Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Dirty Day

What a day! I went home to Dundalk for the weekend and yesterday had to bring my mother to the Lourdes hospital in Drogheda to get a plaster cast from a broken ankle removed. I never talk about the health service much even though it's the one political topic absolutely everyone has an opinion on (and usually a negative one at that). The way I look at it I'm a lucky boy to be in good health and to have not needed to go near a doctor or a hospital in years. As my parents get older, particularly, that will start to change so I'll stay out of them as long as I can.

Being in good health probably makes it easier for me to say this in harsh terms, but I did wonder yesterday looking at the crowds in the hospital how many of them were there because their bodies have let them down and they require medical care and how many were there because of self-inflicted stupidity (like the obvious injured-while-drunk). My mother was in and out in two hours, which I thought was pretty good.

While my mother was in being X-Rayed and with physio etc., I went into Drogheda town centre (if it can be considered to have a centre). I worked in Drogheda between '98 and '01 before moving to Cork and I grew quite fond of Shelbyville - particularly a pub called Mc Phail's. They're doing a lot of development in the town, lots of new buildings I hadn't seen before, although the shopping and light-eating options still seem to be as poor as ever. Dundalk would be a lot better and it's certainly no Mecca.

Speaking of which, I later made my way to Dublin for a Doves gig in the Olympia. I went to college in Dublin so I still know it pretty well but every time I wander around the city I'm reminded just how ridiculously far ahead of the rest of Ireland it is in terms of consumer choice. I'll buy a paper and wander around Cork on a Saturday and I honestly struggle to find a place that seems inviting for a coffee and a light snack. It's either pubs (which I really try to avoid on an afternoon) or restaurants or places like O'Brien's. The choice in Dublin is so refreshing in comparison.

Listening to drive-time radio on the way up to Dublin I heard that Elan shares had dropped 70% after a patient taking one of their drugs had died. I don't mind admitting that my first thought was "Oh f#ck, that's just cost me... ... ... ... 500 quid!" I bought 35 shares at about 30 Euro three years ago after they had dropped from E70+. I forgot one golden rule of shareholding - even if shares lose 90% of their value, there's always another 90% to go. That's how it turned out because they ended up swimming around 1 Euro. But they have been a star performer for the last year, getting back up to near E24 again. However it's back to the sick bed because, right now, they're worth E5.83 and my shareholding is a grand total of E205. Pathetic.

After all that the Doves gig was absolutely CLASS! I'll post the set list when I find out exactly what it was. They absolutely nailed every song and finished the set with the crowd-pleasing "There Goes the Fear" - the place erupted. It's kind of funny but a lot of the blokes at the gig looked like the sort of lads I used to see giving it socks on the dance floor in places like the POD and The Kitchen in the late '90s (and sort of like what you might see in Ibiza, if you don't know these places) - all bouncy legs, clapping hands and pointing in the air. The Olympia is a great spot for a gig. I'll be back in about 5 weeks for Interpol.

I drove back to Cork after that, I got back at about 2:30 a.m. I'm pretty shattered today.

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