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Ireland day 0011. Saturday 09 October 2021- Laytown

Ireland day 0011. Saturday 09 October 2021- Laytown
Today’s summary Spent the morning supposedly relaxing but actually doing more chores, then went to Laytown beach for the afternoon
Today’s weather Heavy rain all night (again) then dried up by lunchtime and sun came out to leave a very pleasantly warm afternoon.   About 18C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
Commentary

Although we had promised ourselves a couple of days off from the tedium of paperwork, first thing this morning I couldn’t resist looking into the process for getting an Irish driving licence – which you need if you want to drive here for more than a few weeks.   Needless say you quickly get into the downward spiral of finding you need an address, for which you need a PPS number, for which you need an address, etc etc., before you can get one.   So I abandoned the idea for the time being and concentrated my efforts on the mundane but more immediately pressing issue of washing my socks.

This is a 24-hour job, involving an extended cycle in the washing machine followed by a protracted period in the tumble drier then overnight on the clothes-horse.   Even as I write this, the socks are still only just completing their third hour in the tumble drier, with many more hours of patient evaporation still to come.

At this point I should probably explain that the washing machine isn’t actually in the cottage – which is fortunate as the available floorspace isn’t much bigger than a postage stamp.   Luckily, there is a lean-to nearby which accommodates the laundry facilities, whilst at the same time maintaining a safe distance between us and the endlessly churning machinery.

By the time all these hygiene factors had been managed, we felt in need of a change of scene, so headed off north east to the coast at Laytown.   This turned out to be a beautiful spot, especially on a day like today when the wind dropped, the sun came out, and the temperatures rose.   The horizon was razor-sharp, extending from Mourne in the north to Skerries in the south.   We imagined we could even see the Isle of Man – but at over 100 miles / 160 km away, it seems unlikely.   More probably just a fleeting glimpse of oceangoing hardware.

Laytown is best known for its horse-racing which, uniquely in the whole of Ireland and Britain, is actually held on the beach itself.   Normally the races are held at the end of summer, but this year covid has pushed them back to November.   We must make a diary note to try and attend, now that we are seasoned racegoers and experts at studying form.   And besides, Val still has to recover the €5 she lost at Bellewstown a couple of weeks ago (can it really be that long?).

I need to draw to a close now to go and inspect the washing.   Well, it’s a practical alternative to watching paint dry, I suppose.   And then Val and I are going to start planning a Wicklow Way walk with some friends for spring next year (fingers crossed no more lockdowns!).   Looking forward to it already!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Traditional breakfast today (minus the bacon and black pudding sadly).   Superb creamy Kavanagh’s porridge oats though This is our cottage.   The whole cottage.   Yes all of it.   It’s OK for a few weeks but I think I would probably be despatched to the garden shed if we stayed any longer.   Particularly if I had any more of that lentil soup.
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We spent the morning watching this thing go round and round.   The washing at last made it to the drier, where it is still churning away many hours later The “Voyager” statue on Laytown beach.   Nicely done, although I was expecting to see a model of a Class 220 cross country train
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Here we are, standing in the middle of the race track, with the northern horizon etched by the mountains of Mourne  Checking out the local history, looking south with Skerries peninsula in the background
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OK its not a Voyager but at least it is a train.   Crossing the fast-flowing River Nanny at the Laytown estuary
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