Translations

An bhfuil cuntas agat?

The answer, dot comrades, depends on how you interpret the question.

Some of you will have gone into emotional spasm on recognising those cupla focail from your Irish class. For that, I apologise. But fair play for lucking out in the scramble for a gaelscoil place for little Sceithiminimaithu. The path of least integration with the rest of the local riff-raff. Phew. Count yourselves lucky you don’t live in the North where interaction with the upwardly mobile gaelgoiri would increase the likelihood of your child’s best friend being the progeny of Sinn Fein supporters by a staggering 73 per cent. Are you recoiling in horror? Great. Sorry, I’m a bit of a cuntas that way. Morag, the smelling salts please for the offended lady at the back. I think the billard room is open if you want to carry her in there.

Gratuitous pops at our native language enthusiasts aside, I am referring to polite requests for account information on the laptop here at the Mothership. Such is the lack of sanctuary  from my Da’s attempts at revival of Irish, he has managed to change the language settings. Not bad for a man who approaches microwave tasks with a three-minute head-scratch before delegating to the nearest available member of any of the three generations behind him.

Revival. A word that at one time denoted a sharp intensive time-specific process involved in bringing something back to life. In Irish language terms, the concept is merely in its infancy after fifty odd years. In the way that midnight mass will eventually start at 3pm on Christmas Eve, and the happy hour in our ailing local will stretch from 5 – 7:30pm to the entire month of November.

I’ve no idea where this post is going either. I only came on here to have a gander at the emails no-one has bothered to send me. But here I am; thinking about cuntas and figuring  we’ve all veered dangerously close to behaving like one in the last few days. Fleeting though the welcome harmony can only ever be, it’s probably time to retreat back to where we came before our good will account with the bank of family slips into the red. And where there’s an unopened box of Heroes.

It’s been fun. As that initial frenzied buying on payday always is. When caution is thrown to the wind, and coasting on the high of frivolous spend goes unthreatened until the gnawing feeling creeps in. Just before the end of the first week when you begin to fear you’ve over-estimated the balance. You’re too scared to look. And it’s a whole four weeks till pay day. Prudent spending from here in then.

We’ve all splashed out enough emotions on bunker bonhomie. The tipping point of tolerance is rounding the corner. So it’s goodbye to TG4 in one room roaring at RTE in another through opened doors; the unsynchronised snoring of the family I never gave myself permission to draw on the etch-a-sketch of my imagination lying in the same bedroom in years gone by; and the no-man’s land of the bathroom where truces are worked out with my younger self sure to gatecrash the party at some point. All with a backward glance of gratitude and hopes for re-admission next year.

An bhfuil cuntas agat?

If I’m lucky.

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