I have mentioned before how there is a very simple method of postal addresses in Ireland.
We don’t have one.
In the cities, everyone is neatly filed away in housing estates with fucking stupid names like Beverly Hills Heights or Windsor Downs that bear no relationship to the estate itself. The usual rule is the more fancy the name, the worse the estate, but that is neither here nor there.
In the countryside, we don’t bother with names or numbers. We just are. Our identity is well known, and if you call into any shop in the village and ask where Grandad lives, they’ll tell you. Because we don’t bother to name our roads, directions tend to be rather precise, which is a good thing. There is none of this “follow Seaview Road until you reach Marlborough Lane” type of rubbish. It’s more a case of “follow that road until you see a red barn on your right. If you see the red barn, you have missed your turn”. Directions tend to be very poetic at times, and I think visitors to the countryside appreciate that.
Of course our government are trying to change this by introducing postal codes, in their usual trick of giving us all numbers instead of identities, but that is going to be fuck all use. “Drive two miles to WE109993 and turn right”? Right!
One of the rare times our system comes unstuck is when there is a children’s party in the area. The postmen and the deliverymen all know where we live, but for some reason young children are hopeless at working out the lack of system. Young Johnnie’s idea of an address is most likely to be “a big house with green windows” which isn’t much help. Because of this, the party hosts tend to tie balloons to trees, bushes and hedges in a breadcrumb sort of fashion. Follow the balloons and you’ll find the party.
As I own part of the entrance to our lane, people used to tie their balloons to my trees which was fine by me. They were slightly more decorative than the usual old plastic shopping bags that have been stuck in the branches for years.
In the last few years however, brambles have somewhat encroached on the trees, and brambles have thorns. Thorns and balloons don’t mix very well. One gust of a breeze and the entrance to the lane sounds like an artillery barrage.
So if you are looking for a children’s party in my area, just look for the tree that’s decorated with brightly coloured strips of rubber. You’ll find them easily enough. They look like used condoms.
If on the other hand, you’re looking for the party in my gaff, just look for the tree decorated with condoms.