It was a beautiful weekend.
And so, after months of my been unable to walk long distances, we took advantage of the cold, clear weather, and headed off to the Dublin Mountains, Connie, Charlotte, Eric the mutt and I.
We stopped at Cruagh Woods, between Rathfarnham and Glencree.
Delighted to say, the car park was full.
But the extent of the wood, coupled with the fact that they have allowed the undergrowth to flourish, meant that we only occasionally met others on our walk.
Eric had a ball. He gets walked every day. But an adventure in a forest is something he's not used to. Mind you, he found the undergrowth a little scary.
After the walk, when we returned to the car, I found one abandoned Coke bottle in the car park. It was the only litter I saw. And I took it with me.
It was a different matter on the boglands further towards Glencree, I am sorry to say.
There we found burned out cars in what has, sadly, become their natural habitat. I can't remember driving that road in recent years, without seeing a burned out car or two along the wayAnd alongside the winter heather, beer cans were flourishing. Broken beer bottles, vodka bottles and whatever kind of detritus you can imagine dumped by the side of the road.
I suspect that at least some of those doing the dumping arrived in stolen cars which they later burned out.
But it would be wrong to blame just yobbos, young drinkers or hooligans in general. Because as you drive along the side roads, through the bogs, you will find fridges, televisions and all sorts of electrical goods. Why I don't know. All such items can now be dumped for recycling, free of charge. Some people seem to prefer ruining the landscape.
I have seen settees, mattresses, bags of household rubbish and builders' rubble.
Are these the same people who throw litter on the streets of Dublin and our other filthy (but apparently improving) towns and cities? Are they the phanthom chewing gum chuckers?
I presume so. Clearly, they don't recognise what they themselves are: the detritus of society.
The problem is easily solved. And was it not for the fact that the country is run by idiots more concerned about their own welfare, their own salaries, their own perks and their own jobs, it would be solved.
It only requires the will to solve it.
Ah, but if we were run by people with the will to solve problems, we wouldn't be miles above our Kyoto targets, we wouldn't have a shambolic health service, we would have roads, rail lines, schools, a sufficient numbers of policemen and prison places and judges and courts and doctors and nurses and teachers and special needs teachers and places for children with intellectual disability and places for adults with intellectual disability and...
You get the picture.
The only thing we have too many of, is ministers, members of the Dail and civil servants.
So maybe, after all, the rubbish dumped on that beautiful bogland, reflects us accurately after all.