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Jim O'Brien: I'm mad for road, yearning to watch Ireland go about its daily business like it did before Covid

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Summer scenes, everyone eating ice-cream: Jordi Butterworth shares his cone with a donkey in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Photo: Michael Kelly

Summer scenes, everyone eating ice-cream: Jordi Butterworth shares his cone with a donkey in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Photo: Michael Kelly

Summer scenes, everyone eating ice-cream: Jordi Butterworth shares his cone with a donkey in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Photo: Michael Kelly

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.