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I am looking forward to watching Normal People tonight. There was a minor uproar on Irish radio over all the 'fornicating' in it, and all my friends on FB had a laugh over that: old Ireland still clutching its rosary beads. The show is set in Sligo, less than a half-hour away by car.

Both leads are perfect, especially the dude, whose physicality reminds me of my husband’s young cousin, footballer and sheep-shearer, with a tendency to dip his head when shy. The husband and I had seen the actor at the Gaiety Theatre in the beginning of March, starring in The Lieutenant of Inishmore as a crazed IRA man seeking the murderer of his cat on his tiny home island. The play was written by Martin McDonough, the partner of Phoebe Waller-Bridge; apt, I think, given the dark humour of their respective work.

Afterwards we had a drink in Grogan's, its walls heaving with art and the bartenders making ham toasties—8 on the go—behind the bar, the tang of mustard tickling my nose. The usual crowd of bohemians, students, and academics were present, in various states of drunkenness. The husband wanted to get the post-election sca, so we took a taxi to Doheny & Nesbitt’s on Baggot Street, the haunt of solicitors and lawmakers, where we wedged ourselves into a snug with the Attorney General, barristers, and businessmen. Overseeing the festive mood was a hotelier from Clonakilty: congenial enough. When he found out that the husband and I had met at Electric Picnic, he was quick to point out that his family—not a Cosby!—owned fields in which the music festival was hosted. One of the barristers had attended Trinity at the same time as the Taoiseach, and did not find him appealing then or now. He was pro-landlord, but all for Bernie Sanders. His friend was a pro-Trump fascist, and after I was cornered into an uncomfortable and increasingly shouty conversation with him, we left.

Less than a fortnight later, all the theatres and bars in the country were closed.


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