We’re back home, with more than two weeks to go until our All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin so with plenty of time to start a nice, long countdown to what should be a shuddering showdown between two top-class teams zeroing in on the big prize.
It’s good to be back even if, in an online sense, it largely feels like I’ve never been away. That’s what you get for heading away at a time of year when our season is coming nicely to the boil. Still, the sun and the relaxation and all that downtime together over the past fortnight was great, just great.
It was interesting too to keep the pot boiling on the site from afar. The WiFi in the hotel was pretty crap but Vodafone’s 4G was excellent (as, in fairness, it is here too) and roaming charges – including for data – aren’t, thankfully, what they used to be so that was fine and it was relatively easy to keep things ticking away on the site leading up to and after the Donegal game.
The experience also gave me a brief insight (as well as a reminder of my own experience from long ago – though this was well before the internet took off) of what it’s like to be living away at this time of year. Those of us domiciled in Dublin often, I think, feel we’re the exiles, having to traipse down west for home matches, but our level of disconnection from native soil is nothing like that felt by those who live abroad. What it feels like for them on a really big match day was brought home forcefully to me the weekend before last.
By the way, speaking of the view from abroad, if you haven’t yet discovered A Rambling Paddy (@aramblingpaddy), who has recently started to blog about Mayo GAA and other stuff from over in London, then you really should as his is an interesting and fresh new voice in this particular sphere on interest.
Finally (and, sadly, they always end up being a footnote – I’m all ears if anyone has the time and interest to change this as I’m not really in a position to do so) the ladies are back in championship action this afternoon. Like the brothers last year, the sisters have to travel to Limerick this afternoon to play Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final tie, where the throw-in at the Gaelic Grounds is set for 4.15pm today. If you can’t make it to Limerick today, it’s being shown live on TG4 and there’s also full live commentary on this win-or-bust tie on Midwest Radio. Best of luck to the girls in this one.