Settling back down to life as normal

I have been cursed with an earworm ever since I have returned home.  It’s not a phrase from a song on my camino playlist (I only listened to it a very few times on this camino), or something I’ve heard on the radio.  It is due to a pesky little bird at the bottom of my garden – I have no idea what type of bird – we have lots of blackbirds and sparrows and a few tit or finch like birds.  But this one has a very particular song and over and over again it sings part of the tune from the child’s nursery rhyme “Michael Finnegan”.  The first verse goes like this…

michae finneganThere was an old man
Named Michael Finnegan
He had whiskers
On his chin-ne-gan
The wind blew them off
And blew them on again
Poor old Michael Finnegan, Begin Again

…and my little tormentor sings the few notes that accompany the words “Michael Finnegan”.  As a result I’ve been singing this damned nursery rhyme fairly constantly for the last ten days, even during my mountain walk this morning I caught myself at it.

I have felt very different on returning home this year.  Last year I was full of energy and couldn’t stop taking long walks.  But this year I’ve only taken a couple of longer (but not very long) walks since I have been home.  Last week I walked into the valley, forgetting that at this time of year the wild flowers are thigh high and already forming spiky seeds that get caught in the dog’s long coat.  Poor Roly loathes having them on him and equally loathes me pulling them out, so today I walked on the wide mountain track behind my house, where the problem can be avoided.

Some of the wild flower seeds are as beautiful as the flowers, with such amazing details.  I couldn’t resist taking a few photos this morning.

flowers

seeds1

seeds2

seeds3

I definitely need to get out early and put in a few much longer walks over the next ten days because I have signed up to join a night-time hike up to La Maroma – the highest peak (2,066 metres) of the Sierra de Tejeda mountain range.  I look out to La Maroma from every vantage point at home, but have never before hiked up it.  We should arrive in the early hours of the morning, maybe manage a few hours sleep and then watch the sun rise on the morning of summer solstice.  Everyone on the hike will be expecting me to be ultra fit after my camino, but in truth I feel anything but.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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30 Responses to Settling back down to life as normal

  1. kristina wilkening says:

    wow. amazing flower photos. natures details can be overlooked. thanks for reminding us of their spectacular details.
    welcome back home. and you are already planning another strenuous hike. wow…you are like the energizer bunny!
    my dad used to sing that song when we went camping. hope another bird comes along with another tune you can have in your head.
    you really know how to enjoy life.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Lovely to hear from you Kristina. Right now my batteries are a bit flat, but I’m hoping if I avoid alcohol for a few days I might get a bit more energy.

      Like

  2. Nancy says:

    I have followed your last two camino blogs and am so delighted to see that you are still posting. Your photography is getting even better and I hope, as someone remarked earlier, that you seriously consider writing a book.

    Like

  3. John Luffrum says:

    Great photos Maggie! Recently walked from La Maroma to Maro with some of our mutual friends – I’m sure you’ll love the moonlight trek. Unfortunately we’re in the uk for the next month or so, otherwise would have loved to have joined you. J&J

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    • magwood says:

      Hi both. Where did you start from on your walk up Maroma? I’ve only been up to the meadows before and that was on horseback. Joost reckons 6 hours up from La Fabrica, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes longer, especially with a group of ten or so.

      Like

  4. sixwheeler says:

    So, it’s you I have to blame. That wretched tune came into my head yesterday, out of nowhere and not having heard it for years. Now I know!

    A friend of mine has ascended Helvellyn in the Lake District three times to see sunrise on New Year’s Day, once it snowed and on both the other occasions the cloud was down well into the valley. I wish you better luck, if it’s good will be a wonderful photo opportunity.

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    • magwood says:

      That’s a bit of a coincidence – I shall have to be careful about what I’m thinking in future! After reading your comment about your friend I checked the weather forecast which tells me that the night we make the climb it is due to be cloudy, after weeks of clear skies. Hopefully the outlook will change over the coming week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Magnificent photos, Maggie. A breath of fresh air to me.
    Hope you get you mojo back soon.Have fun on your ‘climb,’ 😀 ❤

    Like

  6. bhdalke says:

    First, I must say that you take lovely photos. I love seeing what your eye sees! Second, I had the second movement of Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto stuck in my head for two weeks. It is quite lovely music but it seemed a bit much. The only relief was to play a recording through two or three times in succession. Then I had five or six hours of silence before it began again.

