Wednesday, 13 November 2013

5th May 2012.

It was during the Rugby World Cup and I had just started in Transition Year in school. I decided that my mission of Transition Year (TY) would be to meet Conor Murray himself!!
I told everyone I mean EVERYONE!! Even all the teachers knew about Conor Murray the rugby player at this stage!! I told everyone I was going to meet yer man Murray from the Munster rugby team and got the usual 'Alright Lynda' 'The international rugby player good luck with that' but I made it my mission and on the 5th of May 2012 4:18pm my mission was complete.

As embarrassing as this story is, I've decided to reveal it to you all and I'm prepared to be grilled over it, but here goes, keeping in mind however I was sixteen, so I'm aloud to be foolish!!
My weekend began like any other weekend, except it was a Friday, and I had the day off school AND it was 7am and I was up dancing around like a loony!! but this was it!! Once I got on that 1.20 bus to Limerick I'd be on my way to seeing Conor Murray!!
I can't actually say I slept that Friday night in Limerick, but from 5am on the Saturday morning I was up!! bouncing on the bed! Singing songs already on my sixth bottle of luco before 9am, but this was it!!
At around ten to two myself, mam and my friend Haleigh (God love them they really didn't know what they were getting themselves in for) made our way down to the lobby of the hotel, Jesus!! It was fantastic! The bar was empty, the lounge was free everything was quiet I'd easily get a glimpse of Murray.Two seconds later a gang of four arrived and sat beside us!! Now I didn't like this!! Didn't like this one bit!!!
Four plus three is seven!! So now there was seven!! Sevens a bit of an odd figure I didn't like seven,but suddenly I heard the name Conor Murray being mentioned and from there we all befriended each other, that was it and the wait continued...

At approximately 2.30 the trauma began when Haleigh hit me saying 'Who's that!! Who's that!!' - Peter O'Mahony!! Now this was where the nerves went!! I'd never been so unrestrained near a rugby player IN MY LIFE!!!
 I'd been to one match in Musgrave! and even at that I was up in the sky so that didn't count but I'd like to think I handled myself quite well.....apart from the mere panic attack I was grand...

And I had met my first ever Munster Rugby.

So we continue....
We went on and on, with the likes of Donncha O'Callaghan .. who got stuck in the door, but that's another story! We even have past Munster legends like Leimi Mafi and Tomas O'Leary!! (Who at the time I didn't really like because yano.. you can only back one Scrum Half) but anyway it goes on and on, until the media manager arrived. A sound, sound, sound man who we got chatting too!!
I showed him my banner...

It was going fantastic, until he said 'Well Conor Murray's a Limerick lad he might not be coming here' well talk about deflation!! The only way I can begin to describe that feeling is thinking you have a bottle of orange luco, taking a sip to realise it's water!! A vile, sickening, heart aching moment!! 
Considering my lack of emotional control I handled the situation quite well!! especially the fact he said MIGHT NOT!! See them small words... I like them small words!!! but at least we get to go to watch the match in Thomond that was the main thing!! 
Just as my deflation began to hit rock bottom along comes Simon Zebo....
It was at that stage that I finally accepted the fact Murray was not coming!! 

4.18 pm. I looked over to the door and saw none other than Mike Sherry and Declan Cusack, Yes!! Murray's housemates I shouted 'YES'!!! Turned my head for two seconds looked back and who is it? Conor Murray walking in the door!!! - Yano that moment when everything in your whole life is incredibly amazingly perfect and you love everyone and everything even maths for that split second!! I had that!!!!
 So I jumped up!!! Ran the opposite way!! WHY??? I do not know....I ran back to see Conor, Mike and Declan walking away.. what do you do? as a normal human being I sprint after them only to realise they went in another door.
 Well that was that so, I sat down in my chair feeling fairly cats!! - basically realising I just missed my chance at seeing Conor Murray... 
Then suddenly!!!!Anglea (My newly befriended friend said 'Look down there' and as I looked up I saw Conor Murray walking towards me...Dressed all in navy the only thing I could notice was the height!! Jesus the man was lanky, perfect but lanky!!

And so it begins....

I fell of my chair with the shock!! I couldn't stand up, thank God I'd Haleigh there to pull me up and as Conor approached she said 'Conor can she get a picture with you, she loves you' Suttle I know...and his reply 'Of course, no problem!' smiling. I couldn't stand... the legs were gone!! - The shakes appeared, now I'm not one to shake!! but Jesus Christ!!!! I was like a kitten on a cold day!!!!! 

