23 December 2011

Christmas lights in Skerries

Late evening light in the sky above Skerries this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

Patrick Comerford

A few years ago, one political party once had a patronising election slogan that declared: “A lot done. More to do.”

It seems like an election-slogan run-up to Christmas as this week moves to a close: A lot done. More to do.”

But the weather is so clear, and the sky so blue, I decided to go for a walk on the beach this afternoon.

Despite the shopping rush, and the end-of-week traffic, it still took little more than half an hour to get from this part of south Co Dublin to Skerries in the late afternoon. The sun was setting behind the little cloud that there was as two of us arrived in Skerries. The tide was out far, and I wondered – just for one moment – what it might be like to walk out to the Martello Tower on Shenick Island.

Strand Street was busy and there was little car parking space. And so we drove on up to the harbour, and stopped awhile in wonder at boats stranded by the low tide. ‘Storm in a teacup’ was still open, and it was good to see the Pier House open again.

We parked on Red Island, and walked down the steps to the beach on the South Strand. There the sand was soft beneath our feet, with a clear-blue sky in the approaching dusk with colours that were more like had the hues you see on a late summer afternoon.

A plate of antipastoin Olive in Skerries ... and the best double espresso in Fingal (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

As darkness closed in, we headed across to Olive on Strand Street for a plate of mixed antipasto and the best double in Fingal. It was a pleasure to bump into David Diebold, the editor of Skerries News.

Later, in Gerry’s, we picked up the latest, Christmas edition of Skerries News and the 2012 Skerries Calendar, before strolling up Strand Street, where the trees are decorated and picked out with Christmas lights, and back along the harbour.

Christmas lights along Strand Street in Skerries this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

By the time we reached Red Island, it was covered in darkness, but the clear air provided a night sky decked with stars that more than matched the Christmas lights on each side of Strand Street.

Looking north, the lights stretched all the way towards Balbriggan, picking out the coastline in the dark. To the south, below us, the lights of Skerries curved on towards Holmpatrick and Shenick Island, more beautiful than the lights on a Christmas tree.

Looking out to Skerries in the dark from Red Island this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2011)

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