Saturday, 2 April 2016

Barcelona, Bray, Bettystown …
but cold comfort in the forecasts

It was like winter on the beach in Bettystown, Co Meath, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

Barcelona, Bray, Bettystown … my walks on the beach this week have been varied and in very different temperatures.

Last Monday, the temperature in Barcelona briefly reached 25 C as I went for a stroll along the beach that is within a stone’s throw of the Hotel Suizo where I was staying in the heart of the old Gothic Quarter. There were buskers on the promenade, there were sunbathers on the sand, and there were swimmers and surfboarders in the water.

But it was a very different scene when I went for a walk along the promenade and the pebbly shore in the Bray late yesterday afternoon after a late lunch in Carpe Diem on Albert Avenue.

The temperature had dropped noticeably, there was a chill in the air, the waves were beating against the rocks, and there was a hint of rain.

Daffodils near Gormanston and Julianstown … but is Spring in the air? (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

This afternoon, two of us headed north to Bettystown for a late lunch in Relish. We stopped briefly to admire the daffodils in the fields between Gormanston and Julianstown, and it was possible to be deceived into imagining that Spring is in the air.

But by the time we got to Laytown, the rain was coming down, and even though the tide was out the sand was wet and once again it looked as if we had stepped back in time into winter.

In Bettystown, the clouds hung low in the sky, and there was no view of Mornington to the north, never mind the Mountains of Mourne, which can be visible on a clear afternoon.

They have a new menu in Relish since Easter, and we were warmly welcomed with a table by the window, looking out through the rain over the sandbanks and out onto to the beach and the Irish Sea.

We had one more walk on the beach later on before picking up the Guardian in a local supermarket.

There was cold comfort in the news in the Guardian today that parts of Britain are to enjoy weather as warm as Barcelona’s this weekend with temperatures reaching 18C, according to forecasters.

A view of the beach and the sea from the terrace at Relish in Bettystown this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

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