About Serious Notions
Serious Notions is a collection of writing, humour, and daft ideas from the mind of Paul Donnelly. A new weekly post will be available every Friday for you to enjoy or loathe or experience both in an alternating pattern of your own choosing.
In Ireland, having notions about yourself is a personality defect. You might be pretentious, or maybe it’s that you aspire to something that exceeds what everyone else perceives to be your realistic abilities. If you have serious notions about yourself, you can’t be saved.
Phrased another way, accusing someone of having notions is a subtle act of group-think to keep everyone in their box. It’s a reminder to not be any better than people think you are or show any desire for self-improvement, because that implicitly means you think other people could be better too. And, sure, good is good enough.
Anyway, a little humility does no harm and that’s mostly what the stories, sketches, poems, pieces, bits, and bobs on Serious Notions are about.
About Paul Donnelly
Paul was born and raised in Kiltormer, County Galway, the youngest of six children. Catholic family, not that you needed to ask with that many children. He attended the local National School where he excelled at things he liked and made little to no effort at things he did not like. With GAA at the heart of the community, Paul grew up playing Hurling where he was most often to be found on the bench when it mattered, until he traded his delusions of an outfield position for the real and consistent danger of goalkeeping.
These formative years were defined by simple pleasures: ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, washed down with a dilute blackcurrant, evenings at the GAA pitch pucking around a ball or enjoying kickabouts with friends, and quite a bit of time spent reading. All manner of books, magazines, newspapers, food packaging – he’d read the lot. Don’t get confused here, Paul was less of a nerd and more of a smart-arse. Words were weapons. Paul would call someone a hermaphrodite because he’d heard The Rock say it on Smackdown and smirk when they didn’t know what it meant. Unfortunately for Paul, words were utterly ineffective against uppercuts, so he eventually copped on and kept his smart-arse notions to himself.
Nowadays, Paul lives in Dublin, literally and figuratively far from where he was reared. He’s partial to a cheeseboard and will ask bar staff what craft beer is available. Exercise is a hindrance on his spare time and he’ll usually joke that he’s built for comfort and not for speed. The reading all paid off, though – he has a degree from Maynooth, a Masters from NUI Galway, and a Ph.D. from Trinity. Simply put, Paul is in critical danger of getting lost up himself. But do you think he’ll mend his ways? Not at all. Sure, he’s set up a website to post his miscellaneous scribblings and smart-arse notions for the whole world to see or at least politely acknowledge and ultimately ignore.
You’re welcome to enjoy these Serious Notions and, of course, don’t be shy about letting Paul know if he needs to have a word with himself.
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