Impossible to be in Ireland these days without being aware of the severity of the economic crisis.  Poppy says simply that the problems of the Celtic Tiger are nothing to do with her.  She finds Blogstead Na Mara a congenial place.  Staff are always on hand.  She retreats under a duvet on an upper bunk – from where she can display a certain ‘hauteur’.  When visited there, she simply extends one paw and stretches the claws.

Meanwhile I just restrained myself from testing my belief that, whereas in Scotland one may listen to other people’s random conversations, in Ireland one simply joins in.  Man in front of me at the check-out in Dunnes Stores in Letterkenny.  Three sets of child’s canvas shoes [gutties or runners in the vernacular here] at 3 euro each in different colours.  Lengthy explanation about his child who insists on wearing odd shoes …

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