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Rosalind wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I dwell in that unrighteous place that is certainly not heaven but not quite hell known as Paddy Limbo®. It’s an intricate internal dance and goes something like this:

  1. Step to one side (I’m so homesick it’s making me ill; if I were only sitting in Tigh Neactain’s with a pint of plain right now; there’s just no true craic or spirituality outside Ireland and no-one ever asks me if I like it here; quick, let’s take some time out and wash around the auld sod for a while looking for the perfect place to settle)
  2. Step to the other side (Christ, I’ll never be able to afford to live here again; what, are they still at this Catholic thing; how much for this effing broom cupboard; God, the West is bleak)
  3. Bend over backwards to show some semblance of fitting in where you currently reside (how low can you go?)
  4. Repeat in a variety of countries, in a growing number of accents and languages, for many years

Will I ever get over it? Will I ever get home again? Will I ever shut up and admit that I’ve had some fun along the way? (And, at some point, be able to respond to Rosalind as Jaques responds to her? “Yes, I have gained my experience.”)

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