Ireland day 0059. Friday 26 November 2021- Wintry

Ireland day 0059. Friday 26 November 2021- Wintry
Today’s summary Quick walk round the castle grounds in the morning while dodging the showers.  Then haircut and cold Portmarnock circuit while Val was at work
Today’s weather Cold with blustery showers.  Strong north westerly wind.   Clear starry night.   Appx 6C max
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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
(Click the top button below to download this morning’s castle perimeter walk – shown in black – and the bottom button to download the Portmarnock loop – shown in red):
Castle perimeter morning
Portmarnock loop evening

I am sure that many of you have been wondering exactly what Val’s job entails – well the photo at the top of the blog explains it all.   Malahide Castle is running an outdoor “Wonderlights” son-et-lumière festival for a few weeks in the run up to Christmas (you might have seen it featured in the Northside People this week).   She is stewarding at the event and is finding it friendly, fun and convenient.   It also ties in perfectly with her experience working at similar events in the UK so it was too good an opportunity to be missed.   Though I do rather feel for her right now as most of the work is outside and it’s freezing cold tonight.

Prior to her setting out to earn a crust, we decided to take our chances with the weather and head out for a walk round the castle grounds, exploring the rest of the path that I’d discovered yesterday on the way to Clare Hall.   We got our timing completely wrong though, because as soon as we stepped out of the front door, the heavens opened, we were drenched in icy rain and we were almost blown off our feet by the squall.   In a manner that was actually more reminiscent of April than of November, the shower soon passed and the sun came out.   Though it remained cold despite the rays and the sun struggled to have much warming event.

After a quick lunch back at the flat, Val headed off to brave the elements at Wonderlights and I headed off to brave the elements at the barber’s shop.   There is talk of another lockdown possibly hitting Ireland in the next week or two, so I took the precaution of booking in for a haircut now, before it got too late.   I definitely didn’t want to have to try and cut it myself with the scissors on my Leatherman in an attempt to look decent for Christmas.

Shorn short enough to last until well into the new year, I decided to take my new streamlined self on a quick canter round my favourite Portmarnock evening loop walk.   It’s an 8k / 5mi walk which follows the road down to Portmanock, and then loops along the beachside path from the Velvet Strand back up the coast to Malahide.   I really enjoy it but today I did wonder if I had done quite the right thing by having my hair cut so short.   It was pretty chilly and then when I reached the coast and turned back towards Malahide, I was walking straight into the teeth of a north westerly gale.   A more substantial thatch would definitely have been an advantage tonight.   But by way of compensation, the clouds disappeared completely, leaving a brilliantly clear sky to make the most of the dying embers of the daylight, and with no moon to drown out the emerging stars.

Anyway, it’s almost time for Val to get back, so I better get on and prepare dinner.   We’re having roast beef sandwiches tonight, though given the conditions outside tonight I strongly suspect she may need actually something a bit more warming – e.g. a hot bath or a gin, to go with it.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Torrential blustery shower caught us almost as soon as we set off – but luckily we were well prepared this time It was one of those days when the sun was shining five minutes later
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Nice to see some hopeful signs for next spring already Inquisitive robin popped out to see what was going on
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Suddenly, it’s beginning to feel a lot like winter The Velvet Strand in a long exposure shot this evening
And here’s my rugged new haircut!   A 4+2 – should last until next spring, with any luck
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