Reality Is Not My Speciality

Reality Is Not My Speciality

“Tomorrow is another day
And you won’t have to hide away
You’ll be a man, boy!
But for now it’s time to run, it’s time to run!

Run boy run! This ride is a journey to
Run boy run! The secret inside of you
Run boy run! This race is a prophecy
Run boy run! And disappear in the trees”

  • Willbaume / Lemoine

Last evening I went for a stroll up the road after we returned home from my 11th , and penultimate , Chemolympic trial. When I got as far as Kieran & Hilda’s I saw Kieran and Cathal trying to fix a back seat into their camper van. I offered to help but they quickly hopped out and said they were done, and distracted me with conversation.

In my head , I could have been of valuable assistance, but in reality, they both knew , from bitter experience, that any ‘practical’ assistance from me would have prolonged their project and possibly have resulted in injury…to them…most likely.

On one previous occasion , many years ago, I was called upon to help them re-direct an escaped bull. I was simply told to stand in a gateway and make myself look tall, carry a stick and make a “Hurgaaayaaah !” sound if he came near.

He came near.

I believed that I did all that was asked of me , and the bull did turn back from my gateway and went to wherever he was supposed to be enjoying his dusty Friesian harem. In reality, as my son Jake informed me, having been informed himself by Cathal, that I had closed my eyes , waved the stick at the hedge, and seemed to be very distressed, which terrified the bull….he’d never seen a grown man cry before.

These are but two incidences of my ongoing battle with the mundane.

My wilful ignorance of reality is one of the reasons that I seem optimistic to others about everything despite glaring evidence pointing in the opposite direction. I’m not saying that I ignore actual reality, I live a generally conventional life, but when most people say ‘reality’ or ‘the real world’ , or invite me to ‘be realistic’, to me, they always seem to then go on to say , or mean the worst possible outcome.

That I defy with every atom in my being.

My attitude to my recent cancer diagnosis and treatment is not one of those reality defying occasions. I faced that reality straight away with my family and friends. I did however choose, when offered by the oncology liaison nurse, to know only what I needed to know about my cancer , the treatment, and repercussions, rather than ‘everything’.

Some of my fellow Chemolympians did want to know everything, looked up more online, and have dutifully taken notes of their temperatures, weights, blood pressures, white blood cell and platelet counts before each treatment.

I have not.

If my treatment went ahead each week, I assumed that everything was in order.

And then, a week ago,  in the course of completing medical forms , I had access to my GP notes, my oncologist’s notes , and my urologist’s notes.

Stupidly I read them.

There wasn’t a single thing in them that they hadn’t explained clearly to me , but seeing it all in proper, cold hard medical terminology , threw me.

My mood dipped.

It’s taken me a week to get back.

I think I’m back.

I didn’t dream during that week.

Weird , isn’t it ?

I’m much happier when I dream. And daydream, and casually drift through life, one day at a time.

I know I’ve banished reality from my horizon again , because of a series of three dreamlike happy circumstances today. Three is a magical number. Yes it is ! Bite me !

Firstly, I watched a stunningly beautiful documentary last night , ‘Glastonbury : 50 Years And Counting’ , which charted the development and milestones of the amazing annual music festival. The genesis of it was when Michael Eavis played The Kinks single ‘Lola’ in 1970 on a record player in his dairy parlour each day while milking his cows. The cows never tired of it. He connected a speaker to a sewer pipe for extra bass and milk yield went up. And then he thought “ I’ll put on a festival …and The Kinks will play …here !”.

Fifty years later, three hundred thousand people spend a weekend on his farm annually at the world’s best music festival. Over two million people apply every year for tickets.

Throughout the programme they charted the development of different areas in the festival and I immediately thought of my great friend Benny Magennis, who helped build Roddy in Rossmore, designs Minion Gardens in Bloom and creates havoc at the Electric Picnic. Benny would love this programme, I thought.

I had a missed call from him at lunchtime today followed by a message :

“Well Chief. Just checking in. I’m in bloody Glastonbury !!! Last minute move, working on a venue !”

I replied :

“Lucky Bastard ! Watched a Glasto doc last night and thought of you, how bizarre. Send me photos ! Buy me a tee ! Get me tickets for next year ! Or a press pass ,I could be The Northern Standard’s Arts Critic. Jammy Bastard ! PHOTOS !!!!”

Secondly, I’m reading ‘The Hapsburgs – Rise And Fall Of A World Power’ and only last night had taken down notes about Rudolh II’s obsession with alchemy, and Maria Teresa’s automatons, and how they connect to Monaghan via Frances Murray, owner of the Rossmore Estate until 1820, for use as minor characters in my novel.

And today , out of the blue , our Jake sent me a screen grab of an Austrian friend’s phone showing a saved link to my blog, saying “You’re popular with the Austrians !”

Speaking of novels, if you’re reading this via the blog email you’ll get yet another chance to read my Puca story, in celebration of the fact that I’ve been invited to the official unveiling of Aidan Harte’s glorious sculpture in Clare on Saturday, in the  P.S.s.

And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, you’re reading this ,,. How cool is that ? I write about my journey and you , yes you ,, help me along my way by reading it. You’ve no idea what that means to me. You keep me going. You legend !

That is the happiest circumstance of all.



P.S. This is GORGEOUS   ! Fleur Ash singing ‘All I Want’

P.P.S. This is the best music video , to me , of all time, Woodkid’s ‘Run Boy Run’ . I used to play it for my ‘Beginners’ class in Monaghan Coder Dojo , as an example of what coding could lead to…and to educate them musically and spare them the fate of others….who attend the Monaghan Country Music Festival….

Author: paul

3 thoughts on “Reality Is Not My Speciality

  1. Hi Paul,
    Just thinking about you.
    Roll on next Thursday.
    Enjoy Clare and think of me in 33 degrees of excruciating heat off the Amalfi coast.

  2. Hope you never
    Get an opportunity to read another of those files! Congrats on your last
    Outing to the chemolympics 👏👏

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