Timmy Ryan’s weekly column for the Waterford News & Star
LITTLE by little, we are finally heading out of this long, dark tunnel we’ve been stuck in now for what feels like an age. It’s refreshing to see people up and down the county opening up for business again after what must have seemed like an eternity.
Sadly some might not be able to return but for others it’s akin to a weight being lifted and there’s renewed hope that Waterford can actually start to roll again.
Despite the bewildering lack of civic mindedness displayed by some revellers recently, most of us are playing ball and we’ve being doing it all along.
‘Life is what you make it… It’s down to you and me, not the Government or the Council or American tourists’
Now we want to get back to a bit of freedom. It’s something maybe we took for granted but hopefully lessons have been learned and put to good use. It’s great to see the hospitality sector dare to get excited about the summer ahead. Just send on the visitors and if we look after them, they’ll surely be back.
Despite loving travel and going abroad, right now I’ve no real desire to hop on a plane and head for the sun just yet. Maybe it’s the trauma of the last year but right now I’m more than happy to stay local and when we get those golden summer days here in the Déise we have so much on our doorstep to enjoy. You often hear people say, “Who needs Tenerife”. Now that we have begun the process of opening up again, it’s up to all of us here in Waterford to get and keep the wheels moving. I’m certainly not advocating everyone stay at home for the summer. We all have to do what we have to do, but I would simply suggest we make the most of what we have around us and help out those in the county who would be glad of the business.
I never tire of our amenities here. A couple of miles will take you to all kinds of wonderful spots in the Déise and sometimes maybe familiarity can breed contempt as we have grown accustomed to our natural gems and attractions. Whether it’s Clonea Strand, Dunmore East, Stradbally or Lismore, we are spoiled and it’s no wonder visitors love coming here. The Greenway has been a major addition in recent times and it’s a credit to those who brought it to life and made it the jewel it undoubtedly has become.
I’ve recently been in the throes of moving house and while not totally there yet, I’m relocating closer to my hometown Dungarvan. I’m still too far out to be able to call myself a “townie” once again and I’m curious to see how living in “the sticks” will agree with me. I’ve been an urban dweller all my life so a move to the country will be a huge change. Only time will tell. The pace of life may well slow down a bit, but to be honest, right now, I’m actually looking forward to the new chapter.
‘I’m not in a hurry anymore… Maybe I’m actually getting a wee bit of wisdom to go with the grey hairs’
I’ve been living in Waterford city close on 40 years! I told a friend recently, I’ve done my ‘tour of duty’ in Urbs Intacta. I’ve given it a fair old rattle through the decades, made some great friends, enjoyed some fantastic moments and it’s always going to be my city. I’ve lived in the city much longer than Dungarvan. Besides, I’ll be up and down regularly anyway so it’s not like I’m totally flying the coop.
Sometimes you just need a change and I really feel that the time is right to go for it at this point. Mind you, if you’d asked me pre pandemic if I’d have envisaged a move from the city anytime soon I would most probably have said no way.
I’m sure I’ll have a little readjusting to do but isn’t life all about adapting?
With technology being what it is these days, it’s so much easier now to work from home and once you’re OK for Wi-Fi and such, you’re pretty much sorted.
Needing a studio for recording purposes, I got my friend Pat to reassemble the gear that had to be dismantled in my previous environs and with a little tweaking for necessary sound quality, I’m almost there at time of writing. Being near the woods though is probably the thing I’m most excited about in fairness. It’s an ideal place to go for a good walk or run and get that pure country air in the lungs. With peace and quiet a valuable commodity for all of us these days, I think a tramp in the forest should be a tonic for the bones. It’s nothing short of an outdoor free gym.
Having a chance to catch up with a few people I haven’t met up with for a while is also something I would hope to do. I’m not in a hurry anymore and that’s not a statement I could have made a few short years ago. Maybe I’m actually getting a wee bit of wisdom to go with the grey hairs.
It’s all here for us in Waterford though, and we have a terrific quality of living that folk in Dublin and elsewhere can only envy. If we keep a steady pace moving away from this tiresome pandemic and remain sensible, it could be so good for all of us again. God knows we’ve endured enough. We deserve a shot in the arm, no pun intended. Let’s see the back of this plague and start appreciating this grand spot we call home in the sunny south east.
If life is what you make it then that must ring true for the places we live in as well.
It’s down to you and me, not the Government or the Council or American tourists.
Here’s to a great summer and a safe one.
By Timmy Ryan
Broadcaster and Liquorist