A friend of mine from Clarenbridge is a keen fisherman with his own small boat. Last week he set off on the Good Ship Billy, cruising up and down the coast to soak up the sun and hopefully catch some fish.
We came back empty handed. Even the mackerel seem to have disappeared – which in itself is a pillar for another day. But when he sent me increasingly dour messages about how our once-famous fishing grounds have become a wasteland of water, he sent me happy news — he’d found a pub in Mayo “that wasn’t ripping everyone off. I’ve finally found a place that doesn’t make us gossip!’
It says a lot about the current state of affairs that the only moment of joy in a failed fishing trip is finding a place that won’t charge a fortune for a pint. He’s certainly lucky not to have ventured into an unnamed restaurant in the west of Ireland that became famous this week for all the wrong reasons.
People were shocked by the statement of a man who complained on the radio that he had been charged €10.50 for a bottle of cider. Had the restaurant made a mistake? nope A tenner plus change is the usual rate. But the people who were so shocked obviously haven’t been paying attention to how things are going lately.
I recently had a similar experience at my favorite downtown pub when I was charged €9.60 for a glass of red wine. Love the place but haven’t been back since – who can pay a tenner for a glass of Red Plonk?
We are in interesting times. After two years of enforced social isolation, most of us were dying to hop on a plane and finally feel the sand in our toes. But the chaos at airports has convinced many of us that it could be just as easy to just stay at home and take a break somewhere in the country. That’s the smart move. I’ve driven through Dublin Airport twice in the past few weeks and it’s been pretty hellish.
I was particularly impressed by the hundreds of suitcases strewn about the hall – each representing someone whose vacation had just been ruined. So the solution? Stay at home.
The problem? The prices. Ten grand to rent a car for a few weeks. Three grand to book a cottage for a week. The list goes on.
By and large, a tenner for a bottle of cider or a glass of wine might seem like the epitome of a first-world problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem — such gouging could kill our vast tourism industry.
It’s not just the locals who are annoyed by the price premiums, either. English food critic Jay Rayner recently visited Dublin and it seemed half of his column was dedicated to the stunning allegations he was faced with.
And let’s not forget, this is coming from a guy who lives in London, one of the most expensive cities in the world.
We all know the hospitality industry has been decimated by lockdown and no one can blame a business for trying to make hay while the sun is out. But they kill themselves.
I don’t think it’s as simple as mere greed. I assume many of the price hikes are due to the desperation of establishments desperate to generate as much income as possible – but they also run the risk of killing the golden goose. They’re not the only ones to blame.
I’ve never driven a car—and most people I know think the world is undoubtedly a safe place to be—but the woman does, and when she goes into the garage to gas up, she turns ashen of daily increases back in fuel.
My local butcher does his best to keep costs down, but he openly admits that the prices he pays his suppliers are killing him. If he is to keep a profitable business, he must pass those costs on to customers, many of whom then blame him and vow never to return.
I noticed myself yesterday when I went to my local store to get some sundries.
A shopping basket that used to cost me around £40 ended up costing €68, whilst thanks to the government’s recent nanny intervention a crate of my favorite Rockshore drink has almost doubled in price.
If the government is serious about tackling the cost-of-living crisis, why has it hit the working class with another senseless sin tax on a few cans of beer?
Wages have stagnated and inflation has soared – hence all the worries about the return of ‘stagflation’ – where you no longer get much for your money, just a whining. I hate being the harbinger of doom but it’s getting worse and the energy crisis in Europe means we’re facing horrendous heating bills in the winter.
Difficult times are ahead folks. So the only solution is to have a drink and put your worries aside for a while. If you can afford it, that is.
I never thought I would defend drag queens
I’ve never been a fan of drag queens, to say the least.
Honestly, I think that in years to come people will look back at drag and realize that it’s not very different from the Black and White Minstrels – it’s a form of gender appropriation that’s essentially the black face and every woman who i know equals hates her passionately. But each for himself and such. It’s none of my business how people find their entertainment.
A rather strange argument is brewing in the UK over the growing trend of drag queens entering schools and libraries to teach tolerance and inclusivity to children.
That’s all well and good, but some of these kid-friendly drag shows were anything but kid-friendly, and many parents were appalled by the material their children were exposed to.
But a bizarre incident unfolded on Tuesday when police were forced to escort a drag queen from a library when the performer was jostled and harassed by a group of anti-drag protesters.
I keep talking about the increasingly intolerant and censorious left, but the social conservatives are just as bad.
When a woman insisted on bringing her sprog to see the drag queen, one of the protesters yelled, “I’m trying to protect your kids!” Um, isn’t that a mom’s job?
As much as I don’t care about drag queens, if a parent wants to bring their child to see one, that’s their own choice and shouldn’t be up for debate.
This is one of the main problems of today’s society – everyone seems determined to meddle in each other’s affairs and to meddle in things that are none of their business.
I never thought I’d defend drag queens, but these are weird days.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/gouging-like-this-will-send-the-tourists-packing-41875590.html Caving like this will get the tourists packing