Ducks in a row

IN WHICH THERE ARE RUNS THAT RAN OUT, WALKS BY THE CANAL, EVEN MORE CANAL (THIS TIME IN KAYAKS) AND A NICE CODA


The workout schedule has gone a little hat-stand but that’s okay. Last saturday was a short run after a long, hot day. As I recall, a good day. An early start, and then a paddle, and then some log-chopping. All good workouts, and then a run to finish it off. There’s something about a hot, sweaty day when you’re fairly tired doing physical work… it just feels like you need to cut loose and run. Cast off the heavy work-wear and get that breeze onto your face.

Followed up on Sunday with another slightly longer run with Mark, of about 8+ kilometres. It was a busy weekend in the station too: the fine weather seems to stir something in the amateur arsonist.

Bank Holiday Monday, and after a really good paddle with Austin of about 13k, a decent walk was in order, so S and I set off with a small rucksack and did about 10k along the canal to Maynooth before getting the bus back. Along the way we spotted plenty of wild flowers. These pics all enlarge if you wish to click through them.

We also found a few flying beasties. Though most weren’t actually flying…

In the Hawthorn Shieldbug pic, you can still see the scab of the nick I took from the bridge near the clubhouse when I nearly capsized.

The grooves in the picture above are worn into the edge of the bridge by the canal at Pike’s Bridge, which is on the Royal Canal near Carton House. This was the ancestral seat of the Duke of Leinster, who had the canal diverted to go past his house. Nice work if you can get it. Canal barges in those days were horse-drawn, so these grooves represent decades of wear and tear. I guess on the animals too…

rusty
A rusty old gate in Maynooth

I don’t know what the wall flowers are, in terms of species, but I suspect a garden escape. You are actually looking UP the side of the bridge embankment but you wouldn’t realise that unless it was pointed out.

I had another short and sweaty run of about 6k later that day, to round things off. The following day I set out with a view to doing 10k but for some reason, the body kicked back and said no. I pulled the plug after about 4k and instead took a few pictures.

parkpano
A panoramic of the wet meadow by the Liffey
beech
The mighty old Beech

With work commitments, and various shenanigans with drill, the good work tailed off a bit in terms of running, paddling or cycling, but I did manage to sneak in a swim with Ciaran on Wednesday, and what was particularly pleasing about it was that I still squeezed in the mile (about 66 lengths) in the 45 minutes session and that included chatting to a few mates who go regularly in triathlon season. I would have fully expected swim fitness to have dropped off, but not at all. Very pleasing indeed. A lot to be said for gym and the new-found paddling, I guess.

pond
Our pond at home. It always looks its best in May when the Clematis montana explodes and the Gunnera start to take over in their own special, rather creepy way. Though you could be forgiven for not seeing the pond there, due to all the duckweed. This has caught out people before. It may be thick but it does not support your weight. Walking on water is a trick best left to the professionals…

And to wrap up, our daughter took part in her last talent show in her school before she takes on the Leaving Cert; that rite of passage of most teens in this country that essentially decides what, if any, college you may attend.

She partnered with a friend who played the banjo. Tamsyn played guitar. They sang a duet: John Smith’s Salty and Sweet. Here’s a nice version, from the master.

talent

Well, they won, which was a lovely way to cap of her time at school. 50 quid, to split each way. A solo act might have been better, financially… 😉

elephants

These guys are hanging from a beam over the kitchen. They just caught my eye when they caught the sun.

Do check out this link, it’s well worth it. It’s hard not be an Oatmeal fan.

Enjoy your training, or whatever is currently floating your own particular boat!

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