Monday 16 September 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Just worrying won't get car through NCT'

Notebook

'There’s the dilemma about whether to get your car serviced ahead of the NCT or wait until all the depressing faults are listed and drag yourself along before the re-test.'
'There’s the dilemma about whether to get your car serviced ahead of the NCT or wait until all the depressing faults are listed and drag yourself along before the re-test.'
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

You find two types of people in the NCT waiting room. The ones, like me, who see it as a chance to catch up with reading and bad coffee, and the ones who stand, jittery, noses pressed against the glass watching their car being tested.

They're not just mildly curious, in that disinterested way we watch other people going about their work, but anxious, peering intently as the mechanic prods their cam shaft and flashes their beams.

It was about a 50/50 split when I was there. I'd like to say it was mostly men scrutinising the technicians but there were just as many women.

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They were the ones circling nervously, pacing, glancing at their phones, but with a constant eye on the cars below. The air was punctured by the odd tut-tut or groan; squinting, turning the head nervously as if the car was their only child who had just been handed over to a complete stranger.

When their name was called they would dash up to the counter like the most ardent Leaving Cert student on results day.

Obviously there's nothing you can do to influence the result of your car test. They've had a few cases over the years of people leaving cash on the dashboard to, er, help them make the right decision, but seem to have rooted that out now. Then there's the dilemma about whether to get your car serviced ahead of the NCT or wait until all the depressing faults are listed and drag yourself along before the re-test.

Either way, it seems a folly to waste nervous energy on worrying.

Going round and round in circles at the Shel

The Shelbourne hotel has been given permission to remove the revolving door from its iconic façade.

Some people have taken umbrage at the change, as if the Shel was a public building and not a company with a necessary eye on its insurance premiums.

It is beloved of Dubliners, of course, and has been restored sympathetically in recent years, but the doors proved an intractable problem. It seems some guests couldn't quite manage the apparatus and got trapped in a never ending roundabout (although repeatedly landing back in the nicest hotel in the city isn't quite the seventh circle of hell Dante imagined), or had their foot/elbow/arm/leg whacked, snapped or trapped by some Very Important Type rushing up behind them with infinitely more important things to be doing than they did.

Anyhow, the lovely mahogany revolving doors will now morph, one assumes, into lovely mahogany regular doors. I just hope they keep the smart liveried doormen who always get a wistful look from the non-moneyed classes, wishing they could afford the experience of having their bags decanted for them from a limo and whooshed up to their five-star accommodation while all they have to do is navigate a revolving door.

50p the price of solving the mysteries of Brexit

One of the upsides of the UK not being in the euro is that they still get to design their own coins.

To celebrate/commiserate Brexit, a new 50p is being launched across the pond featuring super sleuth Sherlock Holmes. The Royal Mint is only making a limited number so one expects they will soon find their way onto eBay for a lot more than 50p. It's elementary, dear Watson.

It is apparently without irony that Holmes was chosen, being of course, a figment of the imagination of an author of Irish heritage and as fictional as a hard Border.

Perhaps someone should give Boris a deerstalker and magnifying glass to try to find a solution to the looming crisis. And, perhaps, permission to the mint to design a coin featuring a unicorn.

Irish Independent

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