Christmas 2020 was for RD and I a complete washout, stuck in a disgusting Airbnb just waiting to start our new life. We had so many plans and one of them was to visit an Irish pub. Let us not forget that RD had never been to Ireland in his life, he just trusted me with this move. So, naturally, one of the first things that he wanted to do was have a Guinness in an Irish Pub. And then the dreaded Pandemic hit!
Now we are, reluctantly, fully jabbed we found ourselves able to visit the pub in nearly a year since we have lived here. It was worth it. I didn’t realise just how much I had missed pubs. They are not the same as French bars, in all the French bars I have visited there has only been a handful that have had atmosphere, the wonderful Le Opera in Le Touquet being one of them. But in all the time I lived in France there was no bar that ever made me think ‘I will go there again.’ Even when we went to a local bar in Ambrieres to watch the football during the Euro’s 2018, everyone just sat there. That was until we arrived and started jumping up and down when France scored, our enthusiasm became infectious and eventually we had the handful of French people there joining in. But…. there was no atmosphere for most of the time.
So I learned not to go to pubs, lack of funds and lack of atmosphere can be good deterrents.
Due to new regulations the pubs in Ireland have been told that they have to shut at 8pm. Covid must get much more virulent after then! So we left our house for an early doors and when we arrived at one of our locals (I am not saying which one due to the Covid fanatics) it was heaving. The pub had followed regulations and put tables around the bar, but they had then added bar stools to said tables and that is where we sat. There were very few people wearing masks (none) and I loved it all. RD and I have the opinion that Covid is here, you have to make a choice how you will live with it, but live with it you must, our choice is to ‘live’. We’re all going to die one day.
I loved the buzz, the hum of people talking, chatting to people, getting to know them. I had not been in a pub for over seven years, in fact RD was worrying that I was becoming agrophobic because I kept putting off going out. I am not afraid of Covid, but is that what is happening to us, that we are all getting so used to staying in that we are now putting off going out?
I loved it, not least because when we came to leave at 7.55pm people were still coming in (the black out blinds were doing there job!) and the pub was still alive. I have come to realise since living here that I have more Irish in me than English. It probably explains why I don’t take kindly to being told what to do, don’t follow the crowds, and why I have always been my own person. The French protest, the English Complain, the Irish just do what they want! I love it!
When I get my new job, and I will, I will celebrate by going to the pub!
Here is to Ireland and all it’s stoic ways.