Skip to main content

Top of the Morning

It’s been a grand soft day with a great stretch in the evening and hopefully the wind is always at your back. There was a time that these sort of phrases appealed only to the returning diaspora on holiday and toothless farmers who have never left Spiddal. All the same, these comments on the weather are a great distraction from the current economic climate and if you are talking about the weather you can’t talk about corrupt politicians or paedophile priests or anything else that people want to call in to chat shows and complain about: “Joe, it’s shockin’ Joe…”
Luckily the weather of the last few weeks managed to take precedence over family Christmas arguments, the country falling apart and what they’re up to next door. But when you think about it, the weather actually is more important to our survival than anything else. I’ve been wondering what might happen if the snow and ice hadn’t melted? After about a week of it most people were out of water, pipes had burst. Trucks couldn’t get in and out of town and travel was almost impossible.
Now if we really were aul farmers who went around talking about the stretch in the evening, we would also have a stock of potatoes piled up outside in a shed and enough food to keep us going for the winter even if we can’t get past the door. And we’d have turf and logs too, instead of heaters that are not working. When you think of it, not living off the land is a bit of a risk, and it wouldn’t even take a whole winter to wipe us out if things got bad enough.
So it made me think about all of those greetings that actually make more sense than any of our long winded ‘going forward’ speeches.
So when someone at work said ‘top of the morning to you’ today at work, I surprised him by knowing the proper Irish reply: ‘and the rest of the day to yourself’.


Popular posts from this blog

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

The MoMa, a Beggar and my Limp

There’s a woman who walks up and down the streets around West 82nd and Amsterdam Avenue asking people if they’ll give her a dollar. I’d put her around 80. Small, wiry, bent, wispy hair. Brittle bird legs in black tights, but still a follower of fashion in a knit skirt with a tartan pattern, more the kind of skirt you might see on a 20-year-old Asian student. Pale pink lipstick, and a crimson red blouse topped with a cream overcoat despite the muggy August New York heat. I wonder what she does with the money she collects. She doesn’t look like she eats anything, can’t tell if she drinks. She’s sober when she pushes her trolley bag up and down 82nd, asking ‘do you have a dollar for me?’ I don’t give her one. I keep my dollars for the MoMa. My feet are killing me after walking into the city, but I’m scared of the subway. I did make a weak attempt, but have no idea what they mean by uptown and downtown. Both of these expressions mean the same thing where I come from: Uptown – as in, I’m…

The Now or the Nervous Breakdown?

There’s a thin line between reaching a state of inner peace comparable to that of a Buddhist monk and being bang on in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Thing is, I’m never sure which state I currently find myself in. It’s true that one feeds the other at times. You need to have a proper meltdown to let the storm settle and find your peace. And peace wouldn’t be peace if you didn’t allow the true tempest of this life to enter your accepting and non-judgemental state of whatever you want to call not letting stuff get to you.
The buzz word nowadays is ‘Mindfulness’. If I understand it correctly, it means that you should mind your mind, like think of it as a place where you set yourself up for feeling good or bad, and as with all of these pop psychology hits, it’s about living in the now. Like Buddhism it involves meditation and sitting cross legged on a straight-backed chair, and then you have to focus, focus, focus…
So far, I’m pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. I don’t worry…