Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Length and length

Today I've travelled the length and length of the country, well almost, woke up in Cork, went to work in Belfast, and now am on an iron road back to Cork again.  It's a cushy life, a four hour working day, with a 12 hour commute. 
I don't do it often.
I was technically also supposed to work on route, and I might yet (you see I'm very busy and important and the world will end without my input), but events conspired against me being especially productive.  You see the wireless was rubbish all the way up to the top of the country, so I couldn't speak to Mr Email all day until 1.30 when the magic elves in the office I eventually arrived to work at wove their way into my machine and planted hundreds of wonderful ideas for work into it.
You see, I'm like a hamster or some other such trained thing that sits in front of something and waits for it to tell me what to do, when the bell sounds I press the right buttons and get a treat, or a shock if I press the wrong ones, it sounds terribly cruel, but it's easier than childminding, and mysteriously they pay me enough so that I can pay someone else to childmind my beautiful child.
The day wasn't a total loss.
When the elves had moved all the magic instructions for what to do next into my machine (breathe in breathe out, check whether these oranges look nice enough for this new yogurt pot, predict the future, make up a good reason for why we're doing what we're already doing and why it has or hasn't worked), I was going to be able to read and work, and sweat and groan and respond all the way down the country again, falling down the map like an Ant down a crack in the wall with too big a crumb of sticky cake on its back on a hot june day, but no, it wasn't to be - there were no plugs on the train going to Dubland.  There are plugs on the train going to Cork though, and that is because people who go to Cork are sexier and more switched on, and brilliant in general than people going to Dubland, or maybe it's just the age of the train.  Either way
and moving swiftly along
not wanting to alienate my dublin reader
gloss gloss gloss
I didn't completely waste the day.
I got to read much of Niamh Boyce's wonderful book "The Herbalist" - It's the first book I've EVER had to skip to the end of to see what was going to happen before I continued reading, the words were too much in danger of physically hurting me, if I didn't peek ahead.  It's not something I ever have done before (as you can tell from the very sincere EVER in big letters earlier in this paragraph), but god that woman can write.  I'm very proud to have the same first name as her.   Not that this makes me as good a writer automatically per se, but it would give one some hope.
Other things I got done on route have included but not been limited to...
- noticing brilliant dublin street art between the jervis and smithfield - and I mean brilliant - almost Banksy brilliant.
- remembering brilliant times in places that I passed, like - the night we went to see republic of loose, or the time my brother and I walked in from Heuston to town on our own and I was only 8 or something and he wanted to save money for McDonalds or music or something, the time with people I'd met in Irish college in Mallow - under the railway bridge out messing late at night, windsurfing near the sandflats of malahide (ok wind drifting), watching harry potter in drogheda and having the kids in the seats behind us calling out all the words, visiting a deserted house in the shade of croke park with someone mysterious,
- also seeing people writing with marker on turnips (ok that actually happened last week in work rather than today, but it makes a good story, and if you've lasted this far down the page you deserve a good story)
- catching up with good buddies on the phone.
- getting a sizeable blog written.
 - writing a teeny tiny bit
- reading half of Staring at Lakes - a memoir by Michael Harding - an honest and funny man.

Now for some actual work, sure I've another 2 hours on the train yet!!!


The Bug said...

I wish I could take a train to work. It's only 40 miles & so I probably wouldn't have time to get anything done, but still...

Niamh B said...

The trains must go fast over there if 40 miles would still not give you time to do something... even a bit of flash fiction?!

niamh said...

thanks for saying such nice things about The Herbalist!:) And I'm very happy to read them, I'm a bit late but its great timing since I've just got a stinking review by some biddy who rated a pair of gloves better than my book:)!

Niamh B said...

You know I meant every word of it, a really brilliant debut - must be terrifying though - how will you write something as good again!?!? As for the biddy with the gloves - WTF... pure jealousy.
Happy Weekend to you :-)