Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 25) – Friday, 16th March 

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Well the weekend has arrived!  And what a weekend we have in store!  You know, I was just thinking that while I rarely get the chance to over indulge on St. Patrick’s Day anyway, it will be strange not being able to and not smoking either. 

It’s early today as I’m writing this and some of ye could have already heard me on Galway Bay FM by the time you read this as we have our All-Ireland Camogie Finals Preview on the radio this evening.  Lots of guests coming in and squeezing them into a half hour will be fun.  But I love a challenge 🙂

The family are slowly but surely working their way to Mullagh for Evie’s birthday party and can’t wait for that tomorrow evening.  The passes for Croke Park have arrived and we’re nearly all set for Sunday.  Going to be a crazy few days.  And not a drink in site.

But it is my Mum’s birthday on Monday so hopefully we’ll get a chance to have one with her.  Mam isn’t a big drinker but will be nice to toast her day too.  She is very good to us and we don’t tell her enough.  So I’ll say it now incase things get hectic – Thanks Mam and Happy Birthday 🙂

While I was a miffed the camogie was on Sunday and not Monday, I’ve come around since.  I still think the 19th was a perfect date to avoid clashing with the GAA games.  But I can imagine the craic coming home Sunday night if Sarsfields or Athenry are crowned All-Ireland champions!

No different to any other team that has represented our county, they would both be deserving winners.  Imagine the scenes again if Therese Maher repeats 2013 and completes another title that eluded her throughout her distinguished career – A National Club Title!

Or can’t you just see Michael ‘Hopper’ McGrath dancing down the sidelines if he leads his young charges to the most coveted prize in club camogie – 25 years and one day since the greatest day in his club playing career.

But the main reason I’ve come around regarding the Sunday is that it completely stamps out any thoughts of having a beer on St. Patrick’s Day.  I normally have a three-day rule before commentaries anyway but there can be exceptions and a day’s rest would have been tempting.

I’m still nervous about the first few pints as while I think I’m coming out the other side now, the slight cravings (very rare) are still there and a night out is the one last test.  I’m not entirely convinced I would have been ready on Saturday (maybe I would be) but having the decision made for me is no harm at all.

We have Martin’s 40th in the middle of April and that should be the big night though I wouldn’t rule out Easter Sunday yet.  And I’m happy enough to wait till then for a few beers as I’m feeling better for the lack of alcohol as much as the lack of smoking.

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I’m not off the drink and wouldn’t refuse a glass of wine if it was offered.  But the next four days are about other things and that will give me as much enjoyment as falling on my arse tomorrow just because my Irish patriotism suggests we should be knocking back beverages to beat the band.

Corofin and the rugby team can set it up and I’ll toast a Galway double on Sunday should it arrive.  And let’s not forget Oughterard’s Gearoid Clancy fighting for an Australian boxing title tomorrow morning.  But Friday (preview), Saturday (Evie), Sunday (Croker) and Monday (Mam) are where my focus will be.

But I hope everyone who does go out and enjoy yourselves.  I would too if I could.  And if anyone is nursing sore heads on Sunday, please chill back with a cuppa (or the cure) and stick on Galway Bay FM from 1.30pm and join myself, Imelda Hobbins and Tommy Devane in Croke Park for all the action.

Before that though, will have a birthday party to tell you about 🙂  Chat tomorrow.

Darren