In a strange landOct 8th, 2007 | By Ian Poulton | Category: Personal Columns
There are memories that cause a deep uneasiness.
A nine year old boy stood beside a country road trying to pretend that all was well and to persuade himself that there were lots of things to be happy about. Vehicles passing each other on the road had cut deep ruts into the verge and the thundery August rain had left these filled with muddy brown water. Jumping from one end of a puddle and back again would have been a delight two weeks previously, but this was the last Sunday evening in August and tomorrow at 9.00 am school would begin again.
Maybe school wasn’t so bad, maybe the teachers felt as bad that Sunday evening as the boy who dreaded the call from his parents to come in, because there was school in the morning. Maybe the memory of the moment is an unfair reflection of the reality, but it’s still there, it still comes back in apprehensive moments.
In 36 hours I will be at Dublin airport awaiting a flight to Heathrow. On the verge of being 47, it is absurd at being apprehensive about being away for ten days, but I don’t want to be away. I don’t want to leave my wife and my family and my home and my people, because Ireland is my country and England is a foreign land.
Memories of the nine year old boy are like a barometer, when they come back, then the uneasiness is deep.
The reality will not be as bad as the fear, just as primary school was not as bad as the fear, but the hours will be counted until the Aer Lingus wheels are again on Dublin tarmac.
Now I must go and find a puddle to jump.