You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.

Ginger Rodgers

There is the Mayday distress call. That was invented by Frederick Stanley Mockford in 1923. He was the senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London and was given the task of finding a suitable call. The majority of air traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris. He heard French pilots using the term ‘M’aidez’, literally help me. It sounded like “Mayday” and because it had a stronger sound that both English and French pilots were familiar with Mockford suggested Mayday.

There is the May Day, Labour Day. The Day that celebrates labourers and encourages them to be aware of their rights. In many countries it is a day for street demonstrations, union speeches, and celebrations.

May is the month many catholics devote to the Virgin Mary. Father Latomia of the Roman College of the Society of Jesus made a vow at the end of the 18th century to devote the month of May to Mary to counteract infidelity and immorality among the students.

On the eve of May Day, Saint Walpurga has been hailed by the Christians of Germany for battling “pest, rabies and whooping cough, as well as against witchcraft.” Christians prayed to God through the intercession of Saint Walpurga in order to protect themselves from witchcraft. It was the night that the witches gathered on the Blocksberg.

This year, May Day is also the first day of the Iron-Month, the first inclusive, community-based event bringing people together around the globe to swim, cycle and run the classic Ironman distances over one month, at their own pace and according to their own abilities. It’s not too late to join.

Join the Iron-Month Challenge on

There is a well-founded rumour that some of the Master Swimmers of Dublin’s Phoenix Swimming Club are planning to sea swim the total 220km+ of the Ironman distance – to make up for us whims who are too afraid of the cold water and thus opt for an Iron-Month biathlon this year.

Isn’t that absolutely and totally amazing? Fair play to them.

There is a catch though. They made me promise that I will swim at least 100m on the last day of the Iron-Month on Killiney beach. – I am shivering at the thought of it. These guys don’t do wetsuits.

Pádraig did not go up to the Blocksberg last night. He joined some friends to go to the cinema. For the first time in many many month, he went out in the evening. He watched E.T. — the one who desperately wanted to phone home (these were the days before WhatsApp, Teams, and Zoom). They went to a ‘drive in’ cinema and he had the best night in a long time. When we asked him this morning it was a definite “5 out of 5” for fun and entertainment.

Today, he didn’t join a Labour Day March, didn’t listen to labour rights speeches, didn’t start devotions to the Virgin Mary, but went on a long walk to the fabulous Botanic Gardens. The Gardens were packed. Everybody seemed to have decided to enjoy the good weather and the incredibly beautiful spring colours and smells. Pádraig met loads of old friends he hadn’t seen in a while. No plan. Just coincidence. And so nice.

A few days ago, we were all listening to a song on the radio. We couldn’t remember who was singing it.

We used to be giants
When did we stop?

So we asked Pádraig did he know. We went through the alphabet and Pádraig bleeped at the “K”.

“K” for Kennedy, Dermot Kennedy. The song was “Giants“. It was released in June 2020. Seven years after his accident.

Pádraig knows his music and who is performing it better than any of us.

Sure, we knew this all along.

You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.