Archive for January 19th, 2007

Three Words I Hate

I don’t hate any word in particular. I just hate being confronted with their use in certain contexts.


As in ‘apartments designed for contemporary living’. Believe it or not, there are some people currently living in 1956.

As in ‘exclusive range of apartments designed for contemporary living’. Among those people living in 2006, there are some people who really ought to be prevented from accessing these apartments.

As in ‘this Tuscan bean soup is comforting’. The line between food and psychiatric medicine is often very fine.

Good Day Moonshine

It seems that any time I sit down to write something these days, my initial inclination is to begin with the words ‘When I was young…’. This bothers me, because I don’t want to turn into one of those sad cases who forwards on e-mails about how things were great for our generation when we were kids back in the 1980s. But to be fair to myself, it isn’t really nostalgia that brings me to write these words, but rather observing occasionally what children in Ireland have to go through today and thinking ugh!.

I’m often out and about very early in the mornings, and there seems to be more children in the streets and on the buses and trains at this time -between 6am and 7am- accompanied by their parents. Some are infants, still in the buggy, whose parents are taking them to the creche before going to work, and others are older, wearing school uniforms.

Now….when I was young, and by young I mean under 16, I rarely got up before 7:45am. For me, before 7am was the middle of the night, a time when only postmen, milkmen and paramilitaries were out and about. To get up regularly at that hour would have seemed a cruel form of torture. But I reckon it’s becoming the norm for a lot of families. It’s 7.15am as I write this, and there are children across the street leaving the house with their mother. Another mother left her child off with the grandparents next door half an hour ago.

I think children would be far better off spending this time sleeping instead of getting up in the dark. It might not exactly be sending kids up chimneys, but I certainly wouldn’t call it progress.

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January 2007