Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now it's up to you-Get out and Make the change

Like most political activists in the country I'm wrecked. The demands of holding down a day job, rushing to the canvass most evenings from school and doing the other bits and pieces that being an election agent and part-time campaign press officer bring has taken its toll. There are some benefits however. Ths suit jacket that was embarrassingly tight two months ago fits today, and reasonably well. There's also the suntanned face but not much else of the body! And of course the genuine joy of meeting the people of the city who elected me, and of course those who didn't but might the next time.

The downside is the overload of cholesterol in the sysyem from the snack-boxes and burgers which have fuelled the campaign, and the full file of representations picked up on the doorstep which will take weeks of future work between the initial letter, the follow-up phone calls, and the final yeah or nay to the constituent.

Mostly it's been fun though. Now it's time for decisions-and that's up to you. The last five days, since the Leaders debate have been frustrating. I know I'm biased but I'm fed up of RTÉ presenters allowing the two Aherns, and finally Cowen to shout everybody into submission. How I long for the return of Olivia O' Leary, who would have told all the aforementioned to shut up while the other person was speaking, although not in those words.

I still believe that there's a mood for change out there. The thought of leaving this bumbling bunch of arrogant, aggressive ineffective and most importantly heartless leadership in place for another five years is unthinkable. If you feel the same get out and vote, and persuade everybody you can to get rid of this shower.

In Kilkenny please get out and give Michael O' Brien your Number One. Of all the people I have known in twenty years of politics, Michael is one of the straightest, most honest, most decent people I have encountered. He deserves your vote, and I ask you to get out and give it to him. Give your number two to Jim Townsend, and your 3,4 and 5 to Hogan, Phelan and Browne in order of your choice-they will play their part in getting Bertie out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Personal Milestones and Pesky Cameramen!!

Twenty years later, and I finally got to complete a 10k. road run. Thanks largely to a night on the canvass, when I met Irene Hennebry, whose husband Peter runs the fine Evergreen Football club blog, I volunteered for the Kilkenny City Harriers Road race series. This started with a two mile run, which yours truly had missed on that very night, and continued with a four mile and then last week, a five mile run. These leave the Smithsland retail centre near the Woodies shop on the Kilkenny Ring Road, and continue out the Waterford road and up into the country roads of Grovine and Wallslough, before coming back down to home. The road is beautiful, and it's great to see fields of rape-seed showing that farmers are finally catching on to this biofuel.

Anyway, onto Monday afternoon, and a loose mid-life crisis to myself a few months ago that I would try the 10k distance for the Carer's Association, whose National headquarters is here in Kilkenny. The pressure was on, and I was delighted to make my longest distance since 1987. That year I had trained with friends for the Dublin City Marathon, only to get injured a week before the race.

So when I made it over the line in 52.25 on Monday (no sniggering you real runners out there), I was very happy indeed. Unfortunately, tonight means another six miles, and then three next week. Then, who knows. I'll keep going I hope,, and maybe try a half marathon next-any suggestions out there??

The final humility was to see the gregarious Limerick photgrapher, Dónal Foley of the Kilkenny Voice newspaper pointing his big wide angle lens-which was needed in my case- at me as I struggled to the line. I'll post his handiwork here later to give you all a good laugh, and to remind myself to leave the t-shirt on the next time-I did promise didn't I!! Meanwhile, tonight and a 58 minute 6 miles brought the half-marathon ambitions back to earth. The Radox eased the pain though-who knows?! Watch this space......