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Chiropodist,Vaccines and strolling

Updated: May 21, 2021

It’s amazing how a shot in the arm can put such a pep in your step. I had this great extra oomph to get out and walk that little bit extra after my recent jab. I was further assisted by a visit to my chiropodist. I had been disadvantaged during lockdown by the presence of a few corns which had taken up residence, uninvited , in the soles of my feet. Now that the balls of my feet had no extra baggage and had been filed and creamed up, I was all foot loose and fancy free for a good old stroll and so I headed beachward.

I had just crossed the bridge to start my trot ,when a heard a familiar voice calling Mickilín, how are you today, did you get the jab yet?

It was an ex-neighbour whom I had not met for a while due to the fact that he was off on injury leave ,needing surgery on his wonky knee, as he called it. He proceeded to give me a blow-by-blow account of his knee replacement operation and all the stages of his recovery. He also told me that his brother-in-law was dying. They were just waiting for the phone call. This news put my foot discomfort in perspective. The pep was fast declining from my step but as I said to him ‘Life must go on and that I would keep in contact”. I continued my walking with plenty of food for thought.

As I strolled along my next encounter was with a member of the local Historical Society. She was very anxious to recruit me into their ranks because she had read a few pieces I had written about the history of the area. While I internally accepted her plaudits ,I withheld my decision for a while and told her I would contact her in September.

She then told me about a terrible suicide in the area. A nineteen-year-old had taken his own life . She knew this family, which made relating the story more difficult for her. The family had donated his organs for organ transplant. Ten people would benefit from this altruistic decision and their lives would be changed forever. As my friend said out of such terrible tragedy for one family, joy will be brought to many other families lives. We then bid farewell to each other.

Life was getting tougher on this walk today and I had not walked six hundred metres yet .I restarted my daily fitness routine with my mind now on emotional overload.

As I walked along, I saw five black bags of refuse dumped on the side of the road. Being the environmentalist that I am I took photos and sent them on to local councillors and council environment officials. This is absolutely disgusting behaviour and I find it totally abhorrent that anyone can so recklessly and selfishly behave thus. But life must go on and so must my personal exercise routine.

I start again and head on the forest path on my way to the open beach for some sea air and freedom. Hopefully this will clear some headspace for me. I always find the sound of sea waves gently ebbing on the shoreline very relaxing and therapeutic.

Here I meet an old friend who was out walking his two dogs. He asked me how I felt after getting the vaccine. I told him that I felt fine and that I had just taken two paracetamols after getting the jab. I did not realise that he was an anti vaxer . He questioned my sanity in allowing someone to inject some poison into my system. He did not trust politicians, doctors ,NPHET or pharmaceutical companies . He would not be getting the jab . He was surprised that I had taken it . I discussed the possibility that he might personally contract Covid. He was aghast that I should even remotely think this. He lived on his own and he was safe in his own bubble. Life and walking must go on and I was quite pleased that I finally extricated myself from that anti vaccinated situation .Wow!

Further on I join a regular walking companion. He is a real environmentalist and loves life and was going to register for his jab that very day. I was so relieved that he was not another anti vaxer. He delights in planting trees and keeping the forest clean. In the forest he has already planted quite a number of oak trees that he had grown from little acorns. We speak about this planting and my planting extra primroses and acorns.As we walk, we discuss forest walks and trails being planned for the area. We decided to take a diversion and explore the latest forest trail being developed. This was to be another walk with some agricultural land being developed into forestry and off beach trail. We walked through a field and there we beheld a huge area that had been planted with young trees.

Unfortunately, we saw the newly planted trees had been visited by some wanton vandalism. Young trees had been pulled and just dumped at random around the area. We searched around and found them all except two . We dug out the little holes with our hands and replanted them. This is behaviour I just cannot comprehend and find totally obnoxious.

Having finished our replanting work, we re-joined the forest trail weaving our way over the footbridge and up a narrow winding track walk up the main path again and headed for home.

I look back on my ramble today and I reflect on how eventful it had been. I knew all the people I met because they are regular walkers .There are other days when you can walk and meet no one. Now that is fine by me too.

Then there are days when you meet people whom you have never encountered previously.On these days there is a lot of social engagement. I feel a bit like Tommy Tiernan. You never know who your next guest will be until you meet them. You get to know them as you walk, and you might end up exchanging phone numbers and e mail addresses. Then like Tommy as you bid them farewell you wait for your next guest to come along the road.

It’s a great life to be out and about, walking and talking, once the weather is fine. I feel safer now that I have Pfizer jab one installed in my system.

Nach breá an rud é bheith beo beathach ag an am seo in ár saolta.

Slán go fóill

Mick O Callaghan

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