I really enjoyed Normal People: A Novel. It resembles in tone and setting the diary notes from my own time at university. The choices contemplated but not made, and resulting potential regrets. The self-centered observation of the world around you, and how that can result in misinterpreting or over-interpreting the actions and intentions of those around you. Those aspects definitely resonate with my depressive last few years at university, and made me emphatise with both protagonists. Online reviews frequently mention how flat most characters in this book remain. It is a surprising critique I think as we experience the story through the eyes of both main characters, both as I said self-absorbed, self-loathing and constantly on the verge of depression. Through such eyes it is impossible to see others or your connection to others in full colour, rich in dimensions and in splendid detail. You only see it from your own narrowed down perspective, and only with regard to your internal deliberations and doubts. It made the book feel more authentic to me, not less.
Ireland was streets ahead of the UK when it came to planning for Britain’s exit
The Irish government started planning for Brexit in 2014, a full 2 years before the UK referendum, and lobbied both EU and Cameron to secure a yes vote. In contrast it seems the UK started debating the impact of Brexit on the Irish border in earnest about two weeks before the 29 March cliff-edge. “Easiest deal in history” and all that.