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Baltic and broken in Bekan


Diary of a homebird
Ciara Galvin

I go to football matches now. Well actually I go to the opening of an envelope now that I still don’t have a job. Between job applications, my favourite activity is going for lunch. I fear that if a prospective employer looks at my CV and asks what I have done since finishing in The Mayo News in December I’ll have to say, ‘Well, I got fat’.
Instead of scouring job sites, I’ve found myself perusing far-flung destinations and exotic recipes. Trying to escape reality and expand my waistline seems to be the order of the day. And let me tell you, between the rejections coming in and the recent Ark-building weather, thoughts of sun-filled days with no mailboxes and nothing to plan except the next delicious meal are becoming more and more persistent.
Getting back to the football matches though, turns out watching games can be just as dangerous as actually playing. Who knew?
I’m still nursing a sprained shoulder (I didn’t even know that was a thing) after attending Ballinrobe Community School’s Connacht GAA Senior B Final win. The event was dubbed ’Nam by Ballinrobe GAA. The conditions were difficult, and after a hotly contested game, it ended in a draw and extra time on a Baltic Monday night.
I was there, in The Centre of Excellence in Bekan, and I can confirm it was like a warzone. Conditions were unforgiving, and getting there proved hazardous.
Hurrying to the game (for those who don’t know where the centre is, it’s in the middle of nowhere), we parked outside the gate, perhaps a little cheekily. Dressed in as many layers as humanly possible – think Joey from Friends when he wears all of Chandler’s clothes – I disembarked from the car, took three steps forward, and plunged four foot into a hole.
Well, one leg plunged. I went down like a sack of spuds. My two comrades looked back, searching for me. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry (I still wasn’t sure if I broken something) I just casually lay there letting my lovely jeans soak up the mud underneath me.
I demanded they pick me up and we forget about the whole matter as tears stung my eyes and I hobbled to the gate. On reaching the pay point I joked that the organisers should be paying me for providing a spectacle, rather than me paying them.
I put on a brave face, and in fairness, over the next hour, thoughts of my ‘baby calf fall’ did make me laugh.
A closely contested game, we made our way to the exit at full time thinking a draw meant a rematch – but oh no, we were in for the long slog. With hands and toes numb we decided to make our way back to the car and watch the extra-time action from there, while we tried to defrost.
Ballinrobe toughed it out to reclaim the Richie Bell Cup. And I, well I went for physio.
I figured that it was my ego that was the most bruised, but I said I’d better get myself checked out. I was told to take a bit of rest from the gym (that should be easy enough), and I guess I should look where I’m going next. Or, perhaps I shouldn’t … maybe I’d get the price of a long-haul flight to a far-flung (obstacle-free) beach out of it!

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.