Thursday, July 28, 2011



I am on the bus home and I am tired, though not as tired as I had been. Four weeks on from a fortnight of doing fuck all in the French Alps and I am still feeling somewhat restored. There were three months of waking up feeling bleached and sedated prior to that. I don't know why.

I'm on the 46A back to our new house in Stoneybatter, where Rosie and Biscuit purr at the spaciousness of it all. After two years in our Portobello basement flat I'm still blinking like a mole in the light. I like to potter up the spiral staircase to the converted attic. I have notions of properly learning to play guitar there, high and obscure where no-one else would have to suffer my noodlings. Mostly, though, I just go up there and stick my head out of the skylight and across the city. I can see the Spire and the Pigeon Houses at Poolbeg. And churches.* Didn't you have to feel impressed by Enda Kenny for once? Every dog has his day.

We are one year married on Friday. I've tried not to be smug for the last year, but even the constant question of "when are you having a baby?" hasn't stopped me. I've been asked it on this bus. Everyone is so very concerned with filling up this world of killing rampages and phone hacking. I swear all there is for them is X Factor and procreation. We'll keep at it (so to speak) but if there is to be no baby for Rosie and I that will be alright too. Partly because it will have to be, but mostly because it will.

Give me your hands cos you're wonderful.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


On Divorce Settlements

Not me and Rosie, mind. No, we had what could be considered our first ever row on Sunday after a few afternoon pints later led to a temporary mutual lack of perspective on housework, but I reckon we'll be able to avoid calling Lionel Hutz in just yet. I refer to the parting of ways between us and Eircom Broadband. €216 it'll cost us to be shot of them.

I remember when they were good old Telecom √Čireann and the only ways they could fuck you up were by swallowing your coins in their banjaxed phoneboxes, or charging you extra if calls on your home phone lasted longer than three minutes. Then they got all supercorporate on us, dropped that pesky fada and floated themselves on the stock exchange, meanwhile convincing a shitload of fools to buy shares in them at a heavily infalted price. My family were amongst those fools, though we didn't get burned half as badly as some people did. But yeah, speculate on the stock market and there's every chance things might just go tits up.

What's not so hot is charging people around fifty quid a month for a service they simply don't get. Whinging about your broadband speed sounds an awful lot like what supercilious fuckers would call a First World Problem (blogging about it most certainly is), but getting vexed over consistently not getting what you're paying for strikes me as pretty justified. I lack the patience to detail the shoddiness of their service and their customer care, but take a look at their reviews. A lot of people are left spitting feathers, in what mostly stand out as unusually articulate expressions of internet rage. And why not? They've thrown thousands of euro and thousands of hours of customer hold-time at the incompetent cunts between them. I feel like we have too. Pay peanuts and you get monkeys. Pay €48 a month and you get the dimmest bunch of morons you're likely to find this side of a Kid Rock concert.

David, my favourite of the many technical support staff we dealt with, told me that we'd have to sign a new twelve month contract if we wanted a replacement for the modem that their technicians (incorrectly, as it turned out) told us was the reason why we hadn't had continuous connection for more than twenty minutes for the past month. I could sign that contract, or I could pay Eircom €47 for a new one or, y'know, "just buy your own in Currys". When I pressed David on why exactly I might have to do that he said (and I quote verbatim here, seriously) "Uuuuuuhhh......deregulation ummmmmmmmmmm increased competition and stuff............................................................................................uhhhhh, yeah..." He then left me on hold with squalling feedback in my ear for ten minutes before realising that oh, I was still under contract, as I had said. Fair balls, David, I'd turn up to work stoned off my fucking face too if I could get away with it.

If Eircom were a spouse they'd be attentive at first, before becoming distant, philandering, and then downright abusive. You might just be able to prove in a court of law that this was the case, but it'd take more time and emotional energy than you really have, so you just pay them some money to fuck off and stop annoying you.