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The North


“Take the second exit then follow the A10 North for 50meters”

This is what the stern but reassuring woman inside my phone tells me. The voice of google maps, she must have one of the most famous voices in the world, she must be a millionaire, but when she says north it doesn't make any sense to me. I prefer a more earthy GPS, possibly a lot of irish people would

“Go down to the village Inn, past O’Donavan’s Off-licence and turn right before you see the house where that young fella committed suicide a few years ago”

I could never get the hang of directions, North, South, East and West are vague concepts to me. Even left and right is still a challenge. when I was a kid “knife to the right, fork to the left” “knife to the right, fork to the left” I’d bless myself each time i put down a knife cos I knew I blessed myself with my right hand. It sounds like something that Saoirse Ronan might do in a hollywood movie where the Prodestant landlord would laugh at her (and then fall in love with her of course. I am adorable.

in the 90’s the self-help market exploded. We learned that women can’t read maps and men think about sex ever ten seconds. That’s why they have a good sense of direction, because they have a compass attached to them that can indeed point North. What a physical advantage.

However I know plenty of women who can get from A to B with out going via C or a shopping centre. I don’t think that Barak Obama’s tenure as US President has seen the rise of Dash on the fact that he just keeps thinking about sticking his micky into everything.

The social divides between North and South are more accessible to my brain. When I’m in London a lot of people ask where in Ireland am I from, I tell them that I’m from a small medieval city called Kilkenny which is situated about 110 kilometres from Dublin. They don't care, they just want to find out if I'm southern or if I’m angry.

When the Independence Referendum was held in Scotland a lot of English people were unhappy, those in the South, London and the Posh Home counties wanted Scotland to stay in the Union, The North wanted Scotland to take it with them!

Northern and Southern Europeans are as different as wine and bear, vikings and Celts versus Greeks and Romans. Southern Europeans are sexy, sophisticated and sensual. Northern Europeans are more drunk and more rich.

We had an exchange student from the South of France. She was so cool, she wore almost exclusively Naff Naff clothing, it took her nearly two hours to eat her dinner, pushing plain pasta around the plate as she pursed her lips, allowing a tiny morsel at a time in, holding her fork like she waving the food around as she chatted yet placing it in her mouth with that greatest of care. she’d cut up pizza with a knife and fork and a chip in three bites. she’d lay her fork down on the plate, consider her findus Crispy pancake philosophically and then rise it up again for inspection It was like watching a food ballet. What was more alien was she didn't even eat it all ! “No Tank you Miss Dar-mo-dee, I am fool” Full I haven't been full since I was breast fed! She was killing those black babies in Africa if she kept this up. Her family probably didn't even have a tracer box. My dad would eat her leftovers. Wow I’d love to be like that.

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