What I Feel when I’m on The Pilgrim Path to Croke Park

What I Feel when I’m on The Pilgrim Path to Croke Park

All of the 71,000 souls who took the pilgrim path to Croke Park yesterday to live the moment in Limerick’s exquisite win over Cork experienced a scatter of emotions. Not just those who travelled, either – but hundreds of thousands of others who watched or listened in. Here are some of mine before the game.

A sense of intention, of purpose, when I wake in the holiday home five minutes before 6am. Up and at ‘em. Here we go, here we go, here we go, and all that. Mount Brandon is stretching itself up into clouds, as it usually does. The gate leaves a creaky grumble when I free the latch. The water on Smerwick Harbour is a slate grey, waves flecking the surface. Continue reading “What I Feel when I’m on The Pilgrim Path to Croke Park”

To Win Just Once – The Game Is On

To Win Just Once – The Game Is On

So, anyway, I wrote this book. I got down off the ditch and into the game. Great view from the ditch, you can hold forth in high judgement and you can hide there, in the crowd. Not easy being inside the white lines, against tough opposition, making a show of yourself with everybody looking at you. Nowhere to hide. But I did it, anyway. Continue reading “To Win Just Once – The Game Is On”

Margo and the Snakes

Margo and the Snakes

Margo, our innkeeper, wanted to talk about snakes. This was at breakfast, in Galax, North Carolina. In fairness, the Canadian woman, Lori, brought them up. She and her husband, Glen had a close encounter the previous day when cycling on a trail.

At the inn, you have breakfast with other residents. 8am. Breakfast on the table. Continue reading “Margo and the Snakes”

Strange and Wonderful Sights in the US of A

Strange and Wonderful Sights in the US of A

A young man walking down Haywood Street in Asheville, NC, with a snake wrapped around his arm. He looked pleased with himself, to be shocking passers by – the man, not the snake. The snake was maybe five or six feet long and hung its head out from his hand, sniffing. I wondered what it was thinking. Mind you, the snake looked better than some of the tattoos we’ve seen on people here. Ó, mo léir. Continue reading “Strange and Wonderful Sights in the US of A”

Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport

Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport

We watch sport, and we participate in sport, because of emotions. Because we want to feel and to show emotions and sport facilitates that – it permits that. Which is no mean feat, especially when it comes to men showing their emotions.

Where else do you see people gasp and shout and scream and laugh and cry themselves hoarse and not a person around them bats an eyelid? Continue reading “Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport”

Listen to the robin

Listen to the robin

As I write this, the robin is singing outside. The sun is slanting up over the hedge. I can hear a rook on the roof.

I heard a lot of robins in Dublin too last weekend.

It’s time. The days are lengthening. We have daffodils and snowdrops and crocuses. It’ll be Lá Fhéile Bríde in a few days.

Listen to the robin. It’s worth your while. Continue reading “Listen to the robin”

The Winter of The Blackbird

The Winter of The Blackbird

This has been the winter of the blackbird. I haven’t been out and about much for one reason or another but I seem to be seeing and hearing blackbirds wherever I go.

I haven’t seen a redwing or a fieldfare yet, maybe they’re not around, or maybe I need to get out more. Well, that’s definitely true, I do need that. Continue reading “The Winter of The Blackbird”