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Extra traffic at Christmas just drives me crazy

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The traffic jams such as this from just north of the Carrickdale Hotel going to Newry before Christmas may now be a thing of the past.

The traffic jams such as this from just north of the Carrickdale Hotel going to Newry before Christmas may now be a thing of the past.

The traffic jams such as this from just north of the Carrickdale Hotel going to Newry before Christmas may now be a thing of the past.

Has anybody noticed how bad the traffic into Dublin city centre has been the last couple of weeks? I mean, it's always pretty terrible where I live in Donnybrook.

You would be quicker walking backwards and blindfold from there into town in the mornings, than driving. But it's now 10am before the traffic jams begin to cease. Where is everybody going? Are they Christmas shoppers? There can't be that many people going to work after 9.30 am!

You know, I've had it easy these last few years. As a freelance writer I didn't actually have to go anywhere in the mornings. Having worked for a year in the head office of Aer Lingus where I faced a four-hour daily commute (they were building the Port Tunnel at the time), I vowed to find work that I could do in bed. Respectable work, obviously.

I became a novelist and all I had to do in the morning was boil the kettle and open my laptop.

Of course when my baby arrived, the leisurely mornings came to an abrupt end. But I still didn't need to leap out of bed and apply a full face of make-up.

Now I have to do all that plus remember that the school sandwich is packed, the homework is done and signed, the scooter is taken out of the back of the car, the money is enclosed for whatever school-related thing I need to pay for this week, and that the child is wearing the right uniform and is washed and fed.

That's the easy part over and done with. The hard part is actually getting the child to school.

stressful

I have ruled out driving in the mornings. Looking out for the buses, cyclists, pedestrians, and traffic garda all while trying to trying to secure a spot in a line that barely moves, is stressful.

Anyway you just can't get parked anywhere near the school itself. So we walk. They say walking is very relaxing. But not on a school run it isn't.

There are cyclists on the footpath, and breaking the lights after we get the green man to cross. Then you get the drivers backing out of their drives too quickly, not checking that there are no pedestrians behind them.

It takes about 20 minutes to get to the school. The never ending sound of people honking their horns, and cyclists ringing their bells aggressively for you and your child to get out of the way, is enough to test anybody's nerves.

So what to do? Move to a house that is right beside the school so I can put my son over the wall in the mornings? Last time I checked, the houses near the school were about a million euro, so that's not an option. I suppose there's always the bus. Last week it was raining so hard that we did actually took the bus three stops to the school. There were no seats so myself and my son squeezed in among the wet coats and umbrellas and listened to people cough, sneeze and shout into their phones.

And why does everyone on the bus have a backpack that hits against your shoulder every time they get on or off the bus? On the bright side, it's December. Christmas lie-ins are only a few sleeps away.


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