At Swim-One-Bird

“You were seen going into the Scotch House.”
Guessing the informant had also been drinking, O’Brien quickly replied “You mean I was seen coming into the Scotch House…”

Irish novelist, Flann O’Brien, in response to accusations of drinking on the job as a civil servant in the 1940s. The allegations were of course true, but no-one likes a snitch…


Just a quick post as a sort of follow up to the last one. Since the mid-week bike ride, I have managed a couple more runs. On Friday, I took myself along the canal to make the most of being ‘off-call’. Just a little jaunt of about 13k. The weather during the week has been something of a tease; sunny for the most part, and therefore pleasant to be out and about, but with a cold breeze for company, as a gentle reminder that you have not yet reached that point in the year when you can ditch the jacket altogether. Though in this country, it is a brave decision any time of the year.

Along the canal from Lucan into Leixlip, the Blackthorn is putting on a show.

For all the world, it looks like a frosty mid-Winter scene. But those days are behind us now; onwards, into a season of pungent Wild Garlic and Cow Parsley, of dips in the lake, and perhaps the odd BBQ or three. Speaking of dips in the lake, we took the dogs up to a favourite spot near us, where there is a strip of woodland on the banks of the Liffey. It was sunny day, but that wind was there too, playing its part as a jester to remind the king of his mistakes. Well, in this short, one-act play, I think I was cast as the fool, because I chanced getting in for a refreshing swim… I didn’t last long, dear reader, before the chills spat me back out again onto the bank to dry out.

I think the water needs a little more love. I’ll pop the immersion on for a bit.

Saoirse found the short drama quite amusing!

Roll on the weekend, and Gary suggested another longish run. I wasn’t quite up for another mammoth 30k session, but we did knock out about 18.5k, and Mark came along too, which was great. The weather, alas, has turned a little grey, so the remainder of the day, which will be spent out gardening, will require pullovers and hats.

I’m not quite sure what this Mallard was doing in the canal. It is sitting on a half-submerged log, and was probably sleeping when we stopped to take the photo. In fairness, it’s probably a safe spot, but you just assume a duck would be happier IN the water, rather than out of it. But I’m not a duck, so I can’t really say.

The tie-in to Flann O’Brien is tenuous to say the least, but perhaps that’s fitting. If you’ve read any of his stuff (as O’Brien, or Myles na gGopaleen), you would say tenuous connections to reality would be a feature of some of his work. But a prolific writer he was, and as a satirist, few could match him. So I’ll leave you with a quote of his that is cutting and timeless:

β€œThe majority of the members of the Irish parliament are professional politicians, in the sense that otherwise they would not be given jobs minding mice at a crossroads.”


Postscript: I follow a few other bloggers. Unsurprisingly, these tend to be folk like me who enjoy running, biking, swimming, or, good grief, all three together! In the main, these follow a similar path: I went for a <insert activity here> and it was good. It was <insert distance here> and then we stopped for a coffee. That sort of thing. And by god there’s nothing wrong with that either, lest you think I’m some form of sports snob. (Well, okay, so golf ISN’T a sport, let’s be clear…). But I do enjoy reading about what other folk are up to, here, or across the water, or even further afield. It’s a comfort to know we’re all tipping away, doing our thing. Not least in these strange pandemic days.

But there are one or two blogs that are just a little different from the norm, and one in particular is Lone Swimmer. I’ve mentioned this blog before, but I’m bringing it up again, because the author has been essentially imprisoned on dry land since lockdown. Unlike many of his fellow citizens who thumbed their noses at these restrictions, he stoically stuck to his principles.

He does not post prolifically. But his posts are not ‘snuff at a wake’ material. If you follow him already, I need not explain. And if you don’t, check out this post.


4 thoughts on “At Swim-One-Bird

  1. OH! The blackthorns!!! <3. Lovely post, Dec, and thanks for the the link to a super read. One question, though. If golf ain't a sport, what is it?

    Liked by 1 person

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