The present lousy weather isn’t, of course, confined to Cork. However yesterday (Saturday) in the city centre was one of the gloomiest, wettest and windiest days it is possible to have. Happily the city has places like the excellent English Market and the Crawford Art Gallery to dry out in whilst hoping that the River Lee remains where it is on the spring tide. The recent flooding was most unwelcome with the Mardyke, including the first class UCC sports complex, being particularly badly damaged.

Today (Sunday) was a distinct improvement with only a couple of drenchings as I made my way from Togher up Spur Hill and into the countryside beyond. At three miles I hit a nice rhythm and, with a little right and left, found myself on a proper country lane – the type with grass growing down the middle. It is not so easy to find these in modern Ireland – lanes which lead pretty much nowhere and where the only traffic consists of those who occupy farms or properties along the road in question. The sun even came out on a couple of occasions and showcased many of Ireland’s forty shades of green.

Turning around at six miles my iPod selected Meat Loaf’s quite brilliant live version of Bat Out Of Hell – he certainly sounds better on that than he did at the Marquee in Cork last year. I was on the third repeat of the 11-minute track when one side of my earphones decided to pack up. Why is it that those things have a working life of only about 12 months? But it was no bad thing as, for the last few miles, I was able to fully appreciate the sights and sounds of the Cork countryside.

12 miles in 2:08 for just 22.5 miles on the week. And, if as seems likely, this was one of my last runs in Ireland, it was a nice one to go out on.