Friday, 13 February 2015

‘Fifty shades of Bray’

Late evening lights as darkness falls on Bray (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

It has been a busy fortnight. I have been working since Monday of last week, with admittedly with some short breaks – for walks on the beach in Bettystown, Co Meath, and in Skerries, and a family dinner in Corfu, the Greek restaurant in Parliament Street, Dublin.

But the past seven days alone have included delivering eleven lectures, leading two Bible studies in tutorial groups, celebrating a teaching Eucharist, taking part in planning an Ash Wednesday retreat, attending the institution of a new rector, and signing off on my monthly column for two diocesan magazines, with 16 accompanying photographs.

I have enjoyed every moment, and every moment of the preparation.

But by this afternoon I needed a walk by the sea.

The rain had arrived by mid-afternoon, but two of us were undeterred and we headed south to Bray, Co Wicklow, for a walk on the beach.

Grey skies, grey clouds, and grey waves breaking against the grey pebbles on the shoreline in Bray this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Long before the sunset was predicted, darkness was closing in. The sky was grey, the clouds were grey, the pebbled beach was grey, the sea was grey, the promenade was grey, the paved area around the bandstand was grey. It was dusk, and it was like “Fifty Shades of Bray.”

The sound of the sea beating against the pebbles on the shoreline was so inviting that I continued walking in the rain, listening to the soothing sound of the rolling, breaking waves.

An inviting sign at Carpe Diem on Albert Avenue in Bray (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Eventually, it was too dark to continue walking on the beach, and we crossed Strand Road to Albert Avenue, and found a warm welcome in Carpe Diem, where we had two piadine and two double espressos. A piadina is an Italian thin flatbread, typically prepared in the Romagna region, and our paidine were filled with goat’s cheese, spinach, peppers and tomatoes.

Later, as we walked back the South Esplanade, the reflections of the lights in puddle-dotted concrete and tar were cheering, and I was heartened again by the sounds of the sea beating against the pebbles and echoing all along the shoreline.

Reflections in the dark at the bandstand on the South Esplanade in Bray (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

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