Sunday 21 October 2018

Mary Kenny: 'I saw some ghastly dumps while searching for new home'

The clutter that goes with moving home is a metaphor of life - and death

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

All of life's experiences come to an end, eventually, and I knew that one day I'd be booted out of the adorable, if somewhat ramshackle, Georgian flat that I have rented in Dublin's Kildare Street since 1996. The rent hadn't increased for 20 years - it had remained just under €800 monthly - although, on the other hand, there were structural faults with the apartment which mightn't have passed muster with Health and Safety: doors didn't close properly, there was an actual hole in the bathroom floor, the radiators hadn't worked for ages, and maintenance and repairs seemed scanty.

Yet I was only there for about a week each month, and I love slightly rackety artists' garrets, last relics of the Vie de Bohème of the old literary Dublin so well described by John Ryan in Remembering Where We Stood.

Visitors who came to the Kildare Street flat would survey the higgledy-piggledy scene of books, papers, photographs, mementoes and knick-knacks and exclaim, "It's so YOU, Mary!"

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