Friday 20 April 2018

Gay Byrne: Sometimes, I think I'm losing it, don't you ever feel like that?


I was cycling in the city and had come to rest on Matt Talbot Bridge, minding my own business and gazing rather emptily eastwards down the river. Lovely view. There were two canoes coming up-river towards me and two girls in the first, both, I'm happy to say, wearing life-jackets and also crash-helmets, which I thought a bit odd. The girl looked up and recognised me instantly, which was surprising, given that (a) canoeing up the Liffey, one doesn't expect to see Gay Byrne, of all people, gazing down at you from a bridge and (b) I, too, was wearing a cycling helmet as well as shades, and was dressed in cycling gear and looking even more like a geek than usual. Further, she could see only the top bit of me. She said, "OMG it's Gay Byrne – I just want to tell you, Gay, that I can't swim!"

What she expected me to do about this, I've no idea. But it's surprising how much people want to impart nuggets of information like this to me on the most casual acquaintance, or none at all. So I said: "Don't worry, love, you'll be grand – you have your crash-helmet." Which I thought was a helpful remark.

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