Where were you when the lights went out?
It's probably fair to say that Ireland is back to Def Con 3. We've been teetering on the brink of virtual economic annihilation for the last few years, but there has been a vague, tentative feeling that the tidal wave of catastrophe that washed over us maybe, just maybe, is beginning to recede. Nothing major or a cause for bunting. But a sneaking feeling that maybe, just maybe, our terminal decline is at least slowing.
Maybe it's austerity fatigue. Maybe it's a case of people deciding that enough is more than enough. But there has been an undeniable public shift in mood that can be put down to the simple, stubborn feeling that this can't go on forever.
Forget about the usual guff about 'green shoots', I'm referring to the grim determination of everybody I have spoken to who are all united in one defiant resolution -- next year will be better than this one.