Can tiredness get exhausted? My balloon is a HOT topic, a nice fundraiser is launched and my podcasts are looking for a friendly sponsor.

I have always prided myself on being busy. Not saying always productive, but I have to be doing something, I just can't sit still. Some people see this as a positive. For me the jury is out on that one. You see, if I'm not physically busy, I still am mentally. Trying to get those cogs in the grey matter of mine to slow the f&ck down is next to near impossible. 

Oh wait, bring on my chemotherapy. Over the past few days, since my last infusion really, these drugs have welded the brakes ON with my mind and of course my body. Yes, I am sick, yes I am fighting one inoperable bastard that just refuses to let go, but the sudden onslaught on how quick I get this exhaustive feeling is frightening, if you let it be. The best way I can explain it, when good or normal in my books, it's akin to being out in the light, on a good day, perhaps even the sunshine, but then as I'm enjoying that warmth, the clouds blow in from nowhere, my body gets the chills, my brain gets sucked dry of anything I even remotely regard as positive and my chemo infested body is literally crying to go to bed.

For most of yesterday (Friday) I was minding myself. We were invited to a friends (fellow aviator) birthday and I was all set. However, one of my nemesis  'Mr T' AKA Mister Tirdness had very different views. Even after going to bed at 4pm yesterday and waking up at 8pm for tea, then straight back to asleep again, I knew (just knew) that things were not all well. I know it's not a medical term, but when I say, even after waking up that I felt like PURE SHITE, I think even the most eminent professor on Harley Street, instantly gets the picture. It's just a pure horrible and indeed helpless situation to experience. What made last night worse for me, was what I thought was going to work out well (4 hours advance solid sleep) would provide the dividends that would be asked for later. Not so. I had to hold my hand up, turn over in the bed and go straight back to sleep. Disappointed ? Of course. But I knew my body wasn't talking to me, No, it was literally shouting at me. I couldn't but just had to and of course did listen to it. I had even given the birthday party a mention on my last podcast that I recorded yesterday at lunchtime and is now on iTUNES Store to download or listen to. I'll provide a link to my podcasts at the end of this blog. By the way, I am no expert at this new podcasting thing but do please have a listen. My podcasts will always be on average 15 mins in duration. I think any longer than that and you lose the listeners attention. 

Yes, I was looking forward to going to last nights birthday party. The idea that there would be plenty of aviation chat at it was going to make it more interesting for me. The only unfortunate thing would be that my legend of a wife, Alison would have to probably listen to me talking ballooning shite again which when you are not interested in it, can and does bore the pants off people. Hence I never bring up the topic when out, unless somebody asks me a question on it, which I faithfully and enthusiastically answer, but then normal service resumes. Remember, I'm playing with Hot Air Balloons nearly 20 years now,  so it's not the most interesting topic for me. But please don't let that turn you off asking me about it, I do appreciate I am very lucky and privilidged to be able to fly these ancient aircraft and I TOTALLY respect that.

Just on the topic of flying balloons, and forgive me if I appear to be on my soapbox (it's not intended that way), but is it acceptable for a person to come up to me, ask all the caring questions about my illness and then deliver the line:

"When you are better, you must fly me / bring my friend for a flight in the balloon".

Here I am busting my nuts off trying to get better, and please god I get to beat this bastard, and flying my balloon again is a massive incentive for ME. Yes, there is specific people I hope to fly, genuine friends who have (and presently are) very very good to me, the same people who would never dream of asking me for a flight. Apart from my very close friends, my medical team springs to mind. But here I am being asked to possibly fly a complete stranger, (on behalf of their friend, not mine). Here's the classic - good bit, (que sarcastic smile on face): the people that generally ask me, never ever offer or even suggest contributing towards the expense (root cost) of that flight. Maybe I am being too hard on these people?, perhaps it's simple ignorance on their behalf? but when I land my balloon, (and I don't think I am tight with my wallet), my own pocket is on average €250 lighter than it was 60 minutes previous. As I park it here, I'll leave that 'hot' potatoe of mine alone now, but just before I do, I want to gratefully acknowledge the generous gifts and hampers that I embarrassingly received from my own friends that I personally invited to fly and will do so again going forward, because they are special friends of mine, and being flown(ironically) in my own balloon. Nothing and I mean nothing is expected from these special people, including the brilliant and sporting landowners - farmers, without whose generosity my balloon basket would never get to leave the ground. I know the latter should go without saying, but sometimes one needs to spell these things out. That's me off my soapbox that I tried to promise myself I wouldn't stand on, I think I did...Ooopsies.

To book a Champagne Hot Air Balloon Flight 
(You will not be disappointed)


This is a fundraiser, the brainchild of Barbara O'Connor and administered by us both, whose aim is to raise much needed funds for the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre. The idea is simple and so beautiful, if I may say so myself. It is all explained on its own Facebook page, but the idea is, you are invited to buy a 'heart for a hero'. Your heart is then hand-painted by Barbara (along with 147 others) and placed into a special handmade frame in the shape of a support ribbon. When all the hearts are sold, both the completed frame along with ALL funds collected, will be handed over in full to the Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre, a registered charity located in Drogheda. All we ask is a minimum contribution of €10 per heart, more if you can afford it. 

Please do check our page. 
All donations are handled by PayPal. 


From Pirates to Podcasts

With my blog rocking away (over 120,000 page views to date), I have started my podcasting debut. I now have 2 podcasts published, all accessed via the ITunes Store which makes it so easy to access and share and indeed for people to self-find.

I actually do enjoy recording my podcasts. It actually brings back some really cool memories. As  a  spotty, pleasantly plump radio nerd-anorak, I had my own radio show on a then local Pirate (illegal-ish) radio station. Ahh, those were the days, the station was called 'Radio Carousel' and our fancy studios were in a really cool glass tinted hexagonal pod in the centre of the common floor space inside Navan Shopping Centre, it was like being a caged animal in the zoo. 

My home every Sunday afternoon in 1985. 
I used to stick a sign in the on-air window facing outwards: 
'Don't Feed The Monkey'. 

Writing blogs is free but unfortunately producing podcasts are not. Podcasting takes up a lot of hosting space as it is audio files (not simple) text that is being stored. That stored (audio) content will then be played (by you and me) which eats up bandwidth. Think of the static podcast being the pipe but the content is the water. The more water that flows thru the pipe, the more bandwidth that is being used. Hence why there is a cost and it must be paid for. I am currently paying this out of my own pocket, but being out of work for 11 months, it is way down the priority list if I want to keep it going. If you think your company is in a position to assist and in return you get a mention on each of my podcasts, then I would love to hear from you. 

Drop me an email to

via the Apple iTunes Store. 

 Click HERE to access my podcasts 


Thank you for reading my blog folks. 


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