Friday, August 12, 2011

Football versus football.

Growing up in my house there were two kinds of football. Football and soccer. No, before anyone starts, we’re not American. We’re Irish. My Mum’s from the hurling side of a Gaelic county and my Dad grew up in Dublin, in a cul de sac full of second generation Dubs like himself, influenced by their culchie parents’ love of the GAA.

That said, my mother somewhere along the lines, whether through a love of Kevin Moran, Denis Irwin or the colour red, became an avid Manchester United fan. I’ve often said she would watch the Paraguayan tiddly winks championship, if there was such a thing, so I suppose she had to pick someone to shout for. 

My Dad, however, only really watches sport when he’s working at it, and only vaguely supports Sunderland because Niall Quinn’s a nice bloke. 

Still though, to save confusion football meant Gaelic football and when talking about the other football, at least until after September, we generally said soccer.

Then I went and met a fella who grew up in the 80s when Irish boys were being lured by the dream of going off to the many big schmokes of England and being paid  tens of thousands of pounds to kick a ball around for 90 minutes. 

Now what? His football season begins tomorrow, just as mine begins to draw to its exciting close. He asked me last night, very seriously, who I would be supporting. His sister asked me the same a month or so ago and I was nervous to reply. 

It’s a tough one for me. I support the Dubs, because I am a Dub! I support Clare, because it’s my second home. I support Munster, because my Mum, her five brothers and four sisters do (and my Dad hates rugby) and I’d be scared to do otherwise. 

So maybe I’ve answered my own question. If someone you love loves someone… 
Damnit, I think I’m a Liverpool fan. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seven bottles of wine on the floor…

It was a great way to end what was, without a doubt, the best two weeks’ annual leave I’ve ever taken. 
On Monday, the Bank Holiday I almost forgot, I met three of my longest serving friends for lunch. At 1pm we met and ordered various combinations of breakfast, lunch and brunch, depending on how long it was since we’d left the bed. Though oddly, the one who was up most recently ordered a burger. I decided on brunch as you’re allowed, if not obliged, to have a drink with it.

Some confusion over the drinks order resulted in a very welcome glass of prosecco followed by a bottle of red wine. The bottle was swallowed in no time and dessert and coffees quickly stepped in to fill the void. We decided to go back to my place for another bottle of wine, stopping in Superquinn to buy some crisps, cheese and goodies for later on, just in case. 

We arrived and the crisps and jellies were immediately opened as was a bottle of wine, which was poured out into three glasses. Pellegrino in a fourth glass, for the driver, who had pre-holiday visits to make so couldn’t stay to watch the gluttony.

Us three that remained sat, bravely and Irishly, in the garden watching the clouds appear in front of the sun, threatening but not delivering a need to move inside. Bottle after bottle was opened, himself joined us from work and another bottle joined the pile. 

The month that preceded this day had been just brilliant. A birthday being spoiled; a champagne picnic in the Botanic gardens, some nostalgia and a dinner in my favourite restaurant. Amazing presents - art, DVDs, books, bubbles, perfume, jewellery - amazed at the generosity of my friends. The best birthday party ever, topping even my 30th and definitely my 31st. Then a holiday in parts; Lisbon with my boy for a week that felt longer, some time at home and a mini break to Navan.

First time ever I didn't mind, too much, going back to work but still thinking of my next break!