I'm longing for the road. Before the virus struck, these early summer mornings would find me at the front door, travel mug and car keys in hand, my satchel over my shoulder ready to cross the country and walk a few parcels of ground.
The guidance system on the phone would lead me through towns and villages on the less beaten tracks. Along the sparse dawn roads I'd see the country rouse and stretch itself preparing to embrace the summer day.
Lines of cows weary with the night's milk would amble through the mist towards the humming milking parlours.
Other dawn travellers would whizz past the ditches: white vans driven by young men with pale faces while their companions, strapped into the front seats, would nod and sway with the topography of the road.
Artic milk trucks would make their last calls before taking their awkwardness off the narrow thoroughfares in advance of the school rush and the dash to work.
At the centre of the villages shopkeepers would be putting out the giant plastic ice cream cones anticipating a hot day.
Women in sensible shoes, knee-length skirts, cardigans and body warmers would bustle up morning streets, keys in hand ready to creak open church doors and break the solemn silence, letting the whiff of the secular mingle with the world of incense, polish, wood and woodbine.
On the outskirts, the filling stations would look like they had been up all night making the breakfast. Women in sandals and men in boots would stand there filling their thirsty cars and vans, keeping one eye on their watches and the other on the pumps, where the digits climbed inexorably.
Inside the places smelled like a sizzle of rashers and the rolls crackled fresh. I was always tempted, but the queues were too long, the road beckoned and busy auctioneers awaited.
I'd settle for a coffee, the newspaper and a sticky bun. Back on the road it would be a struggle to eat the bun without welding myself to the steering wheel.
In the next town sullen teenagers with their minds on judgement and their hands in their pockets could be seen making their half-reluctant way to exam halls, while lollipop men brought the world to a halt, letting their youngers cross the street for another day of a haon, a dó, a trí .
The auctioneer would meet me outside the GAA pitch where there's plenty of space to pull in. I'd scan the skyline for floodlights, goalposts and nets. These tell-tale signs of the modern Gaelic grounds would guide me until I spotted the Beemer outside the gates.
I'd flash the headlights, he'd put on the hazards and I'd follow him along a maze of lanes until we met the first of his 'For Sale' signs, where he'd put on the hazards again to let me know that the land started here and had plenty of road frontage.
We'd arrive in the yard. I'd grab a notebook while my guide and host was still in his car and on the phone. As the car door opened he'd bring the conversation in to land: "Grand, grand, grand. Okay, okay, okay. Listen, I have a man waiting for me here. Ring me tomorrow."
We'd greet one another with a warm handshake and minor insults,
"You aged. You'd want to start minding yourself."
"Did I? And you've put on a bit of condition. You'd want to shove back from the table and get your arse out of that Beemer now and again."
First item on the agenda would be a cursory tour of the house, often a long, slated dwelling on 100ac, a holding that was once home to minor gentry but nowadays would barely wash its face.
I would be thankful when the land undulates gently as my auctioneer companions, resplendent in pinstripe and green wellies, tend to lose a bit of puff and burn a sup of oil at the steeper inclines.
By the time we'd get back to the car my own gearbox would be under a bit of pressure.
After a drive-by viewing of some smaller plots, lunch would be had at a humble roadside hostelry serving the best steak and chips on the planet. We'd talk about the price of land, the state of the market, the instability of our waterworks and the constant decline in our virility.
Time to head for home - the exams over, the sullen teenagers happily drawing silage in big green tractors, middle-aged men hanging county flags from lamp-posts and everyone eating ice-cream.
It's the simple things you'd miss. I'm longing for the road.