Ireland has been hit by what we’re being told are some of the worst snow conditions since the 1980s. The buses have stopped running, the schools are closed, most people are home from work. The queue in my local shop snakes the whole way through the aisles and out the front door as everyone tries to find the few ‘essentials’ they need before the shops close up. Everyone is in a panic over having enough bread, and supermarket and local shop aisles have been swiped clear of anything resembling a sliced pan.
Shortly after the inauguration of Donald Trump, I stepped into one of my favourite bookstores in Dublin, Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street, to take refuge from the January cold. I started browsing through the tables of books on display and found one with a collection of books around the theme of the new American presidency, including It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, and this book that particularly caught my eye – What We Do Now – Standing up for your values in Trump’s America, edited by Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians.
I first discovered Chris Hadfield around the same time as just about everyone else. I had seen some of his pictures of Dublin and Ireland from space, and I began following him online and kept track of what he was posting. He shared some incredible things with us, from pictures of his view of the world from space to youtube videos on how to brush your teeth in zero gravity. I found him very interesting, and so did everyone else, which is why he remains so popular even back on earth.