If only the satellite imagery for Dublin was a bit better ...
Another big Six
Nations rugby weekend over that saw Scotland beat Italy in the
dullest international game in a while, Wales beating France in a
breathtaking match in Paris and Ireland beating world champions
England in a tense, down-to-the-wire encounter in Dublin.
Its all looking like it'll end with a grand slam showdown between
Ireland and Wales in Cardiff. Who would have thought it?
The most bizarre example of how professionalism has changed Irish
rugby is that Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland's star centre, having strained
his hamstring was sent to this whole body
cryotherapy unit where you get put in a freezer at below -120°C
(-184°F) for a few minutes so that you can train at four times the
inensity for the next few hours. Three weeks after an injury that
would have put players out for months and he's back on the pitch
leading the team and scoring tries.
Spent the weekend surfing with five friends on the wild and windy west
coast. Having never surfed before, I'm now so sore I can barely
move. If I had to leave the house to do my job, I'd be taking the day
off I reckon.
Six of the lads going away for the weekend used to be a Very Dangerous
Thing. But this weekend we managed to stay out of trouble. Are we
getting old or were we just too tired after the surfing? I wonder ...
Never in my life have I never heard so many bad chat-up lines, though:
Boy standing in pub porch smoking. Girl runs in out of the rain and
stops. Boy, "How's it going?". Girl looks up, sees the inane drunken
grin, dismisses Boy immediately, looks back down at her phone and
starts typing a text message. Boy, "Ah, we've only just met and you're
texting me already?". Girl runs.
Lashing rain. Blustering wind. Troubled skies. A soft day, to be
Driving back to Dublin after a weekend in Waterford. Its a narrow,
twisting road. Countryside punctuated regularily by small country
towns. You wouldn't guess its the main road between two cities in a
first world country.
County Kilkenny makes up a good chunk of the journey. And Its a
special day for Kilkenny. In about thirty minutes we'll know just how
special. Every town and village is deserted. The county colours,
black and amber, are everywhere.
Switch on the radio and Micheal O'Muircheartaigh, with his legendary
commentary in a guttural Kerry accent, brings life to this dull
scene. You suddenly realise that every living room and pub you pass is
crammed with excitement. All eyes are on Croke Park as Kilkenny battle
with Cork in the All Ireland Hurling Final.
"Henry Shefflin looks toward the goal. Only two in the goal. Shefflin
hits it hard ... drives it hard ... away way down the field ... drives
it over the bar"
By the time I make it to Dublin, this battle will have finished. As I
pass by Croke Park the streets will be thronged with some very wet
people. Half of them won't care, half of them will be utterly
miserable. Maybe I should just switch off the radio and guess from the
crowds who came out on top.
"8 points to Cork, 8 points to Kilkenny. Twenty Eight All Irelands a
piece ... Its a hard game from start to finish."
Nah, I may barely know the first thing about hurling, but I can't miss
Cork came out well on top. Cork 0-17 Kilkenny 0-9.
Its fascinating how people around you can have such a dramatic
influence on where you're going in life. Its like being bounced around
in an invisible pinball machine without even knowing it.
I shudder to think what I'd be doing now if a certain person hadn't
grabbed hold of me and liberally applied a cluebat to me over the
course of an 8 month internship in Intel. We're still good mates and
after a night on the beer with him and his wife I found myself coming
home with a hangover,
and a fresh perspective on some things. You can't beat that.
In other news, shopping for a car when you don't already have a car