What I’m Reading Now

“To have any hope of surviving modern Ireland, with its myriad dangers, pitfalls and trapdoors, not to mention sporadic outbreaks of the winter vomiting bug, it’ll help to equip yourself with a very basic toolkit. …


Previously the preserve of tillage farmers and eccentric poets from Monaghan, wellies are now bang on trend for the entire population and can be enjoyed by young hipsters and old farmers alike. Indeed, a whole new generation of ‘farmsters’ has emerged in recent years. … Thankfully, no multicoloured, polka-dot welly is too silly, no ironic, stenciled pattern is too naff and no price tag is too exhorbitant.

A Coat

As we have already learnt, Irish weather can vary from the mildly wet to the extremely wet and there are also sudden episodes of apocalyptic wetness, which are almost impossible to predict.

Do not be downhearted.

A wide range of outerwear exists to suit a variety of personalities: Penneys coats, duffel coats, overcoats, undercoats, ironic tweed West Brit landlord coats, coats with their own immersions, Údarás na Gaeltachta-subsidized Connemara coats with matching beards, Lycra coats for middle-aged fad joggers (with supporting beer-belly scaffolds) and vinyl hipster smoking jackets that play a wide back catalogue of rare Northern Soul on contact with a record needle.”

—From Surviving Ireland: The weight of history. The self doubt. The constant analysis. The wind. Published 2015 by Colm Tobin. Transcribed by me from pages 30–32.


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