River swimming

I came across an article today, linked on twitter. Written by the Irish Times it tells “Why Irish rivers urgently require more swimmers in them” and it cheered me up in a day full of less positive articles. The gist is that anything that has “bathing site status” has to get regularly tested and this…

Small experience

In National schools all over Ireland when I was a kid (there were no dinosaurs) we used to have to write “What I did on my summer holidays” type exercises. We were gently prodded to find more interesting ways to say things like “I went to my friend Sheila’s house and then we went to…

Groundhogs and orange peels

First the unsurprising news: Lockdown continues to be a drag and I am not enjoying it much. I had the very creepy feeling of “wait, didn’t I buy those a couple of weeks ago?” in the shops the other day looking at Easter eggs; never has the sensation that my sense of time and where…

Wanderings

It was an odd day, but it got a lot better. There are some days when thoughts that ordinarily trickle through the humdrum domestic suddenly swell, careen, scour all before them down new paths thrown open with reckless abandon. Rather than give the torrents all their own way, and especially given an unexpected reason to…

Seasons turning

There are days when I wake up and almost immediately the brain starts to supply me with the list of all the things I haven’t done, all the ways in which it is displeased with me, all the shoulds and musts and have tos. I’ve been wading through a treacle soup of should have, could…

In between spaces

My feet are still warm from shoes. The river is steps ahead. The core dragging chill of the compacted slick of dark mud I launch my first step from is not enough to truly forewarn of the pleasurable flare of chill, hiss-gripping my shoulders. A frisson, goosebumps, then all dissolves, sleeting back through my body…

Weird things in ordinary places

I mammy taxi’d my youngest and some of his friends up the mountains last month, they had their plan for the day which included jumping in water and firing things at one another in the manner of teenage boys everywhere, and I just wanted to pick some fraoch├íns, explore some woods, take some pictures and…

Humans are terrible at taking advice.

The way my twitter feed is now I seem to have spent the last week constantly alerted to the fact that reports say people need at least two hours in Nature to be happier and healthier. It’s that kind of story that all the papers and news streams seem to latch on, probably as vaguely…

A sense of place and health

A visit to my homeplace recently while my parents were also hosting my brother’s kids had me wandering with a fresh eye around some places I first discovered aged 11, newly transplanted from city living in Dublin. My niece, at 8, is madly curious about everything and adores being outdoors, so I was quickly conned…