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Ireland day 0052. Friday 19 November 2021- Treats

Ireland day 0052. Friday 19 November 2021- Treats
Today’s summary Brilliant weather in morning so walked via the railway bridge to the Grand Hotel for coffee then after Val went to work I walked out to the DIY shop in Swords
Today’s weather Brilliant sunshine till mid afternoon, then light cloud.   Dry, no wind.   About 12C
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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
(morning walk in black, evening in red)

(Click top button below to download the morning walk and the bottom button to download the afternoon walk GPX files):
Coffee walk
Plunger walk
Commentary

Every so often, you have to give yourself a treat and today we enjoyed not just one, but two.  As a spoiler alert, the first was a cup of coffee and the second was a sink plunger.

So how did these fabulous events come about?

Well the first was just a whim.   When we woke up, the sun was shining brilliantly so we got up, had a relaxed breakfast, then headed down to the sea front, intending to go to the beach and perhaps have our lunch amongst the dunes.   But first, we had to do a bit of exploring.

We had seen people climbing through a gap in the fence at the end of the railway embankment that cuts across the Broadmeadow Lagoon.   They had mostly been dog-walkers who headed off down the side of the embankment on a gravel path leading all the way to the middle of the lagoon, to the point where it stops being an embankment and  becomes a bridge.   We decided to follow in their footsteps – particularly as the weather was stunning and the lagoon looked tempting.   So we squeezed through a gap in the iron railings and confidently strode off down the embankment.

It’s really quite interesting at the end where the bridge bit starts.   The water  which the bridge spans is actually quite shallow – only a few cm at the edge where we were.   So it suggests there is an underwater embankment supporting the bridge.   This  would explain why the lagoon is barely tidal.   The other thing you notice is that there is a “spare” set of bridge piers alongside the main railway bridge.   You may remember from an earlier blog that these were actually installed in 2009 when the central section of the bridge collapsed and had to be repaired.   They were put there to future proof the bridge for the eventual construction of a walk/cycle way alongside the viaduct.   Permission was finally granted actually to build it in 2020, but as yet nothing has happened, except that they have become colourfully decorated by graffiti artists who presumably didn’t mind getting wet feet.

So our early morning adventure deserved to be rewarded with a treat – which took the form not of lunch in the dunes, as we had planned, but of a cup of coffee in the lounge of the Grand Hotel. The Grand is one of Malahide’s icons and is actually impressively smart and modern inside.   After having given our contact details, shown our ID and had our (NHS!) Covid app successfully scanned, we were finally allowed to order an extremely enjoyable coffee in the residents’ lounge.

Bodies suitably refreshed and wallets correspondingly lightened, we decided to return to the flat and have lunch there.   Val went off to work mid-afternoon and I was left to try and sort out a blocked drain in the kitchen.   Rather than calling the Buildings Maintenance people (which is what most normal people would have done), I thought I could go one better and fix it myself.   So I walked the 5km / 3mi to Woodes’ DIY store at Swords intent on buying a sink plunger which I hoped would clear away the blockage and save a call to the engineers.

So, my Woodes’ plunger in hand, I hot-footed it back to the flat with my new toy, rushed over to the sink, and started plunging away.   It didn’t work.   Whatever has embedded itself in the drain remained steadfastly in place and although an impressive amount of unidentifiable grey, black and brown material floated its way back into the sink, the outflow is still as feeble as ever.    So it looks like my second treat of the day – the plunger – was a bit of a damp squib and I will just have to call Maintenance.   Still, I am sure it will come in useful again one day.   These things always do.

By the way – two other important updates:
(i) We haven’t heard anything back about the Yaris so I am assuming it may have failed its NCT which could mean we will have to revert to Plan B (but I don’t quite know what Plan B is yet though)
(ii) My post-covid vaccination symptoms are slowly moderating.   I feel a lot better today than yesterday, but I think it may be a couple more days before I am back to 100%

 

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Sweetly scented jasmine in full bloom against the brilliant blue sky.  Is this really Ireland?   At the end of November? Access to the path alongside the railway embankment.   Not entirely sure you were supposed to go this way, but plenty of others had and nobody stopped us today
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The 4* Grand Hotel along the coast road in Malahide.   I expected it to be a bit Fawlty Towers but actually it was exceptionally up-market Coffee lounge.  A favourite haunt for people of a certain age.   I.e. us.
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Later in the evening I walked west along the shore of the lagoon on the path to Swords.   Last time we came this way, herons were in abundance but today large numbers of egrets seemed to have taken their place.   They are essentially the same as herons, as far as I can see, just a bit smaller. My magnificent but sadly ineffective sink plunger.   €9 down the drain.  Or not, as the case may be
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At the end of the embankment, where it becomes a bridge.   A wonderful spot on a day like today
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