My other life

Writers reveal their fantasy careers

My grandfather was born in County Cavan, but spent most of his working life driving a taxi in Manchester. We lived with him there for a year when I was about six and our family car was a big black Austin taxi cab – I’ve always missed it.

They don’t use those cabs in Dublin, but when I moved back here last year, I bought – could it have been an accident? – a second-hand diesel Skoda, the taxi-driver’s vehicle of choice in my last home, Jerusalem. I had already told my friends – jokingly? – that if my new writing career didn’t work out I could always fall back on driving a taxi. If nothing else, there might be a good book in it.

Unfortunately, Ireland’s economy was imploding spectacularly just as we unpacked our bags in Dublin, and everybody who has lost their job or taken a redundancy package seems to have had the same idea. The property bubble has given way to a taxi glut.

On the plus side, it is now, compared with the old days, ridiculously easy to get a taxi. On the minus side, I no longer have a plan B. And I’m worried that many of those new taxi drivers, starved of fares, will turn to writing on the side. There’s already too many scribblers in this town, bud.

© Ed O’Loughlin – Writer and Journalist