Lack of governance and an absence of politicians no laughing matter for long-suffering electorate
Letter of the day: stormont stalemate
I've always had a thing about the collective noun; a word that adds texture to text, some incorporate a warning like 'A plague of locusts'. Others are wry and humorous, such as 'A parliament of owls', or 'A charm of finches'.
I like to create my own. 'A drizzle of doubters' and 'A clamour of jackdaws' are personal favourites.
I'm housebound at present, awaiting hip surgery. With 12 to 18 months to go before the much-needed op, I've plenty of time to indulge my pastime, and finding an appropriate collective noun for our erstwhile politicians is high on my list.
Politicians, do you remember them? The people whose mugshots and messages we took from our lamp-posts and voted into a power-sharing Executive, 'pillars of society', a team we trusted to lead us into a promised land of health and prosperity.
One year on and their 'Puffball of promises' has gone up in smoke, the NHS trusts are on their uppers, education is skint and for 'prosperous' now read 'preposterous'.
Despite all the warnings from the health agencies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, at 72 years of age, I've begun abusing drugs, ignoring the warnings about addiction and a recommended maximum use of three consecutive days. I'm swallowing painkillers week in, week out. Am I addicted? I don't know. I'd need to stop to find out and my hip is not ready for that. Maybe next year, or in 2019.
What did I - and thousands of other sufferers - do to deserve such delay? I'll tell you what, we voted for the people on the posters. We'd have been better served - and better off - by electing the lamp-posts.
My search for that elusive collective noun has just ended. An 'Absence of politicians' fits the bill.
Whitehead, Co Antrim