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I hummed the chorus…

… they sang the whole of the tune.


Mimi’s first ever concert. Wow. She did not even mind going to see geriatrics on stage. The Waterboys at Leopardstown racecourse.

Two new experiences in the same night!

First, two races. And first first before the races, checking the horseys going round the paddock prior to their gallop around the track. They go real fast Mimi says. Yes, they are race horses says I. They are not called gentle trot horses. They are the Ferraris of the equine kind.



Just before the last race, she spots a scrawny little grey thing in the paddock. Number nine. Poor thing is about 75% of the size of the other mutants that are mostly made out of super tout back legs, with barely anything else, bar ears and big horsey teeth. But number 9 is grey. And well proportioned, albeit on the small side. And with lovely plaits. Very important the plaits, for speed you see, I take it from very reliable sources in the racing circles. So the Mustang muscle-horses go round the paddock, but Mimi roots for the number 9 Jaguar e-type.


And we head for the track. Two options are open to me. Get a round of drinks, 2 minutes before the start of the race, the only time when the bar is not totally mobbed. Or place a EUR10 bet on scrawny number 9 for Mimi, just for the craic, and to teach her a valuable lesson on the pointlessness of gambling. I go for option 1, as I can tell that Mrs Raheny is gagging for a bottle of Sol, with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck.
I make it just in time, with my plastic pint of Guinness still a-settling, and the bottle of Coke, and the bottle of Sol, with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck. Just in time, up close, up to the fence, catching up with Mimi and Mrs Raheny, right at the start of the last race, right up to the fence, to hear the thunder of hooves as the pack races towards the finishing post. And what detaches itself from the pack, about three hundred meters from the end, a pack in which I was surprised it had managed to keep a place up till then? Yep, scrawny nine, racing as if its life depended on it, tapping into its inner Speedy Gonzales to comfortably reach the finishing post ahead of the over-sized slugs on steroids trying to keep up with it.

Aw bollix. That tenner on number nine could have bought loads of Sols with the lemon wedge wedged in the neck, for Mrs Raheny. And maybe even Mimi, who surely knows how to pick a winner! What’s a tenner at 12/1? It must be at least fifty euros I reckon.



And then, straight on to the Watermelons. And Mimi already reckons that the shite music just before the band comes on stage is to make them sound brilliant by comparison. And I think she may be on to something. And the shitey badly distorted pre-concert music from a roadie’s iPhone plugged into the PA comes to and end, and the geriatrics get on stage, and Mimi realises there and then what live music is all about. Wow! It’s loud, it’s intense, it’s raw, it’s rock and roll (even if we are talking Waterboys here).


The Mike Scott dude is a touch on the grumpy side. He can be a moody bollix. He surely isn’t as affable as when I saw them a few months ago, when they played their newest double album in its entirety. Epic that was. Not quite full of beans. Well, I suppose that’s what happens when you make babies in your sixties. The getting up at night on milk bottle duty takes its toll. And he surely doesn’t look impressed with the horsey-gambley crowd either. There is a lot of drinking and match-making (not only for race horses) going on around the several bars and hospitality tents, and they aren’t quite paying due attention to his finally grafted lyrics I guess. Hell hath no wrath like a poet scorned.



But Mimi couldn’t care less. She has no point of comparison. This is her first concert. And it is loud. And exciting.

I even spotted her dancing during the proceedings, such was the pull of rock and roll.

I was almost tempted to start daddy-dancing at one stage. And then thought better than spoil an otherwise magical evening.



You go ahead, dude, I’m right behind.

Right behind.

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Lunchtime swim



The reader with the first correct answer will receive a half-digested baby mackerel. And a beautiful blue heron feather, for the calligraphy enthusiast. Or the keen arrow maker.

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Today’s mystery game…


mde– Abort!!! I repeat, abort!!!

– Shite… too late


– Oh Jayzus, it’s freeeezin’

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Leap of faith



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Luca learned the hard way that reading the Art of War does not necessarily mean that it becomes easier to beat his dad at Risk.

Elsewhere a far from clear-cut world cup final match left the Raheny household divided.
Finn, the only footballer of the household took any goal that came the French way with delight, no matter how undeserved it was.
For the other four members of the family, the total unfairness of goal 1 (and to some extent goal 2), meant that the outcome was not a joyous one.
The Croatian side played a beautiful, exciting game once again, and worked incredibly well as a team. They should have reaped the benefits of such cohesion and dedication.
Tonight, it wasn’t to be. Fate does not always favour beautiful football.

Finn and Macron begged to differ.

As well as millions of not-so-phlegmatic French people, according to reports from the mother ship by my mates Red and Jaybroek.



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When she was smaller, I used to take the opportunity that she was trapped in the kayak to make her recite her multiplication tables.

Tonight, we had another kind of talk. For today in school, they got the second part of the Talk. Which shouldn’t be called the Talk actually. It should be called the Showing of the Video Followed By An Embarrassed Silence.

I asked Mimi if there were any questions from her or the rest of her class after the Showing of the Video Followed By An Embarrassed Silence.
But there were none.
After watching it, they were actually given the video to take home, and encouraged to watch it again with their parents and discuss it afterwards.

So that’s what we did while paddling. Without watching the video of course, my kayak is not that well equipped. But Mimi gave me a pretty good description of the content.
And we had a nice frank chat, and I explained to her that sex is not half as disgusting or off-putting as suggested by an animated cross-cut diagram of a penis entering a vagina. That it is actually quite a special moment, quite a sensual rather than sexual moment, and that it is not a chore at all, to the contrary, that most people go to great lengths to create the opportunity for that moment, up to and including taking a work colleague on a first date to a jazz concert and drinking overpriced warm prosecco from plastic cups.

Then she told me that all her colleagues were totally grossed out at the thought of their parents having sex. And I told her that it was normal.
And I asked her if she found the thought of Mum and Dad having sex disturbing and she said yes, totally so. And I told her that it was normal. And that Mum too found it totally disturbing, and that it was normal.

What I also told her is that the thought of sexual intercourse would not always accompanied by a feeling of embarrassment or dread. And that it will be nice. Very nice. Nicer than in a cut-out diagram of a penis entering a vagina.

And that she should always feel free to discuss the subject with me, if she had any questions or thoughts or doubts, that I am already used to having the Talk with Luca, and that I have always answered all his questions.

And there were quite a few.

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The chat about the Talk