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19/09/2021

Zoom: an experience far removed from Kildare GAA's Birds' Nest

Musings from Kildare Co Board November 'gathering'

Over the years we have experienced many Kildare GAA County Board gatherings.
Monthly,
Bi-monthly,
Specials,
Emergencies,
Conventions.
Whatever.
Locations,
Various,
Some salubrious,
Some luxurious,
Some ok,
And others.
The Birds’ Nest
(St Conleth’s Park),
Hawkfield,
The Osprey,
Maudlins,
Keadeen,
Clubhouses,
From Celbridge
To Athy.
And many in between.
Add in another,

From just last week.

Zoom.
Yes,
Zoom.
Location?
Anywhere,
Everywhere,
Sitting room,
Front room,
Back room,
Bed room,
Kitchen,
Garage.
It matters little.
Online.
Lap top.
Connection.
That’s it.
Strange.
Different.
Unusual,
Yet,
Still the same.
Same faces.
Well,
Same voices.
Backgrounds vary,
Unlike RTÉ,
BBC,
Sky,
No bookshelves,
Good,
Bad,
Or indifferent.
Off we go.
Chairman first up,
Relaxed.
Sitting room.
Words of wisdom.
Others follow.
Surprise,
Hold-up,
Connection problem.
Mute button.
Is it on,
Or is it off.
Come in Tom.
Says Chairman,
You’re on.
Silence.
Come in Tom,
Says Chairman,
You’re on.
Silence.
The mind wanders:

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on
Ground Control to Major Tom.

Chairman anxious.
We have to move on.
Suddenly.
Voice from afar.
Can you hear me now?
Success.
Different location,
But same scenario.
Mr Chairman.
What follows is a question.
A question that has just been answered,
It matters little.
It’s the small things you miss,
From the Birds’ Nest.
Door banging,
The late arrivals,
The mobile phones.
Recognisable ring tone,
No need to check,
It rings,
Familiar sound,
Eventually found,
Continues to ring,
Owner checks caller.
Twenty seconds later,
Or more,
Silence.
On we go again.
Back to the business in hand.
Now where were we.
Mr. Chairman.
Oh J-a-s-u-s,
Not again.
Mr. Chairman.
We answered that.
But Chairman.
We move on.
Still.
You’d miss it.
The Birds’ Nest,
Meeting folk,
Talking,
Chatting,
Before meetings,
During meetings,
After meetings,
The whispers,
The odd snippet,
A gem or two.
Still,
Zoom has its plusses,
Something The Birds’ Nest lacks,
Or any other venue.
A mute button!

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