One Point. One Minute. One Email

Sometimes life seems to come down to the small things. There are so many stereotypes that I could use to summarise this weekend it’s unreal: ‘it’s not over ‘til the fat lady sings’, ‘it’s all in the details’, ‘the extra 1% will be the one that counts’, ‘the world can change in a second’ … I won’t go on, but I could.

I don’t like to blog on sport: it’s personal, and any post is always going to be coloured by your loyalties. This week, though, I can’t resist, too much happened. I’ll do my best not to let it dominate. I watched the rugby on Saturday night with a pub full of Irish people. When that England try went over at the end, I was literally the only person to jump up. I’m not sure I even wanted us to score a winning kick, who knows what the consequences would have been! Ireland were clearly the better side, and if Ronan O’Gara had shown even a fraction of his usual ability they would have been well away. As it turned out, England got back within one point, the Irish try came off the back of a highly dubious penalty (the obstruction – the English player didn’t even change direction, the winger just ran into him, no chance it was a foul), and I ended up feeling slightly robbed. C’est la Vie. Great atmosphere around town afterwards, however, I’ve never seen the streets of Dublin quite like that. I’m sure I’ll be seeing it again for St Patrick’s Day in a few weeks.

The football was equally frustrating, at least from a Villa fans point of view. Saturday left me on a massive high: Arsenal fail to score for the fourth game in a row, Liverpool lose, Chelsea very nearly fail to win too. It was so close to perfect. When it came to Villa, Stoke at home – arguably the easiest game of the season – and we throw away a two-goal lead in the dying two minutes and it’s as you were at the top. At the start of the weekend I would have found maintaining a 6-point lead over Arsenal perfectly palatable. At the end of the weekend… well how it happens shouldn’t make a difference, but it does. It was more than a tad gutting.

It was one last email that turned out to be the week’s highlight, though. I’ve found a great site that advertises lots of freelance writing jobs, and got in the habit of applying to a couple of dozen a week in the hope of picking up something high profile, or if not than something that pays. I’m fairly speculative in what I apply for: as long as I have a passable expertise, I’ll give it a shot and do the knit-picky research later. After all, doing the research after getting the gig saves time, and if you do it well, you’re no less of an expert than if you’d done it before. The last hopeful email I sent off on Thursday night was for a job writing about Irish-influenced punk rock. I live in Dublin, love Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys and thing the Pogues are absolute legends, so I guess I’m passably qualified. My huge list of published articles on music doesn’t do any harm either.

I rated my chances of getting the job, what I didn’t expect was such an impressive return. The assignment was from a new guidebook based in New York. They want a 1,200 word article, and are prepared to pay $600 for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made far more than that out of writing before, but not for such a small amount of work. I guess I’ll have to give it some seriously research to help justify the fee. Score! And to think it’s an email I nearly didn’t even send…

On Friday I went to the theatre, for perhaps the first time since I was at school. Helena and I went with a couple of friends to see ‘Marble’, a Marina Carr play at the Abbey Theatre. There seems to be a depressing theme in media these days for portraying long-term couples as depressed and dying to escape each other and the monotony of life (see ‘Revolutionary Road’!), and Marble is another example of this: very well done, but chronically depressing and best forgotten for the sake of sanity! That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I really wish people would stop showing all couples of any age as intensly miserable. It’s highly depressing, and there are clearly plenty who aren’t.

Anyway, I think that’s enough from me today. I’m coming down with the flu, and have plenty of other things to get on with.

Love to you all!


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