Sunday, 25 July 2010

A walk on the Burrow Beach in Portrane

Looking across the Burrow Beach in Portrane towards Lambay Island (centre) and The Quay (to the right) on Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010)
Patrick Comerford

As I was flying into Dublin from Stansted last night, looking out to my right, the beaches of Portmarnock, Malahide, and north Co Dublin stretched out northwards, and I realised I had no walk on a breach for the past fortnight.

After the Choral Eucharist in Christ Church Cathedral and coffee in the crypt, I headed out to Portrane at lunchtime to see my Lynders cousins. In Portrane, I found the plans for the great August Weekend Sale are well advanced.

The Lynders sisters are the best sales team you can find, and each year this three-day sale on the weekend of the August Bank Holiday not only brings hundreds of visitors to The Quay in Portrane, but also raises tens of thousands of euro to support projects in Romania and Albania.

The marquee is up beside Mary Lynders’s house, the goods for sale are piling up, and everyone is hoping for good weather next weekend.

Afterwards, I took a walk on the Burrow Beach, which stretches for miles north from Portrane towards Rogerstown Estuary and Rush.

Although there were grey clouds in the sky, there was strong sunshine, and the temperature was in the early 20s. A lone yacht was making its way between the Quay and Lambay Island, and the water was gently lapping the shoreline of the beach. So, I was surprised to find so few people on the beach – a few children with their parents, a man sitting on his own smoking and listening to his headphones, a couple fast asleep in a car just above the shoreline.

I’m sure everything will be much busier next weekend, all-abuzz and full of life.

Meanwhile, the walk along the beach was a good opportunity to get fresh air into my lungs and to get my body moving properly.

I had plenty of good opportunities for walks in Cambridge last week, particularly on Friday when I visited Longstanton, and on Saturday morning when I took time to stroll along the Backs and the banks of the River Cam.

But this was my first walk on a beach since I was in Skerries a fortnight ago, and it certainly helped me to think I am coping with the symptoms of sarcoidosis. I may have sarcoidosis, but sarcoidosis will never have me.

Canon Patrick Comerford is Director of Spiritual Formation, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and a canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin