The die is cast. I have struck a deal to buy a gym business down the country. I’ll not go into further details until the legals and financing are all tied up. But – assuming these all go through properly, then there’s no turning back. 37 years as a working accountant, now a leisure business proprietor!

Which means of course I’ll be leaving Baile Atha Cliath within the next few weeks, or sooner. Will I miss living in the capital? Not really. When I came to Ireland I knew that the work was to be found in the capital otherwise I’d have headed for Cork or Kerry. All my life I’d only really passed through Dublin and the little time I’d spent here did not really impress me. At least I’ve now lived here for the guts of two years and have got to know the city a bit. I’ve been happy enough knocking around the place and I’ve found the natives friendly and welcoming – of this I never had any doubt anyway. The city has many rough edges of course. Initially the sheer number of non-nationals now living in Dublin surprised me – it is a very cosmopolitan place these days. I’ve also been surprised by the overt begging that goes on, often as an occupation though sometimes by those genuinely troubled. Dublin city centre has a major problem with junkies, alkies and general scumbags. However I have to say that these have hardly affected me at all. At the most worrying end of things are the drug gangs for whom life is cheap, but again you would need to be very unlucky if you were to be caught up in all of that.

I’ve enjoyed pub life and the Guinness, and will no doubt continue to do this in the future! Dublin’s historic streets, buildings, parks and canals are full of character and I’ve enjoyed mooching around exploring these. I’ve got to know some parts very well indeed via my running, particular the Royal Canal, the Phoenix Park, Docklands and Dublin Bay.

I’m going to make a point of seeing a few places that have escaped me, before I leave. These include the Iveagh Gardens, the Forty Foot at Sandycove, the Botanic Gardens. I also want to pay another visit to Glasnevin Cemetery.

But no, I won’t miss Dublin and I won’t look back. But I am truly dreading leaving the crowd at Crusaders who have made me so welcome over the past year or so. I can’t believe this is happening again so soon after my very emotional parting from Jersey Spartan AC. But these things happen and I hope I can still nip up and take the occasional Saturday session in the future.

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