Friday 30 September 2016

This is the warm and fuzzy nuttiness I feared

Pat Fitzpatrick

Published 30/11/2015 | 02:30

Pat Fitzpatrick: one change will lead to another.
Pat Fitzpatrick: one change will lead to another.

This week I went for a pint. That's not that unusual. But I've never gone for a pint by myself before, just because I felt like it.

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Why did I do it? Women. African women. This week at drumming we did a rhythm used in a song called the Moribayassa. The guy running the class, Patrick, explained this euphoric celebration song is sung by a woman to mark the end of some bad period in her life. She prepares for the ritual by wearing scruffy clothes and breaking taboos around the village.

This reminded me of second year in college. Anyway, the woman sings this particular song as a sign that she's back in the groove.

We played the rhythm for a good 20 minutes, right to the end of the class. It was my favourite rhythm so far. I walked out of the class on some kind of high, with celebration in my bones. This was exactly the kind of warm and fuzzy nuttiness I was afraid of when I started playing the drums four weeks ago. And here I am, floating along on a frosty Cork night with the early Christmas shoppers, thinking I should do something different to mark the moment.

So I went for a pint. I called into my favourite pub, on the south channel of the river Lee. I'm not going to tell you the name, because you might all go there and it wouldn't be the same (no offence). I sat up at the bar and had a pint of Beamish.

I talked to the stranger sitting next to me who had played African drums in his time. I talked to the couple on the other side of me about drums and one or two other things. And then I walked home, delighted with my life.

It was the best 20 minutes I ever had in a pub. And it would never have happened if I didn't decide to change my attitude and start playing the drums.

That's the great thing about it. One change will lead to another. My next step is to head in to the Pro ­Musica shop in Cork or maybe Waltons in Dublin and start eyeing up their drums. Because I'm not finished with this yet.

TIP: Say yes to your whims, particularly if they don't involve breaking the law, or drugs. Because change is catching.

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