Friday, 9 December 2011

Walking on the beach in Bray in winter sunshine

The beach in Bray in winter sunshine, seen from a table by the window at lunchtime today in the Beach House (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

Patrick Comerford

Despite the storms, rains and cold weather of the last few days, this was a very crisp and beautiful day in Dublin today.

There were clear blue skies, and although the temperatures were in low single figures, there was bright sunshine.

I am working through this weekend, and as it was a busy working week following on an intense weekend away in Newcastle in northern England, I was glad to steal the opportunity for a long lunch break and head out to Bray for lunch and walk on the beach.

We are almost halfway into December less than a fortnight away from the Winter Solstice. But the sun was streaming down all the way from Churchtown to Bray on the M50. This was a far better alternative for lunchtime that joining the queues and cars trying to get into Dundrum Town Centre for Christmas shopping.

Two of us were given a table by the full-length window at the Beach House Restaurant, looking out onto the beach. Things there are getting busy for Christmas, and preparations were being made for a private function later in the day, but we still got excellent attention, service and food.

The windows were filled with bright Mediterranean hues of blue and gold, the sun was brightly reflected on the water below us, the stones on the beach were shining, and we went for a short stroll on the northern end of the beach before returning to work.

Sunshine and pebbles on the beach in Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

Earlier in the week, I had walked on the beach at Culercoats, between Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, looking out to the shipping lights in the North Sea. In the dark or in the light, these walks on the beach are good for my feeling of wellbeing, and make it easier to live with the symptoms of Sarcoidosis and Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Traditionally we begin singing the O Antiphons on Saturday next, 17 December. But even now there is much to rejoice about and to look forward to.

Wexford Journal includes paper by CITI lecturer

Today’s edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette [9 December 2011] includes the following half-page news report and photograph on the back page (p. 16):

Wexford Journal includes paper by CITI lecturer

Canon Patrick Comerford (right) with Bernard Browne of Mill Quarter, Old Ross, at the launch of the Journal of the Wexford Historical Society (Photograph: Barbara Comerford)

Canon Patrick Comerford, lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute (CITI), Dublin, is one of the principal contributors to the latest edition of the Journal of the Wexford Historical Society.

The 2011-2012 edition (number 23), edited by Ms Celestine Rafferty, was launched recently in the Greenacres Art Gallery in Wexford by Prof. Kevin Whelan of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre, Dublin.

Canon Comerford’s paper, ‘James Comerford (1817-1902): rediscovering a Wexford-born Victorian stuccodore’s art,’ is the first paper in the Journal and looks at the work and career of his great-grandfather, James Comerford, who began his career working with the architects, Richard Pierce, A.W.N. Pugin and J.J. McCarthy, on their Wexford churches.

After Pugin’s death, he moved from Wexford to Dublin, where his artistic and architectural work included the now-demolished ‘Irish House’ on the corner of Wintetavern Street and Wood Quay, below Christ Church Cathedral, and the Oarsman, a public house still standing in Ringsend.

The paper is illustrated with photographs telling the life story of this Wexford-born artist and trade unionist, who began his life as a stuccodore and ended his career as an architect and civil servant.

Other contributors to the Journal include Bernard Browne, who wrote on Lorenzo Dow (1777-1834), an American Methodist preacher in Wexford; David Ian Hamilton, who traced the story of the Sutton family of Longraigue; and Eithne Scallan, who wrote a short biography of Dr George Hadden (1882-1973), the Methodist missionary and founder of the Wexford Historical Society.

The attendance at the launch included Alderman Joe Ryan, a former Mayor of Wexford, and Jarlath Glynn, President of the Wexford Historical Society.