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    • magwood says:

      I imagine Beethoven’s 5th is a little less annoying than Michael Finnegan. My little friend has quietened a bit over the last few days, maybe he’s popped off to drive someone else nuts for a while.

      Like

  7. Heather says:

    Enjoy your hike on the summer solstice Maggie and don’t worry what others think of your fitness – its about having a good time. xxx

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    • magwood says:

      I’m not so worried about what others think, as to whether I’ll be able to make it to the top. But at least I should have caught my breath by the time the sun makes an appearance xx

      Like

  8. Gracethepilgrim says:

    Maggie it’s great to hear from you again. I’ve been missing your camino posts so have been getting my camino fix from Ivar’s site. My next camino won’t be til 2017 so I’m having to get creative this year. Following your journey was a wonderful way to get my ‘fix’. I’ll just have to mke do with a short trek in Myanmar later this year.
    Keep posting – your love of flowers is tempting me to do something with my abandoned garden (wink wink)
    Cheers, Grace

    Like

  9. Pam Pitts says:

    Listen to your body and rest up. For whatever reason- physical, emotional, spiritual – it sounds like you need some quiet time. You are such a delight and I have been encouraged/inspired by your tenacity to confront the unknown. The pics are beautiful.. as are your friends (birds) who serenade you. Pam

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Thanks Pam, what a lovely message. What little energy I do have at the moment is being sapped by the very hot weather. I need to get in a few very early morning walks to prepare for my hike up the mountain.

      Like

  10. margood1 says:

    How lovely to see your blog turn up in my inbox today. I have missed your magnificent photography and educational chat with my early morning cuppa.
    Your latest venture up the mountain for the summer solstice will be all good.
    To each of you on the hike come best wishes for spectacular views when the sun rises,

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Thank you. For the last week and the one coming we have had wall to wall sunshine here, but on the day of our hike the forecast is promising cloud and rain. Keep your fingers crossed that things will change by next week.

      Like

  11. mary lynch says:

    I was delighted to see your blog pop up this morning. We used sing that song
    when we were children Maggie. Haven’t heard it for years. Clever bird whatever it is.
    Enjoy the Summer Solstice you brave wonderful woman. I was expecting details of
    how to donate to Cudeca. Hope the fundraising is going well. much love xx

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hello Mary, the Cudeca post was in my plan, but a little reminder didn’t do any harm. All done now. The people of Competa and Canillas de Albaida have been so generous again this year. I am missing your lovely comments – it feels strange these days without an inbox full of lovely messages. Thanks, as always xx

      Like

  12. I haven’t been motivated to go out walking much since my return, either. I feel a bit guilty, since walking is so good for me. My blog is suffering neglect, too. However, I know that my next real walking trip won’t happen until next spring, so I can take advantage of this period to other things. Walking really IS time-consuming! I’m trying to do more gardening and yard work, and walk about 30 km each week, as well as do the part-time work that pays for my travels. That seems to fill my day.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      It’s odd Clare, I feel very different after this camino than the last one, when I was brimming with energy. Gardening is also keeping me occupied, but at least when I have caught up with the weeding I will have the pleasure of collecting my raspberries and apricots, with nectarines and plums to come. Its very hot here right now and I need to leave home earlier than I would on camino if I am to walk any distance. Keep in touch – I look forward to your next blog post, whenever it may be.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Margaret Josephine Pepper says:

    Have just shown Peter your blog and he is most impressed. When he gets back to the UK he is going to ready all your camino’s. Maggie & Peter

    Like

  14. lynharrison4wind says:

    You’ve just reminded me that there is an advantage to hearing loss. Every time a sound torments me I have the perfect remedy. Take out my hearing aids! Perhaps you should borrow David’s for mornings, put them in without batteries and hey presto, earplugs! Michael Finnegan non-stop would drain anybody’s energy. I suspect you’ll find the walk up Maroma a doddle, though I think Mary Rose has even longer legs than you (not to mention the age advantage).

    Like

  15. dominic says:

    Is there a post on your night walk? I looked for it and missed it.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Dominic. Sadly I didn’t make it on the night walk. I had to react to a minor family emergency and was in the UK for mid-summer’s night. I am hoping I may get another chance another year.

      Like

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