The son rises in the west …

bty

Our O, centre in blue, on his debut for the DDSL in their All-Ireland Inter League game against Kilkenny

And so the adventure continues.

O’s coach had hinted at the possibility and then the email came: Our son and two club-mates were invited up to training one evening with the Dublin and District Schoolboy League (DDSL) representative squad.

The DDSL is the biggest and best schoolboy football league in Dublin, and hence the whole of Ireland. Their representative team is thus the best of the best. A very big deal for O – and us, his Dad, Mom, and sister K. Continue reading

Maybe the kid is (all!!??) right!

The dreaded call from school.

“Hello, is that O’s dad? Are you free to talk?”

A sharp inhalation of panic.

(The first voice you will hear in your worried parent’s head will be wobbly, utterly unconvincing Little Internal Voice.

It’s probably nothing’, he wheedles,. ‘He forgot his maths copy or something’.

(‘SHUT UP, YOU SAP, THIS IS A JOB FOR BIG INTERNAL VOICE:

(‘WHAT HAS HE DONE? … HE’S BADLY HURT, ISN’T HE? … THE AMBULANCE IS ON ITS WAY … ’)

Continue reading

To Passchendaele and back for my darling daughter

davWhat a morning that was: the Quest for the Big Enough Knickers, followed by the Blue Socks SOS From School and, finally, Daddy Goes On A Muddy Field Adventure! And home in time for lunch.

Indiana Jones? A regular old stick-in-the mud by comparison!

‘Feckin’ hell,’ I thought to myself as I rooted through our ironing-pending drawer — aka everything washed and dried stuffed into the bottom of our son’s wardrobe —  for a clean pair of knickers for our daughter, ‘I never signed up for this!’ Continue reading

The last great blaze of a fading autumn (first draft)

Guinness kicker

What the fuck does he want?”

The familiar low-arsed heft of coach Hauley O’Brien was silhouetted against the gathering autumn dusk now as he picked up the last of the stray footballs from beneath the wire mesh behind the town goal. He squeezed it into the frayed old ball bag with the rest of the shoal and pulled the drawstring tight as he stood up and called Grady over to him.

Grady was not in the humour for any more talk tonight about the big play-off game against Coolderragh on Sunday. Relegation for the losers.

The pain in his left ankle was worse than ever and the aching in his right knee was a right bastard. Going, going, but never gone, nagging away like an auld wan.

Continue reading