JUST to spice up my life today with a dash of clandestine adventure, I did half my shopping in Aldi and the other half in Lidl.
Yes, my search for thrills has come to this!
Both places had a rather Gilead feel to them with many shelves empty and masked shoppers shuffling along silently to the dreadful Muzak. I expected to see Aunt Lydia’s faded green uniform blending in with the fruit and veg and her glaring at me to return home without delay, no dallying or idle gossip in Terenure village.
When in need of a real treat though, a Saturday-night club-style experience, it has to be Supervalu on Sundrive Road.
Its Muzak is so good that I am sure they must have a DJ spinning decks secretly in store!
The dizzy lights of their bountiful aisles, their seductive ‘2 for 1’ offers make every visit here seem like the most subversive Masquerade Ball ever, more daring even than a Berlin techno dungeon club!
So transgressive yet it still retains a sweetly dystopian touch of romance about it. I am reminded of Pulp’s Common People:
I took her to a supermarket
I don’t know why
But I had to start it somewhere
So it started there
The epic walk to Dunnes Stores in Rathmines is more akin to going to a major festival event like the Electric Picnic whereas visits to Tesco and Centra on the Lower Kimmage Road are much more low-key affairs like when once I used to go for a quiet one in my local.
Indeed the very friendly Mauritian in Centra usually says to me, “The usual, Billy? Amber Leaf and two Catch Bars?”
These days I find my fun in the strangest places!
Billy Ó Hanluain
Kimmage, Dublin 12
AS NEWS breaks this week that our UK associates have a well thought out and documented plan of freedom it appears that for all of Ireland we are no closer to that point than we were more than 12 months ago. The feeling can only be compared to studying for exams during a hot summer day and watching every other young person out on the street socialising and enjoying life while you pull down the blind, settle in and long for the day you can join them.
Collectively as a nation we have followed the rules as best we can, kept our distance, suffered the loss of loved ones, jobs and relationships. Our mental health has deteriorated along with our hope. Yet, amongst all of the adversity we remain resilient, strong and continue to hold on. A true and fitting representation of our fighting Irish spirit.
It feels at this point almost a punishment of sorts: our Government cannot seem to give correct and accurate updates of the weeks and months ahead. The statistics and potential outcomes change by the hour, with muddled communication and additional fear and anxiety as a result.
I plead that our current leadership hold themselves responsible for a higher standard than any of us can expect. Protect the spirit of the Irish people, provide us with accurate information but with a message of hope and positivity for the future.
A daily reminder from my own Mam: “Not long left now”. It’s short, simple, effective.
Harold’s Cross, Dublin
I ASSURE James Hardy (‘Is it hair today and gone tomorrow for Boris?’, Letters, February 26) that Boris Johnson isn’t voluntarily quitting Downing Street any time soon.
He has always had a dishevelled appearance due to his eccentric hairstyle. However, only a clever man can act the clown and not the other way ’round.
Johnson was always ambitious to be prime minister and has an equally ambitious fiancée behind him.
He won a convincing December 2019 general election, delivered Brexit and survived Covid-19. He will continue as Tory leader until his backbenchers fear losing their seats.
However, every morning, when he looks in the mirror, the knowledge of what the Tory party did to Edward Heath in 1975, Margaret Thatcher in 1990 and Iain Duncan Smith in 2003, must be reflecting at him.
I DEARLY long for the day when we can sit and have a chat at a counter; or sit by a log fire our glasses clanking as move closer.
Long conversations shared face to face and not through wavy lines of the internet; no disruptions and no missed signals; perhaps a bit of splutter.
I can’t wait to chat about topics other than the virus; who has it, who broke lockdown and of course Brexit and the hard border.
I miss chatting about little things: nothing at all; frivolous, simple things just to pass the time and connect.
I quell for a proper laugh, you know the ones that make your stomach ache; the ripples making your drink shake.
I miss loud and rousing music; Irish tunes and country favourites; singsongs and the loud claps that follow.
I miss meals out, fighting over who’s paying and squabbling to grab the last bite of dessert.
Simply, I miss noise; laughter emerging from every corner, how voices whisper and grow loud simultaneously.
I miss the pitter-patter and the chatter; the clinking glasses, the swish of a pint and the barmaid calling.
I miss how the plates clatter as the waitress zips by. I miss people and proper conversation. Most of all,
I miss the craic.
Mountrath, Co Laois
THERE seems to be no rhyme or reason to the continued high Level 5 restrictions, other than stubborn stupidity. It will be over three months, come April, of draconian measures without any respite – unless you are one of a small number of third-level students who fragrantly abuse the system on the grounds of youth and invincibility.
Golf courses are empty, cut off to all, including our cherished frontline workers who no doubt would welcome the fresh air and low-risk exercise.
Our seas are equally cut off to swimmers because of the silly 5km rule. Do our doctors and nurses not deserve a break, could our golf courses and tennis courts not be open to them at least?
In contrast my local villages of Cabinteely and Blackrock are thronged with people mixing and eating at chairs and benches within touching distance of one another. Our parks and walkways are equally busy.
Where is the sense and sensibility? I always considered we should have a minister for common sense as a regulator of nonsense.
Cabinteely, Dublin 18
IT IS worrying that several rugby players have suffered head injuries that are leading them to instruct solicitors to initiate legal action against their respective rugby unions.
Rugby authorities should look into the question of helmets for players, though not necessarily the heavy-type headgear worn in American football.
It makes sense to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, lest they have a crash – but those who play a game in which collisions are an integral part, wear no protective headgear whatsoever?
I ONCE heard the late actor Noel Purcell say that he liked to call into a church most days.
His logic being that when he was eventually ‘carried in’, he didn’t want God looking down, saying, “Who’s yer man?”
With places of worship currently closed, some of us may yet face that crisis of identity...
Beaumont Dublin 9