Sunday, 10 March 2013

A blustery day on the beach in Bettystown

The long stretch of sand from Mornington to Laytown on the coast of Co Meath ... almost deserted in the chilly afternoon (Photograph Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

It’s been a busy weekend, working each day with part-time students who have been in for a residential weekend over three days. It’s always a joy to work with them, and we finished at mid-day with a celebration of the Eucharist and Mothering Sunday.

It has turned bitterly cold, but two of us still headed out at lunchtime for a walk on the beach in Bettystown, Co Meath, stopping on the way at Gormanston to enjoy a field of daffodils that are about to bloom.

A field of daffodils waiting to open in Gormanston, Co Meath, this afternoon (Patrick Comerford, 2013)

The weather forecasters are warning about the possibility of snow overnight, the chill factor made the air feel colder than it must have been, the strong wind was blowing in from the north-east against us, the brown waves were churning in onto the beach, and the sound of the waves and water was echoing all along the beach.

A small group of three failed dismally but cheerfully to raise a kite, a handful of people were out walking on their own or with their dogs. But the only sound interrupting the echoes of the rising and falling waves were two cars using the expanse to try their handbrake turns – I still find it unfathomable that Meath County Council allows cars onto this wide, unspoilt expanse of golden sand.

Ripples on the sand in Bettystown this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

After a brisk – but short – walk, we collected the Sunday newspapers in Donovan’s supermarket and retreated to Relish, where we had booked a table for two at 3. I can always recommend this restaurant ... for its views, its food and for the attention from those who work there. It was typical of that attention that there was a welcoming glass of prosecco to mark Mother’s Day.

Coffee also came with complimentary desserts.

Evening lights on the beach below Relish in Bettystown, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

We lingered a little by the window with a picture-frame view down onto the beach. On the journey back we stopped at Laytown, and once again north of Skerries, beneath the slopes of Ardgillan Castle, to view those choppy, churning brown and white waves.

Walking down to the beach in Laytown, Co Meath (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

It seems like a long time since I have been in Skerries. We drove along the Harbour, and up around Red Island, and then headed out through Rush and Donabate to Portrane, where stopped for about an hour.

The three bunches of daffodils from Gormanston are in a jar of water before me. They should be open within a few days. But will Spring be with us by then?

Choppy waters at Tower Bay in Portrane, Co Dublin, this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

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