Edge of Seventeen

Next year will be different.

Next year I will combat the creeping suspicion that integrated  education is merely a subtle form of middle-class Unionist assimilation. I will do this with steadfast determination to tether it to my own terms. I will sheepishly deliver our girl to class after the Remembrance Assembly but this time armed with an unapologetic reason why, if asked. I will swerve to avoid collisions with groups of more than one parent in the yard and forbid myself the possibility of a re-run of Facebook-Gate 2016. I will suppress the pleasure of taking the piss out of myself at all costs for fear I will re-awaken the sensitivities and antipathy of other parents. I will defiantly goose-step over landmines of emoticons, smiles, thumbs up, likes, and all manner of paraphernalia of the passive aggressive and paranoid. I will restore some of my credibility by refusing to wear clown-feet red boots when striving to be taken seriously.


Could you wear these and stroke your chin at the same time?

Next year will be different

Next year there will be more women than Lynn Ruane single-handedly serving as a vital visible counter-point to prevailing mainstream middle-class feminism. Traveller women, working class women, and women for whom English is not their first language but for whom Ireland is their first shot at stable family life, will not be confined to the following:

  • 10 minutes of air-time on open-air trucks at annual marches
  • 10 hours of patronising twitter admiration following the above
  • 51 weeks of obscurity till the next time

There will be plain English to rival the paradigms and intersectionality and tone-police-policing of the custodians of public discussion on equality.

Next year will be different

Next year there will be more films, less vengeful fantasies involving neighbours hatched in response to the casual erection of their corrugated monstrosity impeding my view of sun-set. There will be more maybes, less yeses, and more emphatic nos.

Next year will be different

Next year I will no longer labour under the notion of reconciliation. As the final tranche of European Peace monies pour into the coffers of local government, I will confidently, and correctly, predict the successful squandering of same. At a ratio of three managers to every one community worker. The most successful reconciliation will be Sinn Fein with their insatiable sense of entitlement. Where I live, anyway. Aided and abetted by deference of weak-willed management with imagination institutionalised out of them. There will be fewer fucks given. Just a steely resolve to rise above the bullshit through the ancient scientific application of rolled eyes and a reasonable day’s work for a shit day’s pay at the end of it.

Next year will be different

Next year will be lined with coastlines. And coast-hangers. And ward robes with mountains of closed bags filled with skirt-arounds never worn and ill-fitting dressing-downs and scuffed shoo-ins.

Next year will be different

Next year I will go wherever the keyboard takes me. The words will take the wheel while I continue to enjoy the scenery.

Happy New Year.

12 thoughts on “Edge of Seventeen

  1. Ah yes ‘next year’and our lofty ambitions. I’ve found after all these years on earth that all I hope and imagine for next year are thoughts for a new year which never seems to come. But maybe next year will be different.
    Best wishes to you for next year although if there is to be a re-run of Facebook-Gate 2016 I wouldn’t mind seats.

    • Beware the seemingly innocuous comments, tric. They’re the ones that turn round to bite me in the ass. I’ve only got 6 more years together with these parents – what could possible go wrong? Hehe. Wishing you the most contented of years ahead 🙂

  2. Keep wearing the red boots. I’m sitting here wearing clown-feet red slippers while successfully stroking my chin troubled as I was by what had just popped into my addled 2016 brain – looking forward to the 2017 upgrade, but I digress – Parker get the Rolls Royce out we’re going for a ride – closely followed by a shelf- sighting of Crash. Nevertheless, I’m up for the 2017 ride. Happy New Year to you too.

    • Parker meet Morag, Morag meet Parker. Gin and tonic there for our guest, Morag. And fetch me my clown-feet boots at once. Actually, forget the tonic.

      I look forward to your 2017 also. Perhaps a spine inspired review of 2016 when you get a moment.

  3. Happy belated New Year, Dept. Are those clown-feet red boots outdoor shoes? Do not relinquish them for anything or anyone. They are jolly and friendly: f*ck anyone who eyes them strangely! Have you documented Facebook-Gate 2016? – sounds ultra-intriguing.

    • You were missed, DS. I trust you have turned to face the advent of Spring with some quality cheese and slumber behind you. Am pleased you are a fan of my boots. Yes, there were made for mingling in the great outdoors. I shall grab forth your advice but refrain from wearing them to a pantomime for fear of risking another fashion faux pas by clashing with one of the cast. An event almost as intriguing and yawn-inspiring as Facebook-Gate. Facebook *exasperated sigh* Are you on it? I only went on there to get ‘updates’ from the school. I treaded on the toes of the polite parents without realising they had spread their passive aggression under my feet. I may re-visit if I want to send my three readers into a lengthy coma.

      • I am on FB – however, I have most people on “hide” and my news feed consists of real news, e.g. Guardian on FB is excellent I find (priceless comments!); BBC news; Irish papers (also priceless comments); Huff Post; Jezebel; all my fave journals; Italian press etc. It makes for a great stream of real news that’s more navigable than Twitter (don’t get me started on that useless interface). I find I open up FB for the news, like reading a load of newspapers at once, and I like it.
        I have to occasionally look at a friend’s page manually to see if anyone’s died or replicated, but that’s all.
        I’d love to hear your FB tale, I think any sort of FB faux pas is hilarious – it’s a social minefield and someone should do a PhD on the psychology of the shit that goes on.

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