I spent Christmas day 2020 lying on the floor in my mother’s house. My children went to their grandparents in Dublin that afternoon for the night and I spent St Stephen’s Day lying on the couch watching the racing from Leopardstown. I really only sat upright to eat over the entire Christmas period and for several weeks afterwards.
The reason – completely unrelated to COVID-19 – was that this time last year, I had a third operation on my back. And unlike the previous two, post-op, I was not “fighting fit”.
In hindsight, this probably was the best thing that could have happened to me, the pain and numbness in my leg and foot serving as a reminder of the advice given to me by my surgeon and physiotherapist. This was to stay lying down, take small regular walks, don’t sit and don’t lift anything heavier than a bag of sugar.
Generally speaking, I like “being on the go”, so I struggled.
When I went for my three-month rehabilitation check-up with the physio and surgeon, they asked me what I wanted to do “activity-wise” in the future. I said I wanted to hunt again.
This week’s cover feature, beautifully written by Liam Clancy, encapsulates perfectly just why I would like to do that. With COVID-19, we have all lost something.
For some it is experiences, for some it is loved ones, but we have all lost time as we rolled from lock down to lockdown.
I admit that I am only starting to really get into the festive spirit from today as I had a college exam hanging over me
The opening line of the feature; “I hunt to forget all my troubles” is a state of mind that many of us would like to experience now and again after a tough two years.
I admit that I am only starting to really get into the festive spirit from today as I had a college exam hanging over me (as I write this it’s still a week to Christmas). It is now done and I am ready to focus on enjoying what is my favourite time of the year.
The exam was on financial statement analysis. During one of the classes on this topic, the lecturer told us the origin of the word “company”. It is derived from a combination of Latin words “com” and “panio” which mean “with” and “bread” respectively. The words joined make companio from which companion is also derived.
He explained that originally companies were formed only with those with whom you would literally break bread – those you trusted – which in the main was family and friends. Your companions were the ones you ate with, the ones you shared a common table with. Meals have been – and still are – a traditional means of breaking down walls between people and enjoying each other’s company.
Despite my lying repose on the floor in my mother’s house last Christmas Day, my traditional role as quizmaster for the Irish Country Living bumper and sports quizzes was unaffected
The meals that will be savoured and shared in homes around the country this Christmas are a testament to Irish farmers. I am really looking forward to being able to sit upright this year and enjoying as much of what we produce as possible.
Despite my lying repose on the floor in my mother’s house last Christmas Day, my traditional role as quizmaster for the Irish Country Living bumper and sports quizzes was unaffected. Part one of this year’s quiz is included this week and I look forward to seeing how you all fare this year.
Hopefully in this Christmas season we might get a chance to relax, find an activity that helps us “forget all our troubles” eat a nice meal in good company and for those so inclined get in a day’s hunting.
May I take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy and safe Christmas.