Since living here I have realised how little we actually walked when living in France. Having just under an acre of land the dogs had enough space to roam, our road was over 2km long, and after you’d done that walk often it became a bit boring. So we became a lazy, just sitting under the trees in our then garden, and looking out over the beautiful view.
It’s been cold here since our arrival in Donegal in Ireland, so at times our walks have incorporated wild wild winds, or mizzle (a mixture of mist and drizzle, the name coming from Cornwall) or just bracing cold in bright sunshine, and sometimes in the setting sun.
Now we are renting a house where the grounds are not secure, so we have to take the Welsh Terriers for a long walk every day. But there is no ‘have to’ to be fair, because when the colours in your surroundings seem to change every few minutes, and your scenery is mountains and beaches, and the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ we don’t need any encouragement.
After every walk we come home with our faces stinging and pink from the cold; and despite often being sopping wet (this is Ireland after all) we feel invigorated. We have even downloaded walking apps onto our phone, and in the last week I have achieved over twenty five thousand steps and burned off over two thousand calories. It is good for me because I have an injury to a very small muscle in my arse, it’s chronic and I’ve had it a number of years, but the walking is strengthening my other muscles, although we have decided that I need a walking stick to help me get up the banks on the beaches, and to climb some of the dunes. Who would have thought such a small muscle could incapacitate you to such a degree! But I am undeterred, you have to keep going.
Today the mountain range was covered in snow, which blew in last night. There we were on the beach looking at the snow covered mountains.
The dogs absolutely love their beach walks, and Wiglet who used to be terrified of our swimming pool in France, is in awe of the sea. She stands, like King Canute, barking at the waves, commanding them to go back. Then hilariously keeps jumping and looking back as the creep up behind her, as if to say ‘They’re following me!’
No matter how cold, both of them run in and out of the surf, and stand facing the wind, ears on alert. It really is a simple thing that we love in these difficult times.
We love living here.