by Eamon Ó Cléirigh

December Coffee Morning

06/12/21 at 11am

I have a confession: I’m not a great multitasker. There, it’s out. I reveal this to explain my issues around being an active part of December’s coffee morning in the Blind Tiger and also acting as the connector between our in-person gathering and the online Zoom meeting going on at the same time.

I used my phone to give our online members a look-see at who was around our table and also to show our in-house members our Zoom partners. Both meetings were working independently of each other but brought together now and again through my…expertise.

Such expertise. When I was chatting away or listening to our in-house members, I zoned out of the Zoom meeting, only coming back to it when I caught the end of what was obviously an interesting or funny conversation. Then, if I was chatting to our Zoomies, I lost touch with the group around me, as if I wasn’t there, only to be pulled back by catching the tail end of something funny or sublime. Somewhat disconcerting, and all held together by my tenuous earphone connection.

Bláithín, facilitating the Zoom meeting from the back of her van out in the car park, was very kind, not chuckling too much when I came in with the wrong end of the stick, so to speak. Still, I managed, without too much embarrassment, to keep the Zoom/in-house door open.

Once again, it was lovely to meet people face to face, to catch the nuances of non-verbal communication, and enjoy a cuppa and scone over a friendly chat. I’ve never had a problem with our Zoom meetings but you can’t beat ‘being there’, around a table, getting into the buzz of conversation, or just sitting back and taking it all in. The added craic, of course, was the parallel online meeting, with the two coming together on a few occasions, either through my phone or when one of our in-house members scooted out to the van to say hello to Bláithín. That was gas, with all the Zoomies saying hello to him, and all the in-housers gawking and waving out the window. Good fun, and sometimes that’s just what’s required. And apart from my lack of multitasking skills, the hybrid meeting worked quite well. I’m already looking forward to January’s coffee morning.

On that note, let me wish you all a safe and pleasant Winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Year, and may 2022 bring you light and peace.

Our next Hybrid Coffee Morning is happening on Monday the 7th of February. Anyone is welcome to pop into the Blind Tiger to say hello or register online to attend by zoom. For online attendees please register in advance to get an email zoom link on the morning.

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