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IT WAS RELATIONSHIP SHOWTIME “IT’S probably time we moved in together. We have been going out for, like, ever,” he said. It was a good point. When you realise your relationship is older than certain things, like Romeo Beckham, or the Neil T Blaney road, then it makes sense to show some commitment and move in with Mr Right. Right? There was only one way to find out. “Okay, let’s do it,” I replied, envisaging us as that happy couple from the Dulux ad, me in paint-spattered dungarees, him in a baggy tee and shorts, renovating our new pad and blowing kisses across a room full of stepladders and colour swatches and solid emulsion silks. But oh, how romantic notions fade. As move-in day loomed nearer, so did my doubts about the whole process. Thoughts of Pope Benedict and my Novena-chanting grandmother began flooding my conscience, as did the fear that, after all this time, I was about to be unveiled as an undomesticated damsel in distress. A variety of dilemmas kept springing to mind, namely the fear we were fixing something that wasn’t broken and it would shatter to proverbial smitherines. Was I really ready to co-habit? What would he make of my cleaning philosophy - if it ain’t furry then what’s the hurry? Would my smalls have to be washed with his, erm, bigs? And what about my famous girls nights-in, were they now destined for ‘unisexification’ seeing that he was going to be constantly around? Thing was, I liked having my own place (and space) where I could sink under a cucumber face mask and duvet on a Sunday if I felt like it. To live with, I was more like Marshall Mathers than Martha Stewart, and I warned him that one look under my sink would categorically horrify him out the door forever. But he wasn’t having any of it. Move-in day finally arrived. This was relationship showtime. He began by carting goods from his flat to mine, or ours, as it was now known. I busied myself with an instrument vaguely known as a brush while he coaxed all and sundry into the room, binbag by gargantuan binbag. By the time he was on his fourth run, I was about to take off on my own. The place began to look less like my modern flat and more like a Microsoft factory in Mongolia. I had forgotten about my boyfriend’s fixation with all things computerrelated, and suddenly there were wires, DVD cases, plugs, gadgets bleeping and buzzing everywhere. It reminded me of the time that scientists took over Elliot’s home in ET when they found out he was living there. Although it was me that was beginning to feel like the disorientated alien under attack. Panic subsides I can’t remember when the panic subsided. It just did and things at home with my hunk became hunky-dory in no time. Okay, so he tidies fridge magnets when he shouldn’t and never (ever) stops cleaning, but all in all, life with my new housemate has turned out pretty darn perfect. Of course, you’d need to ask him for his version of events, but I’m quietly confident he’s not plotting his departure quite just yet. And he makes things. Like dinner. And beds. And apologies when he’s forgotten to take the mince out of the freezer in the morning. But most of all he makes me smile. And that, my friends, kicks the butt of a Dulux ad any day of the week.


THERE’S an everlasting bee in the bottom of Irish people. It’s not an obvious problem, like crime waves or job losses, or one that has an immediate impact on the people. It’s not that sexy either, and people tire when they read yet another headline about problems we have with boy racers in this country of ours. Neither is it a political priority, or a pressing social issue likely to appear on any election manifesto. That is, until someone gets seriously, seriously stung. Nevertheless, boy racers, and their subculture of souping-up anything with a pulse, are slowly chipping away at the patience of the Irish people. We are gradually being tormented, at all hours, by gangs of road warriors who have little regard for the law, other people, or for the safety of themselves or others. Everyone can relate to the dream-haunting sound of a wheel squeaking, a brake screeching, an engine buzzing at some ungodly hour. Buzzing, as I said, like a bloody big bee in the bottom of the Irish people. The only difference is that once a bee has targeted its prey, it moves on to suck the nectar of the next unsuspecting flower. Boy racers, on the other hand, keep coming back to the same spot for more. Boy racing isn’t confined to winding country roads and rural areas. Oh no. Try living in a complex attached to a multi-storey car park which turns into a rink for joyriders at 11pm. Or a residential area unfortunate enough to have a long stretch of road which accommodates these sorry sorts and their speeding Subarus. Or are they Mazdas? Sorry, I stopped giving a damn, like, the one hundredth time they roared past my house. A pre-requisite for every boy racer package is, of course, the attitude. No trunk lip spoilers, silver-finished alloys, tinted windscreens, or 10-piece body kit is complete without the charming accompaniment of a string of expletives fired out the car window at whoever has the misfortune to be enforcing the law at the time. So why are we so tolerant of boy racers, these tyrants? Is it fear, anxiety, or just plain laziness, or perhaps we believe that someone else will deal with them? Mock collision A mock collision staged by Gardai, the Fire Service and local Paramedics at LYIT this week demonstrated how impenetrable the young psyche is when it comes to road safety. Groups of students giggled and tittered when one man, pretending to be the father of an injured driver, roared and cried out in distress during the re-enactment. The laughter that emanated from the crowd at the man’s fake distress said more about the youth’s attitude to dangerous driving than any statistic, taskforce report or survey. So until we change attitudes, until the mindset readjusts, we have to make and do with this boy racer bee in our bottoms. After all, there are only so many fuses left in the fusebox, meaning one night, some wretched, wrung-out resident in a boyracer terrorised area will snap, strike out, and stick little Johnnie’s exhaust where the sun don’t shine. Until the inevitable happens, we can only hope and pray that boy racers can learn to park their motors and let us all get a bit of rest. But that’s wishful thinking really, because we all know the only thing the boy racers ever park is their sensitivity gene on the way into your estate.

Amy's Columns  

Columns in Donegal News

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