Getting used to living in an era of great change and uncertainty

WILL THE SHOW GO ON: The Lyric Theatre in Belfast will be closed until next year and the future of the arts is uncertain faced with the Coronavirus epidemic but how knows how are daily lives will evolve in the near future?
Robert McMillen

HELLO TO the devil may cares and sufferers of cabin fever, you’re all welcome to the Bluffer’s Guide to Irish.

It has to be said that the Bluffer is idir dhá chomhairle - in two minds about the new normal. 

Depending on how upbeat he’s feeling, he mighgt say níl caill air - it’s not too bad or he might be in the depths of an galar dubhach - depression.

The thing he misses most is not na pubanna - the pubs but going to listen to ceol beo - live music and drámaí - plays in proper venues.

He was never a big fan of watching coirmeacha - concerts on line because it doesn’t have the atmosphere of a live gig and usually bíonn caighdeán na fuaime go holc - the sound quality is bad.

However, he watched a great documentary on the Dublin fiddler Tommy Potts last week as part of the Dublin music festival MusicTown.

Not only was there some stunning music from Liam O’Connor and Niamh Ní Bhriain but Potts was also a fear dóiteáin - a firefighter and Macdara Yeates’ programme taught a lot about life in Dublin in the 1930s.

Three Dublin firemen lost their lives in fighting a fire in Pearse Street in 1936, but luckily Potts survived.

He said he stopped to say three Hail Marys as he made his way inside the burning building and that pause helped save his life.

Later, the families of the dead firemen were put out of their homes because the houses were for firemen only.

The life of the aicme oibre - the working class or even an mheánaice - the middle class doesn’t seem to have improved much in the interim despite the 96 inch smart TVs to watch Netflix on.

Indeed, looking at the world today, you have to wonder where the planet is headed.

Ní thig liom dul chun na hamharclainne” - I can’t go to the theatre king from home pales into insignificance when your home is in danger of being destroyed by a loscadh sléibhe - a wildfire.

Or if you work in one of the industries that Rishi  Sunak’s scéim tarrthala - rescue scheme can’t help and an dífhostaíocht - unemployment is staring you in the face, then you have greater cause to worry – not forgetting of course that those who work in earnáil na n-ealaíon - the arts sector are probably more at risk than most people.

To say you’ve been made redundant, you could say chaill mé mo phost - I lost my job or, if you are summarily dismissed, you could say tugadh báta agus bóthar dom.

It’s bizarre the way our lives have changed over the past six or seven months.

If a stranger told us a year ago that we would not be allowed to leave our homes except in emergencies, we would have laughed in their faces with a nonchalant “aye, dead on” but we are on the cusp of some great changes to the way we lead our lives - what jobs we have, how we spend our free time, what our city centres look like, what our relationships with other people are going to be

like, but we are not called homo sapiens for nothing. In the words (almost) of Gloria Gaynor, we will survive!  


idir dhá chomhairle (ider ga khorelya) - in two minds

níl caill air (neel kyle er) - it’s not too bad

an galar dubhach (un galar du-akh) - depression

na pubanna (na pubana) - the pubs 

ceol beo (kyawl byaw) - live music 

drámaí (draamee) - plays

coirmeacha (kirimaha) - concerts

bíonn caighdeán na fuaime go holc (bee-an kiyjaan na fooime gaw hulc) - the sound quality is bad 

fear dóiteáin (far doytchaan) - a firefighter

aicme oibre (ekma ibra) - the working class

an mheánaice (un vaanekma) - the middle class

Ní thig liom dul chun na hamharclainne (nee hig lum gul hun na haowerclanya) - I can’t go to the theatre 

loscadh sléibhe (loskoo shlayva) - a wildfire 

scéim tarrthála (shkaym tarhaala) - a rescue scheme 

an dífhostaíocht (un jee-osteeakht) - unemployment 

earnáil na n-ealaíon (arnaal na nyaleen)  - the arts sector

chaill mé mo phost (khyle may maw fust) - I lost my job 

tugadh bata agus bóthar dom (tugoo bata agis boher doo) - I was dismissed

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