Walking back to Happiness

This pic shows Tilly on the costal path neat our home


Sometimes life closes in on you.  Trish and I haven’t travelled abroad for a good few years now, nor have we been on the motorcycle adventures that we both used to enjoy.  This is one reason why so many of the travel stories you are likely to see here are a little dated.  Still, although we occasionally look at the pictures of exotic places with envy, life is good. 

There are two main causes for our lack of travel.  The first is Tilly, our loveable but somewhat dim mutt.  I doubt that she was treated well until she came to us about 9 years ago.  Certainly, she was not well fed, since decent food saw her put on around 3Kg in her first month or so of living with us.  Neither was she walked.  When she first arrived, even very short walks made the soft pads of her paws red and raw.  Her actions too pointed towards misbehaviour being her only source of getting attention.  Getting her into some sort of routine took a lot of time and patience.  She is still a little neurotic though, and experiments leaving her in kennels or with my brother have not gone well.  So when we go on holiday, we go locally, and Tilly comes too.  Isn’t the guilt that dogs can lay on you a terrible thing?  ;-)  Still, Tilly would be impossible to live with if she did not get daily walks, and as those of you with pet dogs will know, they are a lot harder to ignore than a gym membership would be.  So we exercise, irrespective of the glorious Irish weather.

Some things in life make you appreciate what you have.  Even adversity.  Trish has been through a lot health wise in the last number of years.  It is serious, life threatening stuff, but hopefully she is now on the mend, although the improvements are likely to be temporary.  We are told that the illness will return at some point.  all we can do is hope for a long reprieve.  Perhaps that story will come out another time.  Strangely, since I have never talked about it here, and I am still hesitant to do so, this sickness been one of the key reasons that I started this blog.  Once Trisha’s healing process was underway, blogging became the medium for a sort of ‘now or never’ release of all the rants and other garbage that occasionally flashed through my few remaining brain cells.

I can’t give you the meaning of life, the universe and everything (42?), but I can tell you that the person you live with is very, very important as is the place you call home.  The fragility of our existence was made abundantly clear during Trisha’s illness, as was my utter helplessness to do anything about it.  If I could have taken the pain in her place, I would gladly have done it for just one smile.  Trish tells me that her recuperation was helped by our home.  The simple pleasures, especially last year in the good summer, of sitting in the garden shade watching the birds feed and the flowers that she had so carefully planted bloom.  Of having Tilly at her feet for company, and, if you can believe this, of having me come home from work each day.

I’m glad that for both of us that balancing act between work and life has always weighed heavily towards the life side of that equation (and is it wise to even create an equation where these two things are set as polar opposites?).   I would hate to have been foolish enough to follow some of the career ‘opportunities’ that have passed us by over the years.  Neither of us ever saw the point in leaving a home we both loved to move to some unknown city in the great cause of earning a few extra quid.  Now that great support mechanism of close family and friends has reaped benefits that no career could make up for.  We are fortunate enough to have lived by the sea all our lives.  From our current home, a few minutes’ walk takes us through a wooded glen to the shore.

This story was originally meant to be on the walk that awaits anyone at the end of that glen.  Instead I seem to have gone off on a tangent, led by the background data and the emotions of the last few years to another place.  Suffice to say that we have walked the path there many times, and that the air get no less fresh every time.  Trish has struggled to rebuild her stamina in the last year, and as a result we perhaps do not walk so far now, although things are improving.  She is a brave girl; I love her and I am proud of her.  For a few impressions of the North Down Costal Path though; you are either going to have to wait for my next post, or search elsewhere.  Watch this space.


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