Paul Healy’s Week

Friday

Some Friday nights, as a long week takes its toll, I’ll happily snooze for a few minutes in front of the telly. Tonight, I dreamt that Ryan Tubridy was dancing to Philomena Begley, before beginning a new life by moving in with Dolly Parton (well, he seemed quite excited about her). At one point, Margo brought some sanity to it all, with wise words (like Philomena, and joking aside, Margo’s a national treasure). At some stage I woke up and Daniel was singing as Ryan smiled wistfully into the distance. I’m still not entirely sure how much of it was real, how much was a dream. Next week, I’m staying awake, even if Marty Morrissey and Bernard O’Shea are on. I just hope Ryan hasn’t emigrated to Nashville by then.

 

Sunday morning

An appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show will often create headlines throughout a Sunday. I never see the programme. In fact I didn’t realise until this week that it airs at 9 am. Aware that the Taoiseach was one of Marr’s guests last weekend, I recorded the programme and slept while they engaged in Brexit chatter at this ridiculous hour. Earnestly they zoned in on the contentious issues. Too early in the day for fish and ships for me.

Later on Sunday, I watched the show, scene of an excellent contribution by Simon Coveney a few weeks ago. Taoiseach Martin did very well. As for Marr, he tried his best in the face of the huge challenge. He must have been worked up by it all through Saturday night, early on Sunday too. But he was game in the face of this challenge, and he did his best. God knows, it’s a tough time for UK broadcasters, a bit of a nightmare, in truth. Brexit? No! That other pressing issue…just how does one pronounce this new Taoiseach’s name?

 

Later on Sunday

It is true that Limerick were very impressive in today’s All-Ireland hurling final, but I hope it’s not ‘sliothar sacrilege’ to suggest that, for the neutral, this game was a big disappointment. Limerick made their big breakthrough two years ago, and that was wonderful. I was hoping that today, Waterford would have their day in the…cold. It wasn’t to be.

Waterford were outclassed, and we neutrals were left feeling a bit sorry for ourselves. Still, Limerick were terrific. Congratulations to them on a tremendous win. And I must say that the Limerick management and players have shown leadership in their measured, dignified and courteous public appearances/comments since their great win.

 

Tuesday

In the Roscommon People office, hundreds of emails whizz in every week. They range from the important to the trivial to the ‘Advertising-dressed-up-as-news’ types. The PR companies have their job to do, and that’s fine.

The PR people, in this game with the media, usually try desperately to entice us with a local ‘angle’. Today, a press release gushes that a man-who-is-in-the-news is to receive a top award and that he’s “a native of Galway and Mayo”. They might as well have gone a step further and said he was a native of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

Anyways, well done to Michael Ryan, leading light with the World Health Organisation’s Health Emergencies Programme, who is being honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Red Cross. A proud day for the people of Galway, Mayo, etc.

 

Tuesday/Wednesday

This year, it went remarkably smoothly. The ‘Putting up the outside (Christmas) lights’ challenge. Mind you, ours are very, very modest, compared to some of the spectacular displays around.

Putting them up was a mere 15-minute diversion from work on Tuesday. The weather was beautiful. One year on, the lights, obligingly, were still in working order. Tentatively we nudged them into position over the front door, initially using a sweeping brush, then resorting to the hanging out the top window approach, a bit like Rapunzel (well, without the long hair, growing desperation, Disney budget and animation). Quicker than expected, the ‘outside lights’ were in position, the mission a success.

On Wednesday morning, I couldn’t sleep, due to the howling wind and rain. At 7 am I was up, and fully expected that the lights would be down. But they’re still in place as I type (on Wednesday morning). Lorry drivers zip past in the driving, rattling rain, immune to this modest success.

 

This is life…

Unofficial rules of life (an occasional series): Humans can walk on the moon/enter space…yet (a) When someone on the phone says ‘take down this number/eircode’ you almost certainly won’t be able to find a pen; (b) Even though you know they exist, you will hardly ever be able to find a scissors; (c) When politicians say ‘with respect’ they (usually) mean ‘without respect’.

 

Apology

Apology on behalf of most soccer writers: We may have inadvertently given the impression in recent years that Jose Mourinho was a busted flush/past it/yesterday’s man/a football dinosaur. We wish to apologise for any misunderstanding and clarify…what we actually meant is Jose Mourinho remains The Special One/a gifted coach/a potential title winner with Spurs/still very relevant/up there with the best. Eh…to be continued, depending on how things pan out.