‘Dawsholm is his favourite … it’s where his anarchic Jack Russell spirit flourishes’

By Ronnie McGowan

Tony Blair likes numbers said the doctor, tightening the blood pressure strap round my upper arm.

I’d only gone about a knee issue that was hampering preparation for the Edinburgh marathon in 2007.

She couldn’t do anything about the knee, but then produced a contraption made around the time Nye Bevan was running the NHS, so disbelieving was she of the first set of readings.

Buddy

Buddy’s back

But Nye’s machine only confirmed the number, 200, which is high apparently even in those distant days.

She ordered the immediate cessation of all exercise until the ‘silent killer’ was under control.

This came like a bolt from the blue to Buddy who was snoozing in the car boot waiting for a gentle three-miler.

‘She ordered the immediate cessation of all exercise until the ‘silent killer’ was under control’

Park Life Blog

Knowing how disappointed he’d be, I ignored doctor’s orders and went for the beach run anyway, he’d been running since he was two months old and bad news and vets have always been anathema to him.

His fourteenth birthday is now just over the horizon, doesn’t do the 10k before breakfast anymore, has discarded the stopwatch and negative splits, but is still running every day, in Kelvindale, usually around 5.30am.

His heart murmur is still sitting on 5, if it gets to 6 we may have to sit down and have a serious discussion about his running habits.

Buddy

Buddy’s favourite park, Dawsholm

Now during the COVID-19 crisis my employer has confined me to barracks, because I am in a group at risk, according to the World Health Organisation.

I don’t have any symptoms, and I haven’t been told to self-isolate, but you can’t take chances with those of mature years.

The West End of Glasgow has numerous parks and Buddy suggests we sample as many as possible for the duration, maintaining a ‘social distance’ he reminds me.

Dawsholm Park is his favourite because he gets off the lead; it’s where his anarchic Jack Russell spirit flourishes, through the trees and down to the river Kelvin he runs, not a care.

* Keep up with Buddy and Ronnie over the coming weeks and months as they sample Glasgow’s ‘Park Life’ with a focus on wellbeing.