‘The Country Girls’ by Edna O’Brien, Revisited.

I got saturated on Monday evening (after spending a couple of hours on a bus in the flash-floods traffic en-route from Donnybrook to the city-centre.) It happened when I jumped off the 46A bus, nearby St. Stephen’s Green, and fled (like lightning) through the torrential rain in Grafton St. By all accounts –

Dublin had never seen the likes of it since only God knows when – if ever. I was shaking in my ‘sensible’ shoes and dripping like mad, from head to toe, by the time I arrived at the Gaiety Theatre. I even risked sheltering in shop door-ways, for fear of missing the ticket-office deadline.

Upon arrival there, I was greeted with a darkened theatre and thought that a show was on inside. Alas – to my chagrin, after making enquires at the nearest newsagent, when I discovered not a stir within the foyer, It turned out that the actors’ and staff have a free day, every Monday. I was crestfallen.

After strolling down the top of George’s St. in the aftermath to get the 16 bus to Rathgar, opposite The Dragon, I had to wait for one whole hour before it finally arrived. By that time I was nearly turning blue from the effects of the perfectly dripping wet clothing combined with the cold weather. I was that wet that I didn’t even dare sit down on a seat. I kept wringing out the end of my skirt/fleece jacket on the watery bus.

The bus was greeted with serious floods in Harold Cross, but the young bus-driver assured us that he would steer us through them safely. Motorists’ had to abandon their vehicles. Some bus passengers, despite the positive warnings from the driver were very anxious and stood up in preparation for the worst. We were all relieved when the bus hovered through the floods in a safe manner by a competent driver.

I was elated when I was in the position to discard all the wet clothes and hug a hot-water bottle real tightly.

I shall always remember the night of the flash-foods and my endeavour to obtain a ticket to one of Ireland’s most famous Irish writers’ Edna O’Brien play. I will recount this story to her – is she so happens to attend the play of which she is also producer.

I actually encountered her one time at the IFI Centre, which was a favourite haunt of English Heather and mine (when we took a break there to have tea and sample its specialty – home-made whole potato in their skins – chips . I saw the very tall elegantly dressed writer – albeit only from a distance.

Great image up above! The board-walk backdrop reminds me of a photo that my Aunt Ethel sent me, a long time ago, from Vancouver, Canada. It was taken at a time when her son was studying at the local university.

Oh… I nearly forgot to say, that – at long last – I’ve got a matinee ticket for the play, which will be only showing for one week. It’s selling tremendously well at the box-office, so the assistant tells me. Am really looking forward to seeing the play. To think how ludicrous it was of the Roman Catholic Church, who banned the novel -for what now appears to be harmless stuff. The church had such power in the past, that it drove its writers (and those who were industrial schools such as Goldenbridge) out of Ireland.


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