Dear Diary,

Things here are desperate but not serious. In my brief time in this country I have come to regard these Irishes as a funny breed, and I'm talking funny peculiar.

I spent my first weekend trying to avoid hordes of photographers and beggars who have been stalking me since my arrival. The photographers keep attempting to get a shot of me with somebody begging, and I suspect the men with the paper cups are on a commission. Either that or nobody is asking these poor unfortunates how they feel about being used as props in this story. There was one such photo in the Wall Street Journal last week. All it was missing was the caption: "Buddy, can you spare a bond."

On Saturday I went to the rugby match in the Aviva Stadium, where Ireland played the All Blacks. The crowd was obviously focused on matters economic as they sang a sad song about leaving the Fields of Athenry, bound for Australia, over something to do with corn. I must get in touch with this man Trevelyn to see if his labour market policies can be adopted to increase outward migration, going forward.

Sunday brought great relief, not just in Ireland, but across the world, when the Pope gave the nod to condoms. Memo to myself: tell the Irishes to adopt measures to attract the prophylactic industry, now that Pope has effectively broken down transglobal trade barriers on use of condoms, adding value. Get onto the Pope to see how he's fixed for a promotional appearance.

On Monday, the proverbial hit the fan. The junior party in the governing coalition said they were demanding a general election, but just not yet. They want the election after a few minor matters are completed, such as a four-year budget strategy, an annual budget, the memorandum of understanding between the IMF and the government, the ok from the EU, and Christmas. They might as well have released a statement saying we're all going to die. Sometime.

At their press conference, one of their MPs, Mr Paul Gogarty, presented his baby daughter to the cameras. I believe that parliamentary seats are handed down like family heirlooms in Ireland, but surely this was taking it too far.

What could be more terrifying for an 18-month-old budding politician than a bunch of Greens talking tough?

There was great excitement for the rest of the day as the whole country thought the government was about to fall. I kept expecting to see the leader of the opposition, Mr Enda Kenny, come out with guns blazing, but he was nowhere to be seen. They say his people keep him locked up whenever there is a danger that he might be asked anything to do with sums. So he was kept in the dark until it was safe to let him out in public again.

When I turned on the Six:One news there was a clip of this man who is apparently a prominent politician. He was wearing a sort of headgear that you might have found in that movie The Quiet Man and he spoke in an unrecognisable dialect which involved rather a lot of yelping.

In the background there was a mini version of him, another man with a cap, whom I'm told is his son and heir to his parliamentary seat. The one doing the yelping sounded angry. He was demanding a bypass, presumably because the country is on a road to nowhere.

Later that day, the prime minister Brian Cowen steadied the horses with a press conference. He didn't wear a cap and he didn't present any of his offsprings which shows how serious the matter had become. I'm told he's off the sauce, but sometimes these crazy rumours can get totally out of hand.

Everybody calmed down after that. The following day, a bombshell hit the country. The bond markets were in turmoil, Olli Rehn looked very worried, but the real issue was the cancellation of the Cairde Fáil event.

This used to be the hottest ticket in town when everybody was living off German money but now people can't even remember the name of the political party which hosted it.

Other boring stuff like a four-year austerity plan filled the rest of my week. Then on Thursday it emerged that one backbench MP who recently left the party with no name was comparing his former leaders to Cromwell.

This person goes by the name Mattie McGrath and you could say that he's just your bog standard, deserting Roundhead, pulling out all the stops to get re-elected. As I said, desperate, but not serious.

By the way, the Pope hasn't got back to me yet about the condoms.

Keep it unreal.


As discovered by Michael Clifford