Friday, 18 June 2010

A late lunch and a walk on the beach in Bray

A sandcastle waits to be washed away by the waves in Bray (Photograph; Patrick Comerford, 2010)

Patrick Comerford

It seems like weeks since I had a walk on a beach.

Last weekend, I was staying in Lichfield, my favourite cathedral city in England, and travelling through “Pugin-Land,” visiting Pugin’s churches in Uttoxeter, Cheadle and Solihull and his Saint Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham. The countryside in rural East Staffordshire is captivatingly beautiful. But it is about as far from the coast as you can be in the English Midlands.

And it looked like there might be no beach walk this weekend either: I am working throughout Saturday during a day-long conference for students on the Foundation Course, and on Sunday I am taking part in cathedral services, including the Cathedral Eucharist in the morning, and the ordination of deacons on Sunday afternoon.

So, this afternoon, after buying a new alb in the Liturgical Centre in Stillorgan, run by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, who came to Ireland in 1965, I headed on through Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove, Dalkey and Killiney to Bray. Along the way, there were clear views across Dublin Bay, with ships making their way out into the Irish Sea; young people were out learning to sail; and there was a quiet but steady amount of activity in Bulloch Harbour.

Palazzo has been open for five years and is run by Italian owners who originate from the province of Frosinone in the Valle di Comino

The weather was warm, but the sky was slightly overcast. I stopped first for a late lunch in Palazzo on Marlborough Terrace on the Seafront. Palazzo has been open for five years and is run by Italian owners who originate from the province of Frosinone in the Valle di Comino, near the famous Monastery of Monte Cassino. The Divto and Borsa families have been in the restaurant business in Ireland since the 1940s.

After lunch, I strolled along the pebbly beach below the Promenade. A small number of children were playing on the sand and in the water along the shoreline, delighting in waves, and obviously oblivious to the grey skies overhead. A small group of young Chinese women were delighting in having their photographs taken by their male friend, and an abandoned sea castle was about to be washed away in the tide.

My walks on the beach are good for my humour and give me renewed strength in coping with the symptoms of sarcoidosis (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010

I have missed these walks on the beach. Last night, I went back to my GP for another B12 injection. For the last few nights, my sarcoidosis symptoms have meant coughing has made it difficult to sleep, and I have felt a little run down.

But those walks on the beach are good for my humour and give me renewed strength in coping with the difficulties of living with sarcoidosis. Once again, as I headed back home this evening to watch the England v Algeria match on television, I felt renewed and reinvigorated, and was confident that while I have sarcoidosis, sarcoidosis will never have me.