So try get this image into your head!! Me!! in a posh Limerick hotel, after falling off a chair, kicking a table, shouting running around shaking like a leaf!! If I was in charge of the hotel I'd be after calling the guards!!!
Shaking so much so Conor even notice, first thing he said..
''Will ya stop shaking you're making me nervous'' until realising I was getting myself into a serious state and the use of a defibrillator may soon be needed.
He then started rubbing my back.... yes Murray rubbing my back saying and I quote..
''Are you okay? C'mon now relax. Calm down you're okay!.
 I can feel you shaking will you relax''
I was in shock!! I couldn't talk, all I could blurt out was 'Dya know the banner on twitter thats me'..literally all I could manage to say!!! 
When I finally controlled myself to get a picture, note I didn't stop shaking just caught my breath.  I can't even look at the pictures. This is the best!!..
NOW!!! That is saying alot!!!!
My first ever pic with Conor Murray...Great.
And he wonders why I need a new pic every time!!!

When it was Haleigh's turn to get the picture she handed me the camera when Conor blurted out..
''She won't be able to take a picture'' (Laughing) -And how right he was!!! 
He then turns to my mother who happened to be having a laughing fit in the corner and said ..
''She's shaking out look'' - so I just sat down, I fell into my chair curled up in a ball and just sat there... whilst he signed autographs for other people, looking down at me saying to the lads 'Is she okay?' and then off he went for food.

Conor Murray Part 2..

So by the time Conor came back out I decided I'd get him to sign the banner!! 
Now the banner.... the banner is 6 foot 2 which  I ordered online saying 
Asking Murray to sign it was probably the least of my embarrassment!That's saying alot because it's very embarrassing. He opened it and and his very words were..
''Jesus the size of it'' - The same thing every other person who ever witnessed this thing had said!!! 
but off I went telling Conor about how I was at my first ever rugby match in Cork and how my cousin slagged me off for having the banner and said I was 'Achieving nothing!!' Except I couldn't actually bring myself to explain that it's what my cousin said to me so all I could tell Conor was 'you're achieving nothing! You're achieving nothing' .. I'm a lovely person, I swear.
At then if things weren't embarrassing enough when Conor picked up the marker to sign it I replied with the statement - ''I've great taste in markers' .. yes!! markers!!! flipping markers!!!!!!!
My signed banner..yes I did get him to use a red marker.
ANYWAY!!!! basically cutting a VERY VERY VERY long story short!! Conor Murray is an absolute hero!!!!!! They always say you should never meet your heroes you'll only be disappointed!!! Complete BULL!!!!!!
I was the happiest girl IN THE WORLD!!!
SO, as if the day wasn't good enough!!It was my first ever time in Thomond Park, to watch Munster play Ulster and guess what!! Munster won!! 36-8
and who was Man Of The Match?? MURRAY!!!! - The cherry on top of what was a perfect day!!!
What made it all the best?? Apart from the amount of people I can make jealous!! The fact I followed through and made a dream come true for myself!!
And of course, still love Murray to this day! Even if he cut all his lovely hair off and I've to now share him with the rest of Ireland!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Shur off I went to TG4....

There are times when I need to literally pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!! And last Saturday November 2nd 2013 was one of those days as I boarded the bus to Limerick for a day in Thomond Park and this time it wasn't even to gawk at the rugby players it was to work!! Well... shadow none other than TG4's top presenter Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill for a day!! and what a day it was.

I've been told many a times for someone who hopes to get into presenting and media, contacts and experience are the essentials, it makes no difference what degrees you have I'll agree it's a pity but in this business it's not what you know it's who you know, and I was blessed to have Máire Treasa as a contact of mine since I was about 16.

My day began fairly normal, we planned on getting the 9.20 Route 55 bus to Limerick which we take EVERY single time and as it says 9.20 it usually only arrives at 9.30... being Bus Eireann that is (and I still don't like them enough to use the fada) In my opinion the most unreliable enterprise in Irish history as the 9.20 arrived at 9.10 ..10 minutes early!! Now that may not seem like much but as I had literally just arrived at the bus stop about 15 seconds before it pulled up, loading on my two suitcases (For one night in Limerick... Yeahhhh I know I over pack blah blah) but what does the bus man do? Closes the luggage door I was only lucky my neck escaped in time still with one suitcase in my hand another friend not even after arriving at the bus stop. I tried stall but he was having none of it.. a typical bus experience .... Some Laugh.
 I will admit the whole trauma of the morning became quite funny when we got out of Clonmel, that is until the rain.
 THE RAIN!!!! I could write a whole post dedicated to the rain of Limerick City alone!! I've always been told it's something to do with the Shannon River but every single time I go to Limerick it rains, and I'm not even kidding it just lashes. It could because I'm from the Sunny South East with no rain that I'm not used to it but my God the rain!!!!  We got drenched. Especially due to the fact I decided to go experimenting around the city trying to get to the Clarion hotel faster.
 The Clarion hotel...
The hotel of champions!!! The memories ... ahhhh... Anyway!!! (and that's a VERY old pic of one of my greatest memories in the Hotel)

