Darren’s Diary – Kicking The Habit (Day 9) – Wednesday, February 28th 


Even if I hadn’t decided to ‘kick the habit,’ I don’t think I would have been too enthusiastic about cigarettes today as I look outside my office window.

It’s the third mini-blizzard to fall in Ballinasloe today.  It’s winter weather!  And it’s March tomorrow!  Whatever various people, or American Presidents, believe regarding global warming, there’s no doubt (the evidence is in front of us) that climates are changing.

We live in Ireland so we expect the weather to be unpredictable (which means we expect rain!).  I’ve seen matches called off in summer before because of the old reliable rain.  But this, coupled with the constant barrage of cold weather over the last three months, really takes the biscuit.

It’s All-Ireland Final week and all I can imagine is Christmas holidays, open fires and Bing Crosby singing in the background.  I don’t know how a ‘White March’ would have sounded.  But it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Matches are dropping rapidly.  There’s no trip to Mullingar tomorrow though I don’t think any of us are surprised.  And we even made the safe decision tonight to call off chess.  Our club is effectively regional now and we wouldn’t be at ease if those travelling huge distances to us were out in that weather.  I might make the short eight-mile trip in a bit, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

So far, Croke Park is still a green light for Sunday but I understand a decision will be made on that tomorrow.  They have the covers on at headquarters to mind the playing surface.  It’s the travelling that is the concern now.  Leinster, and Munster too, is being hit hard and while all current warnings expire on Friday, enough damage has been done to create uncertainty.

As I’ve said already, I hope the games go ahead for the players but an All-Ireland final should be an occasion.  And if supporters are skeptical about travelling in these conditions (and rightfully so!), caution should be taken for the safety of everyone involved.

The same is the case for the Dublin/Kerry football games on Saturday.  A decision on them will give a firm indication but whatever about what we have up in Galway, it may be a long difficult trip for those attending from the Kingdom.


Needless to say, even though a few cravings were had, there was never really going to be appetite to stand outside in that weather and break my vow.  I haven’t even left the house all day.  The beauty of being able work from home.

It was fun this morning clearing Sinead’s car so she could brave the elements.  Two of us with scrapers took a good few minutes to clear all the snow.  And she wasn’t even an hour gone and the driveway where her car was parked was full again with a white coat.

Jakub, my housemate, was working today and he attempted to make a walkway by shoving two lanes out to the snow.  I admire his mindset but his efforts looked to have been in vain based on what I’m looking at right now.

The problem being a freelance journalist is if games are called off, it means no wages.  Now, there’s always the chance the re-fixture will work out Ok.  But there’s never any guarantees.  Every weekend is nearly booked up so hopefully a few postponements will fall the odd free day.  Social plans will be taking a back seat for some time.

Who knows, maybe a weather presenting gig may arise to cover the sport.  God knows, we’re getting enough practice.  Have a half dozen twitter accounts on instant alerts incase anything changes ahead of Sunday.  Fingers crossed it won’t be the case.  But now, we’ll have a look at this car and see if my own eight miles is do-able.  Chat tomorrow 🙂