Ireland day 0310. Thursday 04 August 2022- Back!
|Today’s summary||Good to be back in Ireland after a week away. Spent the morning working on Val’s family tree then in the afternoon took a walk over Paddy’s Hill and visited a local gym to see if I could do something to improve my strength and aerobic fitness|
|Today’s weather||Mostly dry and bright though a few spots of rain in the afternoon. Sunny intervals, especially in the evening. Light westerly wind. About 18C|
|Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Paddys Hill and Malahide Gym
I was a bit taken aback when one of my friends back in the UK last week commented that this blog was becoming “thematically repetitive”. But when I thought about it, I can see where they were coming from. I tend to do quite a lot of walking – in fact walks feature in most days’ blogs – and a moderate amount of paperwork, which sadly seems to appear in my reports quite often, too. If a degree of similarity is emerging in these daily updates, it’s probably because we are beginning to settle into more of a rhythm here, as the shocking novelty of moving to a new country starts to fade into a comfortable pattern.
But life is what it is, I suppose, and if you dissect most people’s daily routines, they probably all contain at least some elements of thematic repetition. I can’t pretend that every day is a novel adventure into the unknown, so I think I will just continue to report what actually happens to us, for a while longer at least. After all, the main audience for this will be myself in years to come, when I’m too dottery to remember what we did way back in the ’20s
So today did, I admit, stick to the tried and trusted formula of paperwork and a walk. But today they were interesting and purposeful episodes in the day. As Val was out at at the museum, I spent the morning working on her family tree. There are a whole host of tools which help you dig into your past, and here in Ireland many of the historic records are digitised, so it’s relatively straightforward to delve back into your roots. Val’s Irish side is fascinating and it turns out her relatives on her mother’s side come from all over Ireland – Tipperary, Dublin and Kilkenny among others. The Irish records seem to go back as far as the 1790s, and possibly earlier, too, albeit with less reliability.
(On my side, things are a bit less geographically dispersed as it seems all my family come from the same town in Yorkshire – Todmorden – at least as far back as the early 1800s. Before that, one of my ancestors may have been a foundling from London, and I remember my late father thought that many of the other Todmorden residents may have arrived there after having been evicted from Scotland during the Highland Clearances in the mid-1700s. We will probably never know for sure, but it’s interesting to speculate).
So, what of my purposive walk this afternoon? Well although walking keeps me reasonably fit and mobile, I don’t feel that I’m getting as much aerobic and strength exercise as I should. I used to do quite a lot of running but in my recent hip check-up, the surgeon warned me that if I want to preserve my repaired hip – and conserve what’s left of the other one as long as possible – I really should back off it. Running is truly terrible for your joints, apparently – which is really inconvenient.
That leads to the purpose of my outing this afternoon. I decided that in order to try and get a bit more low-impact aerobic exercise, and some strength training, probably the only solution is to join a gym. I joined one once before, many years ago, and truly hated it. But now it feels a bit less optional, and as there is quite a good one with a decent reputation – and an indoor pool – just down the road from us here in Malahide, I thought I would go and check it out.
Rather than heading straight there, I added in an excursion through the castle demesne, and then up over Paddy’s Hill, behind Robswall. I do like it up there – lots of open space and expansive views over the sea. It was warm and pleasant on the hill today, and the grassland seems to be managed carefully to encourage wild meadow flowers. Earlier in the spring, it was full of more cowslips than I had ever seen before in my life, and today it was the turn of innumerable scabious flowers to offer their powder blue faces to the passing bumblebees.
The gym itself was OK, as these things go. It turns out to be reasonably good value if you take the off-peak membership option, and also if you join as a couple. So I’ll have to see how Val might feel about joining me in a crusade for strength and fitness through physical torture.
Reeling from the prospect of actually joining a gym, I dropped into SuperValu to pick up some of the day’s essentials. And so my thematically repetitive day drew to a close. See you tomorrow for another one.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(Elevations corrected at GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
Max elevation: 49 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 138 m
Total descent: -137 m
Total time: 02:55:43