Anyway, after we arrived I decided It was time I got ready so the eyes, were done to excellent percussion!! (I think that's the word) and the hair straightened like a pin!! that was before my two best friends decided to leave me to go creep at the Munster Team wandering around the lobby!!... Yeah I don't really blame them either to be honest...
 So the time had come to get dressed, I got all my clothes laid out before I realised I forgot my jeans. Yes!! My jeans. I had no trousers to wear! That's when the realisation got me!! I either had my pyjama pants OR my soaking wet tracksuit pants to go with my fancy cream coat. Which do I choose??
 Well what would you wear?? The soaking wet tackies or the pyjamas?? Which as a matter of fact looked better than the tackies!! So I rang the friends pussin and bawling about my lack of pants and I was only blessed one of them were smart enough to bring a pair of black leggings, so they wouldn't get cold THANK THE LORD!!! so once again crisis avoided.
By the time I finally made it down to the lobby it was about 3pm, and knowing I had to meet Máire Treasa at 4pm the panic struck, not to mention the rain still bucketing down outside, finally after sitting down I realised I forgot my phone so back up to the room I went, the lift taking a good 20 minutes no exaggeration, I got into a over crowded lift of about 10 Americans who of course made me talk and talk and talk just because my accent was 'Awesome' Although the lady was the sweetest thing ever so SHOUT OUT TO CUTE AMERICAN LADY!! that went on until we finally reached the eight floor and I made a sprint down the corridor kinda like a James Bond moment If you can imagine, but I was in heels so imagine a James Bond moment as a girl in heels sprinting down a hotel corridor, I'll admit I felt fairly cool, that was until my roomie hotel neighbours wandered out looking confused and worried..Wahh I shutter at the thought..
 Finally after grabbing the phone I repeated my mission of sprinting down the corridor looking like a pansy and pressing that escalator button like a ninja panting out of breath, well like the corridor is very long and I ran really fast and so when the lift opened what to my wondering eyes should appear but a Munster rugby player.... BJ Botha. Now there's a story to tell the kids, .. Yeah shared a lift with Botha... no big deal....
Here he is now Mr. BJ Botha
So when I finally reached the ground floor YET AGAIN, I decided to book a taxi to drive me to Thomond because at this stage it was already 3.30 and still lashing so that was it.. Pressure on!! When my taxi finally arrived we couldn't move because the fecking Munster Bus was parked outside the hotel!! Darn ye Munster men thinking ye can block up the road Darn ye!! but finally we were off and I had finally arrived at the grounds of ...


At this stage it was at least 4.10 so I was at least ten minutes late, and I can honestly hand on my heart tell you right now you haven't experienced pain until you've sprinted around Thomond Park, in the rain looking for the Doug Out in 4 inch heels!! but on the plus I was average height for a normal Irish teenager!!.
So running around asking people where I was, at one stage I even asked was I still in the grounds of Thomond!! but I eventually made it to the Dugout bar.. busting in the door to about 50 people running around and no sign of the one person I was supposed to meet there. On the phone to Máire Treasa at 4.30 and she told me she wasn't even at Thomond yet!!! THE RELIEF!!!!!   
When I finally met her, we proceed to have lunch IN THOMOND PARK!!!! sitting down at my table which consisted of Jerry Flannery!!! YES!!!! FLANNERY!!!!!!!!!! That was one of them moments where I really did need to pinch myself! Dreaming, that was until I realised they all only spoke Irish to each other!! Why that was such a shock to me I'll never understand I was at TG4 for God sake!!!! But they all spoke Irish!! ALL the time!! and me with my very limited knowledge of the language didn't go down great!! but none the less here I was in Thomond Park, having lunch with one of Munster's biggest legends and one of my Idols. Life really is great!!!!!

