I’ve been less active here this week and this is likely to continue to be the case throughout next week as well, as I’ll explain shortly. Part of the reason, of course, is that there’s not all that much to talk about at present as we’re in the midst of the championship phoney war period. There’s still more than four weeks to go until our Connacht semi-final against either Leitrim or Roscommon and it’s at times like this that you’d really miss the week-on-week-off regularity that’s part and parcel of the league season.
We do have the odd challenge match, of course, and tomorrow night’s joust with the Jacks in Portmarnock (throw-in 8 pm) will help to keep the pot bubbling for a while longer. There’s a bit in the Times today about the game from Dublin’s perspective and I think it has the makings of an interesting match, as the Dubs have named a strong team (details here on the Club Mayo Dublin site as well as in that Times article) and I assume we’ll respond in kind. There’s every chance then that the two teams could get stuck in properly out by the sea tomorrow night. Not too properly, I hope – recall that that disastrous injury Trevor Howley suffered around this time last year occurred in a meaningless challenge match with Meath. Conor aside, we’re doing okay on the injury front this year and it’d be good to keep it that way over the coming weeks.
The kids are coming along with me to tomorrow night’s match and I’ve told them there’ll be no three-line whip applying to this match so they’re still debating what colours they’ll be sporting for the evening. I’ve already made arrangements to take them to Croker on June 7th to shout for the county of their birth (in both hurling and football) so I suppose I can’t complain if they do likewise tomorrow night. I just hope they’ll find the bus journey home straightforward enough to negotiate.
I’ve actually been meaning for some time to write a piece about Mayo and Dublin, in particular where I stand on Pat Gilroy’s Dubs and how, if the unlikely were to happen and the Dubs were to win Sam this year, it’d be a very local win for all of us here who live within de Vins’ catchment area. I haven’t, however, had any time this week to ruminate on such notions as I’ve been up to my man boobs in work and next week is set to be the same, albeit in very different surroundings.
Which brings me back to why next week should be even quieter here than this week has been. The reason is that I’m off on a week-long work assignment to West Africa – the megalopolis of Lagos, to be exact – and while I’m told that the hotel I’m staying in has broadband, I have my doubts as to whether or not I’ll be on the right side of the digital divide during the week that I’m out there. I’m heading off early early on Sunday morning (take-off from Dublin heading for Paris CDG is set for 6.20 am) and I’m due back in Dublin a bit after eight the following Saturday morning. In Connacht championship terms, that means I’m leaving ahead of the Galway-London match and returning shortly before the Leitrim-Roscommon showdown. In that sense, it’s probably just as well that we’re not in action for another month – this trip is a one-off and I have firm plans, come what may, to be in McHale Park on the 20th of June. As Dorothy said all those years ago, there’s no place like home.