Ireland day 0060. Saturday 27 November 2021- Estuary

Ireland day 0060. Saturday 27 November 2021- Estuary
Today’s summary A quick walk up and down the estuary as far as the small bridge in the morning, then speechwriting in the afternoon while Val was at work
Today’s weather Cold again on the tail-end of Storm Arwen.   Strong westerly wind, high cloud, long sunny intervals and no rain.   About 5C
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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 button below to download a GPX of today’s walk)
Broadmeadow estuary

How can it possibly take all day to prepare a speech which lasts just 15 seconds?   I must admit I did wonder that myself, as I finished off my fifth chocolate biscuit – which I have to confess was the only thing that has kept me at least partially focused on the task at hand while I was slaving over my composition.

The reason why it was proving so hard was at least partly down to the fact that I was trying to compose it in Spanish, and even worse, commit it to memory as I went along.  For next Tuesday, it’s our penultimate Spanish lesson and we have to stand at the front of the class and deliver a compressed monologue on our life history, in fluent Spanish, with no notes.  And to make matters worse, I have discovered that the app I am using to help me with translations is teaching me South American Spanish, not Spanish Spanish, which can get you into trouble if you are not careful.   Just look up what the various meanings of “coger el autobus” if you want to see what I mean.   Honestly, it’s enough to make even Prince Andrew sweat.

But I didn’t spend the whole day working my way through the thesaurus.   It was a bright and breezy morning so after breakfast, Val and I thought it would be a good idea to try and take advantage of the good-seeming weather and go for a walk up the Broadmeadow estuary.   We thought we would try and get round to the far, Northern, shore where I’d cycled a few weeks ago.   It might be possible to get as far as the point where the road disappeared under water – and maybe even a bit further if the water level in the lagoon had fallen.

As soon as we stepped out, we realised that the weather was a lot less benign than it appeared.   Although Storm Arwen has wreaked a lot less havoc here than it has further north in Ireland and the UK, the tail end of the weather system was still passing through today and brought in its wake a very cold wind that seemed to pierce every nook and cranny of our clothing.   Nevertheless we set off down to the coast and headed off along the path, right into the teeth of the gale.

It was an enjoyable, cobweb-cleansing, walk, but the wind meant that we made slower progress than expected and by the time we reached the bridge over the estuary, just beyond where the motorway crosses, we were running late.   Val had to get back in time for work, and we needed to fit in lunch beforehand, so we decided to call it a day at the bridge.   So, after a hot coffee (I had taken the precaution of bringing an old-peoply but practical thermos flask with me), we did a back-flip and headed back down-river.   (That was a figurative back-flip, by the way, not an aquatic one.   We had seen a few wetsuit-clad heroic types windsurfing in the lagoon on the way up and one look at the icy wind-whipped water convinced me I wouldn’t be going anywhere near it until at least next August).

So that brought us back to Malahide and the Spanish lessons.   Now that the composition is safely out of the way, I’m back on dinner duty again, so while Val is out I’m going to nip out to the shops and then find some cheerful reading material.   I’m actually studying an interesting account of a coast to coast walk across Ireland which one day we might try and emulate.   It certainly makes a nice antidote to the Article 16 and Omicron horror stories the news media insist on spewing out at the moment.   Blah blah blah 🙁


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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The tide appeared to be out in the lagoon today.   Odd because I haven’t seen much evidence of tidal fluctuation in the lagoon water levels, and indeed thought that since the railway embankment was constructed it was largely non-tidal.   Clearly I was at least partially wrong. I spotted this rather attractive house (which is on the north bank of the Broadmeadow lagoon) for sale in an estate agent’s window a couple of weeks ago.  It was on the market for a cool ten million euros. 
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At the head of the Broadmeadow Estuary, where the small bridge spans the river about 500m upstream from the motorway bridge.   I cycled this way en route to Donabate beach a few weeks ago These white bells were just coming into flower on the roadside just beyond the motorway.   I also saw a lot of them when I was walking through Devon in March 2014.   I have always struggled to identify them but my best guess is they are Three Cornered Leek (Allium triquetrum).   If that’s the case, they shouldn’t really be flowering until January at the earliest, so these ones seem to be a bit out of kilter with their biorhythms.   In the UK it is classed as an invasive weed, and it is illegal to plant these species in the wild.   In Ireland they are only recorded as being found on the Howth peninsula so these must be evidence of a further invasion.  In their favour though, they look quite nice and they are edible, a bit like ramsons (wild garlic)
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Guilty secret.  Comfort food  is all that kept me going as I slogged through my speech And the finished product.   I am beaming with pride.   Now all I have to do is learn it off by heart, which is harder than it seems when it is all in a foreign language
At Barrack Bridge, where the path makes a brief inland detour to cross this tributary stream, via the Yellow Walls Road.   I like the sinuous meanders as it makes its way to the lagoon, often frequented by swans
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