Paul Healy’s Week – 3rd June 2016

Paul Healy on Connacht’s great win; the golden age of television drama…and solving the mystery of the bikes that appeared out of nowhere…

Connacht’s wonderful win in the Pro12 Final seems to have put a smile on everyone’s face. It was amusing listening to some of the national media in the build-up to the game.

They still didn’t seem to quite believe in Connacht. Every time Connacht have lined out recently, many people – understandably I suppose – have expected their remarkable run to end.

But Connacht kept winning, and, far from suffering from stage-fright on Saturday, they produced a performance for the ages to defeat a stunned Leinster. It is a tremendous boost to the game in Connacht and an exciting development for the sport in Roscommon.

A number of people from Roscommon travelled to Edinburgh to attend the big game. Did they party before, during and after the game?

Well, their presence in the city does not appear to have coincided with any reports of increased footfall in local museums and castles.

Every day

They come from all angles and directions into our house, and your house, to the point where it is overwhelming but, I guess, also wonderful.

But how can you cope with the influx of these usually brilliantly packaged delights? I can’t. It seems that there’s a new (usually American) television drama starting every week, ranging from the critically acclaimed latest ‘best thing on tv’ to the ‘less sophisticated but still entertaining.’

It is a golden age of television drama, with one great series after the next, but how are we meant to find the time to watch them? I generally don’t find that time, and then if I do, I struggle to follow the plots. It seems that each new ‘super series’ is reaching for ‘best thing on tv’ status by being as complicated as possible!

Personally, I end up bamboozled by the murders in the elevator/roaming terrorists/flashbacks/Isis updates/White House scenes/meetings in New York attorney offices/corrupt cops/September 11 flashbacks. I think I gave up on trying to follow plots when Lost emerged a few years ago.

So, while I appreciate that it is a golden age, and I do plan to try much harder, I’m nostalgic for the days of Kojak, Hawaii Five-0, Dallas and The Avengers!

When JR poured a whiskey for himself in the corner of that main room in Southfork, and then did his calculating stare, I knew that the villain of the previous scene was facing trouble. When Telly Savalas broke into a smile and reached for the lollipop in the final minutes of Kojak, we all knew that the crime was solved. Best of them all for me was Columbo (Peter Falk).

Sure, I seldom had a clue how he was progressing with his enquiries as the programme went on, but we always had complete faith in the anorak-ed one.

At the end, after uttering a final ‘just one more thing’, he inevitably brought the smooth-talking conman to justice. As for all that modern stuff, some time in the future I’ll get the box sets and try and catch up.

In the meantime, I’m finding those re-runs of Murder, She Wrote quite easy to follow…

Where did the bikes come from?
Every day

Forget climate change, the economy, Trump v Clinton and Joe Brolly and Kieran McGeeney – the words on a lot of lips in Roscommon in the past week or so have been: ‘Where did the bikes come from?’

The people awoke one morning and discovered that the prettiest bicycles you’ve ever seen were suddenly adorning the roundabouts in Roscommon Town. The multi-coloured bikes were ‘wrapped in wool’ and secured by chains.

And so, ‘Where did the bikes come from?’ became as common a conversation piece in recent days as ‘Great weather’ and ‘Weren’t Connacht unbelievable?’

Here at the Roscommon People, we had no idea where the woollen bicycles had come from. Neither, it seemed, had anyone else a clue about the mystery.

We were going to ask the Council…pause for old joke…spokesperson for a comment. We were going to ask the local Tidy Towns organisation.

Then, we heard a whisper. And we investigated. And it turns out that the beautiful bikes are the brilliant creative work of Transition Year students from the Convent of Mercy in Roscommon town.

Apparently it’s called ‘Yarn-bombing’ – no, me neither – but when I went to google it, I found out that it’s “guerrilla knitting…urban knitting or graffiti knitting…a type of graffiti or street art that employs colourful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre.” Mind-boggling.

Anyways…my investigative work revealed that the ‘Craft Class’ in TY were engaged in their secret mission over a number of weeks.

They sought the donation of some bicycles – without revealing why they wanted them – and in the meantime were knitting away on the pretence that they were making a quilt. In fact, the class were busy behind closed doors, covering the donated bikes in colourful knitted material. No sign of a quilt-y conscience either.

Then, at 6.30 am on a recent summer morning, the girls and their teacher, Ms. Henriques, loaded the bicycles on to the back of a trailor before placing them at roundabouts in the county town.

An unsuspecting Roscommon public spent several days asking ‘Where did the bikes come from?” When they held their Graduation Night last week, the TY girls reclaimed the bikes and revealed details of their yarn-bombing mission.

Most of the bikes have since been returned to the roundabouts. A ¬– sorry again – spokesperson for the Convent said: “The whole idea of yarn-bombing is to surprise people! There has been a brilliant reaction to the bikes!

Everyone was wondering what was going on. They will now be left at the roundabouts indefinitely as the Tidy Towns people have wholeheartedly welcomed them!”