Monday, September 8, 2014

Flashing, cutlets, Baileys (no ice!) and another day

When you start the morning by inadvertently flashing your manhood to your long-suffering mother, the day can only get better, right? When the same woman has been sitting on a deckchair outside your apartment since early morning, waiting for you and your pregnant wife to surface, laden down with all the necessary fry-up components (minus eggs!) and bedecked in the blue and gold of Tipperary you begin to wonder are you dreaming. When you get over the shock of it all and try to decipher who got the bigger fright, you realise that the spoils were shared, much like they were nearly eight hours later in the cauldron that is Croke Park.

What a day! What a day! What a day! Had it everything? Nearly, so nearly. All that was missing was the win but in truth, as I left the shadowed bowels of the Lower Cusack in search of my aforementioned mother and her trusty companion, my father, it didn’t really matter as all we wanted to do was see each other, greet each other, talk to each other and catch breath.

As the watery sun slowly rid us of our goose bumps, we asked the hairs that had stood on high from just after halfway through the afternoon to please sit down. They did. After the obligatory calls to Thurles, London and Sydney we stopped or were stopped as the crowds streamed down St Josephs Avenue. We could breathe. And we did.

Where would you get it? Warriors all. Real men. Teak tough. Doing it for the glory, for the parish, for family, for friends, for their county, for themselves. 'Bubbles' turned away like he’d nailed it just a second after he hit it but it wasn’t to be. HawkEye had somehow managed to track down a ticket and he had the final say, literally. On reflection, having the final say, might indicate HawkEye is of the fairer sex but that’s for another day.

Me nerves... you can't beat it! 
Another day. That’s what we have ahead of us now. Another dollar. Who cares about money though? Dollars or no dollars. You can’t put a price on the drama, on the emotion, on the camaraderie, the cross border rivalry, on the big and even more importantly, the small things.

As I get older I seem to notice them more - the small things - and I'm glad. Some reading this will testify that the day started with the glimpse of a small thing but those that followed were small in nature but giant in significance. The lamb cutlets in the fry-up, the journey into town along the sun sprinkled Liffey, the seeing people you know at the top of O’Connell Street, the Baileys (no ice!) in a sea of blue and gold, the sandwiches and the Foxs Classic to sweeten the deal, the sighting of a fine in fettle Billy from a previous blog in a pub that is Tipperary through and through, the company of friends you're lucky, lucky, lucky to know and the chance you’ll make some new friends if you hang around long enough, the tears of joy and hugs, just hugs. The small things. They matter. Matter more now than ever.

The three amigos, resplendent!
I have no voice to speak of today and I might say a prayer to the big man later to help me out. He was looking down on a day of days yesterday and no matter how busy he was I’m sure he caught some of what was an epic encounter that has been summed up more eloquently and by those more qualified than me over the past 24 hours. If he didn’t then God forgive him!

I’ll don the electric blue trousers the next day too, my mother will attempt, once more, to outdo me in her white offering and the auld lad will be happy out in the match day polo I bought him at Christmas.... and we'll roar and roar and roar our county on. I’ll hope the day delivers on all fronts again and the small things come to the fore once more. The small things. The small margins. They matter.

Anyone buying or selling a ticket? 

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