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Courtown walkers groups/Day trippers and locals

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Courtown beach adjoins Courtown Woods and we often ramble down there and walk to the end of the beach to Dodd’s Rocks for a change of atmosphere .

The people who walk the forest are a grand group of people and represent all shades of society. They are fascinated by trees and all the flora and fauna of the place. They are in the main very relaxed, friendly sociable people who will note your absence with a ‘ And how are you today’. When you reply that you are fine you get the rejoinder , ‘that’s good, we haven’t seen you for a few days ‘ or “ oh it's yourself is it ?

Sometimes I apologise for not sending a sick note.

The beach group are more eclectic group and vary according to the days of the week and time of the year.

The regular local stroller or dog walker is easily recognised as they will be out early, and they will mostly be on a solo run. Most will have a doggy poop bag and collect the poop deposit from their canine pet and hold on to it until they reach a doggy poo receptacle. Others just let their canine deposit at will and are indifferent if said deposit adheres to someone’s shoe. Many’s the good expletive I’ve heard over this offensive smelling material attaching itself to the soul of a person's shoe.

Then you have the day trippers on fine days, laden down with deck chairs, wind breakers, picnic basket, shovels, buckets . You name it they have it. They will bring the flasks, crisps, fizzy drinks ,sandwiches and an array of nibbles.Most people bring home their leftovers but sadly there are many who leave traces of themselves behind and leave it up to cleaners to pick up after them.This is despite the best efforts of Council and tidy beach signs around the area. It is a never ending saga.

Another set are the elders and not so elderly with the sandals wagging by their sides as they paddle in the sea water telling you it's great for their bunions or corns or whatever podiatric ailment they are currently enduring.These are generally a very happy, carefree, group eager to engage in idle chatter about the weather or whatever takes your fancy.

Early morning presents you with the sight of some very relaxed people who sit with legs crossed on rocks or beach in their yoga and mindfulness do not disturb me mode . All they ask for is some inner peace. They sit for ages with just the noise of the water as background This relaxing sound empties their minds of all unnecessary encumbrances.I have tried it myself on occasions but I am always afraid I could just nod off .

Then you have the people of all age groups who happily prance along the beach with various gadgetry plugged into their ears or have their hearing mechanism covered with big ear muffs pumping some brand of music or current affairs into their ears as they gyrate along the beach to whatever tune they are enduring at that moment in time. Once I had the temerity to ask a lady, whom I knew to be my own vintage, if she wold tell me what she was listening to and she told me that she had been listening to Sean O Rourke , the sex pistols and now she was tuned into U2.

Then I got “ have a good day Michael” as she jauntily and happily bobbed her way along the beach.Memo to self 'Mind your own business".

Then of course you have the joggers and strollers particularly during the summer season with their apple watches and other appendages strapped to their arms measuring their steps and heart rate etc . They always seem to be in a hurry and stressed out looking .They can never afford to break their stride to bid you the hour of day. These people are always dressed appropriately in colourful shorts and tops to best enable them to display the varying hues of fake tan they are wearing. There never seems to be a speck of pale skin in sight.

Pride of place goes to the young and middle aged set who proudly strut along ,full of their own importance, displaying their 6 packs having spent the winter months pumping up the muscles in some gym. I am not in competition with this group. I will stick to my 10 minute morning routine with Joe Wicks for Seniors in my sitting room.

I love another group who are only seen at weekends. They emerge around the rocks from a nearby hotel embarrassingly scanning the beach ahead. They will generally be wearing sunnies. They are a sight for sore eyes. I see so many of these humans ,pale faced and generally looking the worse for wear after a night celebrating a wedding or hen or stag party.They struggle along the beach trying to clear their heads as they head out for a good fresh bracing walk to imbibe the fresh, refreshing sea air.Fr Mathew please take note and send a recruiting officer down here.

There are two more special groups I encounter occasionally on my way home on weekdays.

Firstly, there is the mums and tots’ group who travel in a pack of about 6 buggies and every now and again , at the command of their leader, they stop , hold on to the buggies and do 10 squats and then happily jog along again.These are such a determined looking group.

Finally, there is a very special group who travel down to Courtown to play the slots as they say . Their greeting is usually “Howya Love ,Would you know what time the midday bus leaves Gorey “. When I reply that I don’t know I hear , “Jaysus an' he a local an' all . Come on and we’ll get another go on the slots before we go home.” { slots, for the uninitiated , are the slot machines} These are a super friendly easy going group. Their main mission in life is to enjoy themselves and they seem to be achieving that.

I love them all for the character they all bring to the woods and beach at various times.

Go raibh fada buan sibh go leir

Mick O Callaghan

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