09 November 2014

Two men in a boat (to say nothing of
the dog) as the sun sets in Bray

Two men and a dog in a boat, rowing parallel to the shoreline in Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Patrick Comerford

When the English writer Jerome K Jerome published his book Three Men in a Boat in 1889, the original title was Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). It was an account of a boating holiday on the Thames, between Kingston upon Thames and Oxford, and was also intended as a serious travel guide, with discussions of the history of places along the route such as Hampton Court Palace, Hampton Church, Magna Carta Island, Monkey Island, and Marlow.

Instead, his witty and humorous account of a boating holiday on the river, with its jokes and its unguarded humour, turned a serious travel book into a comic novel.

The three men are based on Jerome and two of his friends, George Wingrave and Carl Hentschel. But the dog, a fox terrier named Montmorency, is a fictional creation of the writer.

This afternoon a say two men in a boat with a dog enjoying the journey between Bray Head and the marina at Bray. They came around Bray Head, and rowed parallel with the full length of the beach, with a rainbow behind them in the Irish Sea, and glimmers of light cast across the water as the sun began to set behind the houses and hotels on the Promenade and further to the west.

The men were working hard as the rowed persistently and consistently. But their present-day Montmorency seemed to be enjoying himself, wagging as his tail as he watched the waves roll and break against the shoreline.

All three, two men and a dog, seemed oblivious to the small number of people walking on the sand in the late afternoon and the two small children in swimming togs throwing stones into the sea.

It has been a long working week with the part-time students, following immediately after a city break in Lisbon. And, after a week-long reading week, the full-time students return tomorrow morning for the second half of this semester.

This morning I presided at the Remembrance Sunday service in the chapel, with a Service of the Word, including wreath-laying and silent moments of commemoration as part of the Liturgy of the Word, before moving on the Liturgy of the Sacrament and the Eucharist.

Winter sunshine on the sea in Bray this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

Later this afternoon, two of us went for that walk on the beach in Bray. Although the end of summer time a few weeks ago means the evenings are now closing in quickly, there were startling evening lights in the sky this afternoon.

Later, we had dinner in El Greco on Main Street in Bray, where there was a warm welcome from the proprietors, Prokopis (Steve) Kaludis and Mona Sararoiu, who opened this restaurant last February.

As winter closes in, it was good to have a taste of Greece and a promise of summer this evening.

Sunshine and shadows in Bray this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2014)

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