I went for a 10 km walk today. The 5 km to the lighthouse at the end of the east pier in Dún Laoghaire was mostly downhill, the skies were blue and the birds were singing. The trees were in leaf and some of the spring colours accentuated my giddy mood. It was my first time out like this in over two months. Coming home was mostly uphill and by 11 am, there were a lot more folk out and about.
This day nine years ago I was among a few charity walkers heading out of Fort William for Ben Tee, Ben Cruachan and later that evening, we went up Ben Ledi.
I recall the midges on Ben Tee, the snow at the top of Cruachan and an utterly miserable experience on Ledi where rain filled my pockets and killed my phone. It was an odd charity event in that all the other teams withdrew so we had the many guides to ourselves. The guides were using us a training exercise and it was fun chatting with them and learning what can go wrong walking in The Highlands. Talking about walking, I stumbled over the North Pole’s peregrinations earlier this week. It’s moved from Canada and seems to be en route to Russia.
This morning, I wondered how I should celebrate getting out and about. Or should I write something useful in acknowledgement of this being the 75th consecutive daily journal posting. Then I saw a bus. The 75 that runs between Dún Laoghaire and Tallaght. I could see a driver but no passengers. I realised that was because the bus was not on its normal route. A relocating or diverting or driver training or breaking down bus perhaps. Just a coincidence that I could latch onto and make something of nothing. I had a title; 75 to Dún Laoghaire.
I enjoyed seeing birds I’ve not seen for quite a while. A swallow flew past and I wondered about the migration journey from South Africa. Common Terns were resting on the pier among the walking public; perhaps the birds were too tired to be concerned. The Tern is another bird whose ringing projects have confirmed a preference for winters in Namibia and South Africa. The Black Guillemots that breed most years under the the old Carlisle Pier were reassuring to see again. They seemed easier to spot given the absence of boats in the water, most still up on the hardstands in the yacht clubs and the boat yards, all closed by pandemic.
And a closing thought on diseases that spread by droplets and the implications for spitting in public. I hope sports millionaires won’t be allowed spit on our TV screens ever again. I always thought that it was gross. It is disrespectful of the audiences too, not to forget the poor example it sets for aspiring players and impressionable people everywhere.