Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 29) – Tuesday, 20th March 

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It’s four weeks ago today since I started writing this diary (20th February) and my mother tells me today that I’m looking well and that I’ve no black marks underneath my eyes.  I’ll take that 🙂 

A busy day had all round but only just realised I haven’t even had a Wrigley’s today, let alone a Nicorette or a cigarette.  It’s not been without its minor cravings but I’m feeling this time that my body has started to accept that I’m not a smoker anymore.

Now, I was finding it difficult at times last night after our three glasses of wine.  There were times we’d put through three bottles but we just emptied one yesterday.  And Vicky will laugh if she’s reading.  The last glass she poured for me at 8pm last night was only finished at 12.30apm.  Yes, I’m sad 🙂

Worked from my Mum’s house today and before the evening’s big news, just want to congratulate my old school Garbally College who were crowned Connacht Senior Schools Rugby Champions.  They came up just short in the Junior decider but they went home with a trophy nonetheless.

As I’m writing, I’m sitting in Taughmaconnell having a coffee after coming straight here from leaving Rory, Jade and Evie to the train station.  Always sad to say goodbye but we’ve made our wedding plans for the summer so will only be three months before I see them again.

The girls are chilling out watching the ‘Lion King’ as I write.  Kate got a new pencil parer today which she’s over the moon with.  Five-year-olds are easy to look after even though I can’t take credit for that.  Sinead is enjoying her coffee joking with me not to type anything she’s saying in conversation 🙂

But the big news only came to light just after 6pm.  Sadly, the two camogie finals have been rescheduled again for this Saturday (24th March) but they’ve been fixed for Clones and not Croke Park.

It’s not going down well among the Galway clubs which is understandable and I still haven’t had time to process it.  I think the big thing is that it’s not in Croke Park and that venue is not in use Saturday.  But after the recent weather, it’s possible they are being cautious ahead of two Dublin games on Sunday.

Firstly, Clones is a fantastic venue steeped in history and tradition and the stewards there are A1 making sure the occasion is fitting of an All-Ireland final.

But for Therese Maher, Regina Glynn, Jessica Gill and other Athenry stalwarts, their chance of gracing the game’s grandest stage has been taken from them.  They played in the All-Ireland Final in 2009 – the last not played in Croke Park.  And now they are back, they miss out again.

It’s the same for Johnstownbridge as their two junior wins weren’t in Croke Park but being a Kildare club, there’s a strong possibility they’ll be back again next year.  Sarsfields and Slaughtneil will be disappointed their rematch isn’t on Jones Road but they can console themselves from being there 12 months ago.

But my weekend schedule is in place and it’s going to be a crazy one.  Dunmore Friday for the Community Games Chess and Draughts; Clones Saturday for the camogie; and somewhere in Dublin Sunday for the Galway ladies football.  There’ll be no rest.

Darren