When we were finished lunch we headed to the TG4 area!! Walking around Thomond beside Máire Treasa really did make me feel like a superstar!! Well in my own little imagination it did!! I LOVED it, I even had my own little lanyard that said 'Media' on it!! I felt AMAZING!!!!!
We then got into one of the trucks!!! Yes I repeat TRUCKS!!!!!!!!!! Three trucks for that matter (Any live coverage from TG4 is done from these three trucks) and I can tell you now!! I'm not a big fan of cars or trucks!! BUT!! These trucks!! WOW!!!!!.
They were massive big things!!! They were fully equipped with televisions and people and it was amazing!! (Well the people didn't come with the trucks but it was packed) Not what I had expected one bit. I then sat down with two analysis's whilst Máire Treasa did a bit of planning for the show. It was amazing just soaking up the atmosphere!! just being in this truck with all the professionals doing my dream job was outstanding!! I had shivers!!! 
 The next minute the shows director hopped onto the truck as well as the rest of the cast and crew! I had Jerry Flannery standing beside me and Máire Treasa sitting in front of me in a TG4 truck!! WOW!!
 Everyone was handed this booklet of about 10 pages and printed on them was the layout of how the show was going to be run (ALL in Irish I may add so quite difficult for myself to understand but I loved it)
It was after that Máire Treasa left me, so I was sitting in the truck when I befriended the analyst's beside me Susan and Paddy!! SHOUT OUT TO PADDY AND SUSAN!!! I love those people!! They took me through what they do step by step and once again I just loved it. I was going grand then until the producer man told me to go find Máire Treasa she was 'Over the Guinness sign' yeah thanks for that.. but I headed off on the hunt. That was one of them moments when you stop look at your surroundings and just laugh. 
Try picture this in your head now, an 18 year old walking around Thomond Park, in heels on her own in a big fancy coat with a 'Media' sign on her when the Munster boys are warming up on pitch. I walked past the tunnel around the sides of the pitch onto the pitch everywhere! and I was clueless!!!. I was wandering around Thomond bloody Park UNSUPERVISED!! With a tab that allowed me access to all areas... Hellooo dressing rooms!!! I'm only messing!!!!! ;) hahahaha.... or am I??... no I'm totally messing!! I wouldn't do such a thing!!!
Anyway..  It wasn't until I heard a man calling 'Lyndaaaaaa' that realisation hit me!! It was my saviour Paddy!! See I told you I loved that man!! and he showed me where to go! I've said this before and I'll say it again!! Running around rugby stadiums with men whilst wearing heels is NOT smart!! but finally after we climbed steps went through doors that I didn't even know existed and even up in a lift we finally reached this Guinness sign!! and I was reunited with Máire Treasa as she prepared the show. 

I can't say it was what I had imagined but my God was it an amazing experience!! Getting to see how the show is put together was outstanding and I loved every minute!! 
They practised over and over until It was time to go live! I could almost feel the pressure but the guys were such professional and you could see they enjoyed what they were doing so much. They went live before the game started, at half time and when it was over and the preparation that was involved was immense everything had to be precise and timed to a 'T', there isn't a second chance with live TV but even Máire Treasa told me that that's the fun of it, and she prefers going live there's more of a buzz but as I found out things go wrong. At the end part of the show all the earphones bailed so no one could hear each other!!
Jesus that was intense 3 minutes but was handled amazingly and that's always something that can go wrong, and as a presenter it's your job to cover and think on your feet to fix it, exactly what Máire Treasa did. a true professional!!!

When the match was on I got to sit up in the area to watch the match with the whole TG4 team!! It was fantastic!! I actually got to sit down at the match instead of breaking a rib of the side of the railings getting soaked with the rain which was amazing!! The view was fantastic!!!
So when the show was over, we headed back to the truck where everything had settled down, giving back my lanyard was tough I'll admit, but what a great day!!. We got back onto the truck and we actually had move to walk around, it was strange. Saying goodbye to Paddy was even harder! But whatta man!!! 
 I then got into  Máire Treasa's car as she dropped me back to my hotel!!. If that isn't dreaming then I really don't know what is.
 Chatting to Máire Treasa on the way home was what really opened my eyes, It's so clear this didn't come easy to her and she worked so hard but now she's living her dream and it's all because she persevered through everything. She told me how she went to Mary I in Limerick and how she was a primary teacher!!! A teacher would you believe and now she's on the tele!! That's some cool teacher in my eyes!!. But from that it showed me that no matter what career path you take in college it can direct you to what ever your dreams are, like when I met Sile Seoige who wanted to study Law it really doesn't matter what background you have if you're willing to work hard you can get there and that's why Máire Treasa has inspired me so much and has always been a idol of mine. She also told me how there is different paths into EVERYTHING!! This isn't just directed to people who fancy going into media. Research!! Look around!! There's back routes into everything out there you just need to be wise about it! Open your eyes.
I'd definitely recommend anyone out there who's not 100% set on the career path, or even if they are to try get some experience in the area they want. It could really set your mind, even a day here or there it all counts. 
 I always imagined a career in media uber glamorous! but I noticed Máire Treasa putting on her own lipstick!! so it showed me to perhaps lower my expectations in some way, which is so important. 

