It’s that time of the year again when the de Burcas hit the road and for this year’s holiday we’re driving to Ireland – that’s right, driving, the four of us, full throttle, 3,000kms as we’re not taking the shortest possible route, no, we’ve stopped off in Denmark, the country that Ireland could be if only we were more Protestant. I’m writing this in a small town called Brande, a place where everything is so organically perfect and so bio-friendly that you don’t mind paying the equivalent of 500euro for a coffee and a muffin.
Tomorrow we drive to Brussels, and the day after we hit London, home to the great theatres, the South Bank, the World’s End restaurant, and a homeless prick called Damian, whom many years ago I bought a goat’s cheese pie only to be told he ‘wanted the fuckin’ money instead.’
Ah Damian…where are you now you little rascal? Probably an executive producer at the BBC. But I digress – after London, we make our way to Ireland where me and the PRACTICAL SILESIAN WIFE are expected at the wedding of a friend of mine, Emma Daly. She’s getting married in Boffin Island, a tiny yet unbelievably beautiful rock off the west coast, and home to 300 inhabitants. If you’ve seen the movie The Wickerman, well, it’s just like that only with no virgins and more sheep.
There will be lots of drinking done in Ireland, but between the drinking and the meeting of friends so we can do more drinking, there is a small matter of the Polski Éire festival, a celebration of all things Polish and Irish – basically guilt and tricking our respective superior neighbouring countries. I’ve got stand up shows in Cork! Arklow! Galway! Dublin! Yes, all those great hotspots of Slavic influence will be home to my particular brand of rabid ranting which someone somewhere has deemed a worthy way to bring two guilt-ridden and cheating countries together.
But every week, for the next month, I’ll be keeping you up to date on life on the road and the ups and downs of an Irish-Polish family who are leeching their way through the continent.
For now then, goodbye to Denmark, a country nearly identical to Ireland except we’re shit and they’re not. And as I watch the PSW finish packing the car, I reminisce about today, what must have been the most perfect day of my life so far; the girls spent the morning at Legoland in Bilund, while we adults gorged ourselves at a Danish café for a two-hour brunch. In the afternoon, we went to the swimming pool and did the whole slide and Jacuzzi thing. Finally, when I came home, a What’sApp message confirmed that Marcin Wrodarczyk had finished building me the bicycle of my dreams. A perfect day in the world’s most perfect country and I can’t remember a moment during the last twelve hours when I didn’t have a glass of beer out of my hand, even in the pool, which is a bit strange.
Yet, amazing as it was, it doesn’t cancel out the great tragedies of my life; the time a priest threw me out of the confession box when I forgot the Act of Contrition, the job interview at the BBC when I was unaware how a pimple had burst on my face and blood and gunk were streaming down my cheek, or even the time my father-in-law refused to give me an answer when I asked him if I could marry his daughter.
Ah…you can’t have it all.