Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 31) – Thursday, 22nd March 


I realise when I finished up yesterday’s piece that I didn’t finish thoughts about procrastination and you know what, that could happen again today. 

You see, I’m actually getting excited now about this diary not revolving around quitting cigarettes anymore even if I’ll refuse to be complacent until the 50 entries are done.

But no, we have just learned that ‘This Is Us’ is back on TV tonight.  Sinead and I have been looking out for the new series for months now and didn’t hear anything.  But because I’m late sitting down to write tonight’s entry, we found out by accident just before Eastenders started.

Thursday nights for us is Comedy Night.  Like any couple, we have our routines while mixing it up every now and again to keep things fresh.  So far so good and I hope that remains the case.  But Thursdays have been our one constant most weeks.

‘Big Bang Theory’ starts at 8pm followed by ‘Little Sheldon’ at 8.30pm.  ‘Damo and Ivor’ is still with us at 9pm though ‘The Young Offenders’ (a modern Irish gem) finished up last week.  Somewhere we fit in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’

Now we like our dramas as well and This Is Us being back is fantastic.  And in a few weeks, there’ll be ‘Madam Secretary’ and ‘Billions’ so we’ll have some important decisions then.  The pressure of a modern-day relationship 🙂

However, this weekend I think we deserve it as we will barely see each other over the weekend.  Sinead’s away with the girls tomorrow before heading to Scotland to see her cousins.  I’m in Dunmore for chess, Clones for the camogie and Dublin for ladies football.  Though I think I’m doing the airport run after.

But back to ‘This Is Us,’ it was the first programme Sinead introduced me to and it was brilliant.  I hope the second season is the same.  The premise is a story about triplets (including one adopted) over three different time periods and also their parents.  It’s emotionally grabbing stuff and will hook you in.

Now that I’ve done more advertising for RTE1 television tonight then the State Broadcaster has managed itself, it’s been a very busy day.  The County Championships in Chess are tomorrow night and I still have to sort six lifts out so that could run into ‘Big Bang Theory’ time 🙂

Unfortunately, we won’t be doing two commentaries from Clones on Saturday but will be covering both the Athenry and Sarsfields games and hopefully, despite not being in Croke Park, we’ll have success.  And will be back seeing the ladies footballers on Sunday for the first time in five weeks.

I called down today to Beechlawn Organic Farm to see some of my old work mates.  I spent nearly six years with Padraig and Una and enjoyed every moment of it.  It was a last-minute decision to call in today so only saw Marie and Barbara but it was an enjoyable catch up over coffee and buns 🙂

Also had to sort out chess boards for tomorrow.  Not just for ourselves, but also for the Connaught Chess Festival which takes place in the Shearwater Hotel.  I’ve nothing to do with this event but I do take great pride in the fact that it is being run by one of our old students, Conor Barrett.

Conor has always been a driven person who gives 100% to everything he’s involved in whether it’s chess, rugby or football.  He joined the chess club at eight years old and was club senior champion in 2012 (before his 17th birthday).

He’s running a new congress on the Irish chess calendar this weekend and I really hope it goes well for him.  We’ll always support our former players and they have always supported us.  It’s what every club should be about and delighted to see one of our own tackle such a huge event.


I’m finding talking about cigarettes easier now and, even though I’m being careful not to be one of those anti-smoking preachers, I’m feeling comfortable offering encouragement to those who are considering quitting.

We’ll have that night out first before we start the celebrations.  But I’ll finish with a shout out!  I can’t guarantee I’ll be there yet but Mike O’Brien’s new pub ‘Brewery Lane’ opens on Good Friday in Ballinasloe.

Mike has done tremendous work the way he turned Maud Millars into one of the trendiest spots in town the last few years and I’ve no doubt he’ll continue weaving that magic across the road.  Wishing him the best of luck and I look forward to calling in for a pint soon.