When I finally got back to the hotel round 10pm I was fit for the bed but that cherry on top of the day??
Was that it was the Munster Rugby's Christmas party that night so I got to see loads of the men dolled up... 
YEP!!!! Really did live the dream that day!!!! ;-) 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Pyro.....It's not just a song!!

I won't lie to you and tell you I'm magnificently talented when it comes to music and can pick up any note which is played, because in reality even though I studied music for three years in school I still can't detect one single note that is played.  I can't even say I have a taste in music I've been told many a times that I've the strangest taste in music, but thanks to a friend I was introduced to a band called Kings Of Leon, I'm sure you've heard of them and since then my life hasn't really been the same. In case you're living under a rock that magically has wifi  to enable you to read this KOL are an American rock band made up of three brothers Caleb, Jared and Nathan Followill and one cousin Matthew Followill. I never thought I was one for rock music until I came across this wonder of a song called 'Pyro'  released in December of 2010.... In my opinion the most amazingly fantastic song which has ever been wrote in the history of all written music, I even think it slightly beats Pumped up Kicks... and that's saying a lot coming from me!!

I always loved finding out the meanings to different songs, and I will admit I was shocked and slightly confused to find out what this song was really about. I spent ages researching what the song was about and all I could pick up was Caleb Followill wrote it based on the Ruby Ridge incident and in a radio interview Caleb explained
'' is about a guy who has lost faith in the world in which he lives and he doesn't believe it is as perfect as everyone says. He becomes so disgusted by the world in which he lives that he decides to burn it down.''
I can tell you right now I was sickened!!! I couldn't relate that to my life, the song was just a song to me but then I looked into it even more and started looking at other peoples opinions on the song and what I learned was in every song you can relate it back to you and your life and that's what makes a song a song!!.
Except pumped up kicks... if you can relate your life to that song then please arrange some counselling!!

So I found this explanation:
''Single book of matches
Gonna burn what's standing in the way
Run down the mountain
Now they're calling on the fire brigade

At first one insignificant -or may be a bit bigger than that - event happens and destroy one of your beliefs one thing that you rely on and take for granted but in fact once that is destroyed at takes every other belief with it until nothing is for granted.  

Bury all the pictures
And tell the kids that I'm okay
If'n I'm forgotten
You'll remember me 'fore today

When this happens it leaves you broken you may pretend that you're okay for the sake of others and try to forget those beliefs you once had but you will always remember at least this day the day you lost them all.

I, I won't ever be your cornerstone
I think the song is spoken by two different points of view at the beginning it was the writer's now his beliefs tells him that it will not be his cornerstone any more what's gonna happen now is he -the writer - gonna break down? is there a way without them? can a person pull him/herself from that kind of lost? or do you really need those beliefs to be? . 

All the black inside me
Is slowly seeping from the bone
Everything I cherish
Is slowly dying, or it's gone

Now the writer's tern to speak and he represent that lost as black darkness growing inside him until his body can't hold it any more so it reflects on his behaviour because - again he says - everything he relied on is leaving dying and now he has nothing.

Little shaken babies
And drunkards seem to all agree
Once the show gets started
It's bound to be a sight to see

This part is not really clear to me but I think shaken babies and drunkards represent most of the people who have no real view in life they are blind when it comes to life decision or they have shades over their eyes they only see life from one angle they are there watching him live that judging from far away enjoying the seen .

Watch her roll
Can you feel it?

Now everything changes after all that black and darkness he felt there's one other feeling shining coming closer which is freedom now he's free even from himself his own believes now he knows how to start over without getting affected by beliefs that weren't his in the first place they are a reflection of others around him ideas got planted in his head one way or another but now as he lost them he can understand why anything happens why to believe in something or why not to but now it's all his .. his beliefs and his will now he's free that what running represent''
I can't exactly explain what this song means to me or why I relate to it so much but with this I raise the question does your favourite song really say more about you than your lips ever can? A question which I've always been curious to know the answer too!!  A question in which I now fully answer  with YES!!