I went to the podiatrist on Monday afternoon, and they x-rayed my right foot and found a bone spur right where my achilles tendon attaches to the back of my heel. So it turns out that it was achilles tendinitis after all, but caused by this bone spur. That is not easily resolved, but the doctor gave me a steroid shot in the heel, which surprisingly did not hurt at all, and put me on meloxicam and a prednisolone pack. The goal is to get me walking and hiking again this summer, lose some weight, and be ready to walk in Ireland and Portugal come September. I am happy to take the meds because it should also help me with the tendinitis that has reemerged in my left wrist, just in time for the tapestry retreat and workshop in less than two weeks from now.
The plan in September is to fly to Ireland and stay in Dublin a few days, take a side trip to Lisbon for four days, then fly back to Dublin and take the train to Westport, where we will stay in an AirBNB in a little beach town near Achill Island (just noticed that name – ha!) called Mulranny for a week and chill. It is next to the Great Western Greenway for walking and biking. The current plan is that I will take an art class next door and use her studio for a couple of days to learn and play with encaustic mixed media. We’ll take some side trips, but I think that after that first busy week, we’ll need the downtime.
Except for Dublin, I found really cheap housing for this trip by booking early this year, and choosing only places that let me cancel without financial penalty up to a week before our trip. I have reserved a room in the same B&B where we stayed in Howth, Dublin, which is inexpensive in a lovely area, but I am toying with spending the money to stay in central Dublin instead, where it will be easy and quick to take the DART train and taxis where we would like to go. I was warned by several locals NOT to take the DART on the north side of Dublin, because it apparently goes through some rough areas. In 2012, we took the bus from the airport to Dublin, then got off at the wrong stop. We ended up walking a long way with our luggage. The next time we took a long meandering bus ride to the Sutton DART stop and then the DART from Sutton to Howth, but I am still uncomfortable with using the bus system, simply because everyone seems to be in a hurry and I feel like I am holding things up by asking basic questions that everyone else knows. So, in a nutshell, I feel dumb and anxious on a bus. And it would be so easy to take the DART all the way from Howth to Dublin. Maybe this time I’ll be able to understand it a little better. Or maybe I’ll just take a fecking cab and be done with it.
The AirBNB I found in Lisbon is cute as a button and near the waterfront in an arty district near the museums. Supposedly it is noisy there, but considering that here I hear fireworks, gunshots, and racing motorcycles and cars late at night more and more in the past couple of years, that is not likely to bother either of us much.
This past Sunday, we hung around outside in the Oden Brewing beer garden and listened to open mic night. I was just up there to buy delicious bulgogi cheesesteaks from the Urban Street Grill food truck, when I spotted a friend, Lisa Woods, who I was just beginning to get acquainted with before the pandemic shutdown. She was played washboard with Michael Blind-Dog Gatewood. We sat at a picnic table with them and their friends/partners and enjoyed the music. I really love the old blues and music from the early 20th century. Now that we are friends with so many musicians, I guess that there will be a lot of live music in our future.
I feel like both of us are embracing the future more positively now, and more realistically. Things can turn on a dime – for example, one of my favorite family members is not doing well right now and this summer could end up being rough. But I feel like I have the strength to handle changes right now, good and bad. Aging happens, along with all the stuff that comes along with it, and you know, it’s ride or die. I guess we are ready to ride.