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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

The Perfect Week

So many brilliant things to talk about on our holiday, one week in Galway in peace and quiet. It all started so badly, when we arrived at the cottage and both of us were so excited about being there that we wanted to go straight down to the beach, even before we unpacked the car (which was called Mister Connor O'Samuels - I will post a photo of him tomorrow) but when I looked in my suitcase, I couldn't see my runners (my special, expensive, specially tested out for me, and fitted with the thing what makes my legs the same length runners) and I immediately remembered that they were in the sitting room of the house in Dublin, the house which was now six hours drive behind us, and I had such a temper tantrum that I screamed FUUUUUCK so loudly people in America could hear me and I thumped my hand off the side of Mister Connor O'Samuels so hard that I thought for a moment I'd broken my little finger.

He Who Only... was so fantastic, even in that moment of despair and petulance, grabbing me and hugging me and telling me it would all be okay. And I was all okay. To hell with the fitted thing what makes my legs the same length, we decided, and I stuck on a pair of wellies that were two sizes too big for me and we tramped down to the beach, and from that point onward everything was perfect.

I even managed to achieve what might (after the completion of my BSc) be my greatest achievement this year: I walked the circuit of the peninsula. This legendary feat of endurance is a challenge held by my family for almost all of the years since the cottage was bought by our Granny in 1963. It's basically a seven mile walk of stunning scenery, little chance of meeting anyone other than cattle and virtually no traffic to negotiate other than a tricky five minutes on the main Roundstone to Clifden road. It should be done by two healthy adults in just over two hours, with stoppage time for the taking of photographs of aforementioned stunning scenery counted in. We did it in two and a half.

This is He Who Only..., setting the pace quite early and looking every part like he was auditioning for the role of Johnny Cash three years too late to appear in the film:

You'll note that Kesh is also striding confidently ahead, while Bobby keeps a close eye on He Who Only...'s every move (more on that tomorrow too).

This is the half way point, where I came to terms with the fact that turning back is literally not an option, since it would be entirely pointless, and also, the rest of the way is downhill. He Who Only... is taking a momentary break to sit on the memorial to Alcock and Brown (a name which caused him all kinds of amusement) and being gazed upon by his Number One Greatest Fan, The Bobby:

And this is the last stretch of the walk, where I let myself stride on confidently ahead, safe in the knowledge that the valium that I thought would be necessary by the end of the walk was now within grasping distance. It was, I'll hasten to add, not necessary, because (a) my back is being nice to me this week and (b) I'm the queen of fucking everything and so don't need drugs to help me live.


All swearing aside for a moment though, I'm really astonished and grateful and proud and slightly emotional even now that I was able to do this walk. It may seem like a retardly easy thing for the rest of you non-slipped-disc members of the public to understand, but me and my four slipped discs have spent so long battling against each other, and I've begun to expect that my lower back will ruin everything I've ever wanted to do, that when I manage to slip one past while it's looking the other way, I'll celebrate wholeheartedly, and then earnestly practice my yoga until the next time it decides to spite me.

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