I guldmedaljörens huvud (1/2)

Vi har intervjuat de två medlemmar som tog guldmedalj 2022. Först ut är féarglas.


Why féarglas as turfnick?
I rank picking a turfnick as one of my most difficult moments in TURF, like a rabbit in the headlights in the spotlight of a decision. I eventually settled on ‘féarglas’ which is Gaeilge for ‘green grass’ (though we say it as ‘grass-green’ 🙂 It reflected I am Irish, the purpose is taking zones and turf meaning grass in English.

How tall are you? (cm)
169cm, and shrinking

Where did you grow up?
I was born in and grew up in Cork, Ireland for my first 20 years. After University, I moved to Dublin with my first job, staying there for 7 years before moving to Edinburgh in 1997. While intended as a first step to further travel, I have lived in Edinburgh since.

How did you learn about turf and what kept you going when you started?
My orienteering club ESOC first introduced me to TURF through a very eager ESOCWalter who wouldn’t take no for an answer from anyone. Soon many of us were active turfers. I was instantly grabbed by being physically and mentally challenged while exploring outdoors, learning my way round areas known and unknown to me, and discovering interesting places and histories.

Last book you read?
The last book I listened to was “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki. I often listen to books while I cycle. The last printed book I read was “Twenty Years a-Growing” by Maurice O’Sullivan, a memoir of growing up on the Great Blasket Island off the western coast of Ireland, and translated from the Irish-language “Fiche blian ag fás” by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

Besides all your gold medals, which of your other turf achievements do you take most pride in?
I take most pride in achievements where I had to perform beyond what I thought I was capable of. There have been many of these moments but I am choosing the BBC broadcast (200 million viewers!) on Christmas Day 2020. For a normally private person who enjoyed anonymity, it was frankly terrifying. I am proud that I managed it for the TURF expansion that followed outside of Sweden, sharing the TURF joy with others, and the wonderful new life changing avenues it opened to me.

What’s your occupation?
I teach piano privately. My previous occupation ‘before children’ but which may come round again was in IT, in the financial sector.

Favorite movie or TV-series?
“Toy Story” is one of my favourite movies, and yes, there may have been wet eyes at the end of “Toy Story 3”. I don’t watch much TV but I enjoyed “Straight Outta Compton” recently.

My parents live in Cork, and I have two brothers and two sisters, spread around Ireland, UK, France and Australia. I have four sons of my own, ranging in age from 10 years to 19 years.

Any memorable take you want to tell the world about?
There are enough memorable takes to write a book, but let me tell you about my Unique-7500. This was on the island of Great Cumbrae at zone IsleCathedral, at The Cathedral of the Isles, the smallest cathedral in the British Isles. It is a favourite and memorable take because of its’ association with friends and family. Suggested by 0beroff, created by kjtindall, and taken by myself and my youngest son Senan during a wonderful two day road trip to the West Coast. We stayed on the island, our first visit, climbed on Crocodile Rock and tried cycling a very heavy ‘bicycle cart’ type thing. Note to self – choose someone with legs that reach their pedals next time.

Favorite song?
I’m going to cheat a little with multiple answers. A favourite song is “Jig of Life” by Kate Bush, and “Running Up That Hill”, a favourite artist is Twenty One Pilots with many of their songs being favourites, and the recording I could not be without is Chopin Nocturnes played by Arthur Rubinstein. I especially like Opus 9 No 1 in B-flat minor.

Zone take – level Expert

When’s and where’s your next visit in Sweden?
I have a short visit to Gbg in March, but a longer visit planned for May to the Bonanza in Umeå when I hope to explore more of Sweden.

Most embarrassing Turf moment?
Being beaten by Kingslayer at the Skåne Open in September 2022…or leaving the flat to go cycle turfing without my bicycle.

Next medal will be…?
This might be an Explorer medal and over some time as I would like to explore each region involved. I only have the UK Explorer so far and I am tempted by Germany and Netherlands in particular, alongside the rest of Sweden when spring has sprung there.

Favorite dish?
The Happy Pear – Bombay Potato, Tomato and Aubergine Curry. Very yummy.

What other hobbies or sports do you occupy yourself with besides turf?
Many sports are difficult as my right ankle is fused, but I orienteer still, walking, and more often accompanying my youngest son on his course. And I love Lego, with set 21323 (The Grand Piano, 3662 pieces!) about to ruin my TURF points.

One thing we don’t know about féarglas is…?
I had full unbroken attendance for my eight years of primary school, never missing a day.

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