Friday, 14 March 2014

Contemplating summer sun and
sand by the beach in Greystones

The sun setting behind the beach and beyond the railway line in Greystones, Co Wicklow, late this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Patrick Comerford
It’s another two weeks or more before summer time officially begins on 30 March. But Spring has truly arrived in this part of Ireland. The buds on the lawn and beneath the trees are turning into flowers, the blossom is spreading along the branches of the cherry tree outside my house, the morning birdsong starts earlier and earlier, and – as Irish people love to say this time of the year – “there’s a grand stretch in the evening.”

Although yesterday began as what one commentator from Cheltenham described as a “pea-souper,” and the heavy cloud cover in Dublin never truly lifted yesterday or today, there were striking pink and purple streaks in the sky to the west and south this evening all the way back from Greystones, Co Wicklow.

After a lengthy working week that had followed a full working weekend, two of us left south Dublin in mid-afternoon for a late lunch in the Happy Pear and a walk on the beach in Greystones.

Sea and sand ... the beach in Greystones this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

On the way to the Happy Pear, we picked up four holiday brochures in Phoenix Travel on Church Road, near the Dart and train station. We pored over those brochures upstairs in the Happy Pear, contemplating a week in the sun and close to sand later this year. Greece? Turkey? When? Where?

Down on the beach, there were few people on the sand as we watched the small waves lap against the shore. To the west, beyond the railway line, the sun was beginning to set slowly behind the Burnaby Estate.

Back in Greystones, it was obvious the town was looking to forward to Saint Patrick’s Day and the Bank Holiday weekend. Green flags were fluttering, and shop windows were decorated in green-white-and-orange shops and many restaurants were advertising special menus.

Green lights in Temple Bar herald the arrival of the Saint Patrick’s Weekend (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

The previous evening, we had strolled though Temple Bar after dinner in the Italian Corner. There too, there were green lights strung across the narrow streets, and buskers and street artists regaled in forty shades of green. The large number of tourists whose faces were filled with anticipation, and who had their hair streaked in green, indicates that if the weather holds up or even improves this could be a wonderful weekend in Dublin.

And an Irish win in Paris tomorrow [Saturday] would add to the joy and the glory.

Meanwhile, as we returned to Dublin this evening, it was still bright after 6.30. This is a blessed season to enjoy and to be thankful for prayerfully.

Pink and purple streaks in evening sky in Co Wicklow this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

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