Picture the scene, we are all in the car driving to Cork.Â We pass Kildare Village off the motorway, lit up for Christmas.
Herself: What’s that?
Me: It’s one of those outlet shopping places where they sell off things cheaply.
Her: Like a shopping centre?
Me: They can be but this one is like a little town with streets and fingerposts.Â Except it’s got nothing thatÂ a real town has except shops.Â It’s a bizarre, sterile environment; a monument to the triumph of capitalism.Â I really disapprove of it in principle although, I have to say that, in practice, your aunt took me here once and it was quite pleasing.Â I got those navy cords.
Her: How do you mean sterile?
Me: Well, nobody lives there, every shop is a chain, there are no museums or pubs or monuments, it has no history and no identity beyond commerce; it’s soulless. It’s in the middle of nowhere, so people have to drive there in their cars.Â There are no beggars, no buskers, no…
Her: They round up the beggars and take them away?
Me: Well, no, I assume not, it’s just not very handy to get to if you haven’t got a car.
Her:Â Hmm.Â They’re like Nazis then aren’t they?Â Rounding up the beggars, that’s how they started.
Me: That may be a little harsh.