06 February 2015

A walk on the beach after
lunch in Bettystown

The beach at Bettystown, Co Meath, this afternoon, looking towards the Mountains of Mourne (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

This is a busy working weekend, with part-time MTh students in from this evening, and readers in training all day tomorrow. In all, I have six lectures to deliver on Church History and Liturgy, along with a Bible study in a tutorial group, and culminating with a celebration of the Eucharist late on Sunday morning.

It is a busy weekend sandwiched between two full, busy working weeks. It seemed like a good idea to take a break late this morning, and I headed out to Bettystown for lunch in Relish followed by a walk on the long sandy beach.

On the way, two of us stopped between Gormanston and Julianstown to see a field known for its daffodils at this time of the year. But fewer daffodils have been planted this year, and so far there is just a few yellow heads beginning to push through.

Relish is always a welcoming place, and it was delightful to see that they were busy at lunchtime, even before the weekend had started, and to see the small bunches of yellow daffodils smiling on each table.

Daffodils decorated each table in Relish this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Afterwards, I stepped out on the terrace behind the restaurant, and down the steps on the sandy banks for a walk on the beach which stretches from Mornington to Laytown on the ‘Gold Coast’ of Co Meath.

At weekends in summer, this beach is crowded with people. But this afternoon it was quiet and peaceful, and I could see no more than two or three other people walking along the sandy shore.

The tide was out, but the sea was choppy, yet there were three trawlers out in the distance on the horizon.

These have been bright wintry days, with clear blue skies. But at Bettystown this afternoon, the sky was grey and cloudy. Yet there were clear views as far as the Mountains of Mourne to the north on the Co Down coast.

Percy French was inspired to write his song, The Mountains of Mourne, not on the coast of Co Down, but while he was looking at the Mournes sweeping down to the sea as he stood on the coast at Skerries in north Co Dublin.

Perhaps when the weekend is over I’ll head back to Bettystown or Skerries on Sunday afternoon for another walk on the beach and another glimpse of “the Mountains of Mourne [as they] sweep down to the sea.”

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