If so, it is unlikely to rehabilitate an image that has been severely damaged by his vocal support of Donald Trump (including wearing a Make America Great Again hat).
What comes next for Kanye and his family is hard to predict. Perhaps the Kardashians will talk him down and convince him to abandon what is surely an ill-advised move into politics (in the event he didn't even receive enough written nominations to go on the presidential ballot in South Carolina).
The gossip blogs will also speculate over the state of West's marriage to Kardashian, with whom he has four children. In that context it feels noteworthy that Kim, who has two previous marriages, has stayed resolutely by his side through other difficulties. And she has taken issue with those who portray him as publicly dealing with mental health issues.
"So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive," she tweeted in 2018. "He's a free thinker, is that not allowed in America? Because some of his ideas differ from yours you have to throw in the mental health."
West's presidential bid is unlikely to make it until the autumn. For his and his family's sake, the hope will be that his marriage and the friendships that sustain him will last a little longer.