I am in the land of the unwell. I am not talking about my physical location – vibrant, sexy Limerick – which by all accounts is as healthy a region as any other – although it is difficult to get a car insurance quote in Limerick apparently because of an elevated risk of car theft. I never knew this. 

I have a blocked nose and a sinusy headache behind my eyes. My chest is also sore and blocked when I cough. And despite an early night last night, followed by a 3 hour nap this afternoon I am very tired indeed.

But as God is my witness I’ll never be hungry again, so come hell or high water I will be at the seafood restaurant close to Bunratty Castle at 8pm this evening to have dinner with the family.

There’s quite a healthy representation in Limerick at the moment. One of the brothers is home from England for a friend’s wedding, which was yesterday.

As I don’t come to Limerick very often I forced myself to go into the beating heart of downtown Limerick. I walked. As I was crossing the bridge I saw, coming towards me the figure of Willie O’Dea, TD – elected last week in the General Election with the highest number of first preference votes. He got zippo from me – not least because my vote has been transferred to Dublin – although his party got zippo from me in Dublin also.

My needs in Limerick that chill March morning were simple – a new wrist-strap for my watch, a pair of running shorts to clothe myself during the spring runs I intend to take starting next week and something for the Mammy as a little gift, as a token of my appreciation of her carrying me for 9 months, birthing me, and raising me to adulthood.

The watch was easy. I had to ring the doorbell to gain admittance to the shop – which surprised me, but which is completely logical when you think about it. The shorts were sourced in the ‘reduced to clear’ section – they are ugly, neon bright but they fit. And I’m not buying them as a fashion statement. Fluorescent green was always my colour.

And the gift for the Mammy – well I really didn’t know where to start, I decided that independent sole traders were the shops I wanted to source this gift. Initially I went to Lucky Lane on Catherine Street – this is a clothes, antiques, memento and book shop that also sells organic jam. It has a very eclectic range of products – old records, and framed posters, advertising gigs from years gone by. I love the shop, but it’s very hit and miss in terms of finding items. Today was sadly a miss.

From Catherine Street I made my way to the Milk Market – which is a huge outdoor marker under a massive, permanent big top tent, at the top of Denmark Street. Like all good markets the stalls are selling everything and anything – souvenirs, to mud encrusted potatoes, to crepes, to scarves, to pottery, to middle eastern cuisine.

I had a pleasant, relaxing wander until realization dawned on me that I was feeling sweaty, cranky and incoherent. Diabetic hypoglycaemia – food required.  I repaired to a falafel stand where I ordered a large. Falafel can be messy at the best of time, but when you are feeling babble-brained  it can result in a chickpea and baba ganoush explosion on your black woolen coat. Never mind – something to snack on later I suppose.

I couldn’t decide on a gift there either, so I ended up at a bookshop where I sourced a book on a subject of interest to my mother.  And I took the bus home.

Where I repaired to my bed for 3 hours in an attempt to feel better.

It hasn’t been an unqualified success – my chest and head are still unhappy.

This is the first cold of the winter – giving up smoking really seemed to have worked wonders. But I reckon it was too good to hope for to avoid mucal congestion all season long.

At least I am not tired any more.

Bring on the fish.

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