‘At the end of the evening a friend of the family offers to show us his tattoos. He takes his trousers off, revealing tattoos commemorating the exploits of the 36th Ulster Division at the Battle of the Somme, on his inner thighs. I’ll be honest – they’re not great tattoos.’
In the spring issue of the Dublin Review, the latest annual instalment of Ian Sansom’s diary ranges brilliantly across family life (parents ailing, nest newly emptied), food (from Veganuary to a cold leftover poached egg to the Christmas gammon), neighbours (Clive the Viking), music (Schubert’s Fantasia in F Minor), travel (Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz), television (SAS: Who Dares Wins; Fleabag as grief-work), writing implements (a Koh-I-Noor Versatile 5000 pencil, an Esterbrook dollar pen), Islamophobia as experienced by a Jew, literature, philosophy, politics, cinema, death, and other people’s bad tattoos.
Also in the new Dublin Review: ‘The Pistol’, a long story by Maggie Armstrong; Eoin Butler on high-summer travels in Florida with a troubled mind; and short stories by Susannah Dickey, Tim MacGabhann and Lucy Sweeney Byrne.