Ireland day 0078. Wednesday 15 December 2021- Routines

Ireland day 0078. Wednesday 15 December 2021- Routines
Today’s summary A quiet day in Malahide doing the chores – cleaning, cooking, returning library books.   Managed to fit in a coast walk to the Velvet Strand before Val went to work
Today’s weather Sunny and bright.   No rain and only light 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

Not every day has to be a whirlwind of discovery and exploration, and today was one of those that wasn’t.   Val was at work this evening, which limited our options a bit anyway, but it actually suited us quite well to have a slightly quieter day.   The flat needed cleaning (thank goodness for the €49 hoover), rubbish and recycling had to sorted out, and – potentially most pressing of all there were some library books to be returned (pressing, of course, because there are fines for late returns).

But once we had got up and had breakfast, the sun was well and truly shining and it looked far too lovely to be indoors doing the chores.   So we packed up some essential rations (chocolate biscuits, crisps and coffee) and decided to walk down to the seaside via the library.

Books were efficiently returned (or renewed in the case of my coast to coast book which I am valiantly but slowly ploughing my way through) and we continued on down to the beach.   But not before once again turning back to admire the library.

I have eulogised about it before, but it’s interesting to recall that Malahide Library is one of 66 Carnegie libraries in Ireland, of which 62 are still extant.   They owe their existence to bequests from the Scottish-American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie – a hugely successful steel tycoon of Scottish descent who sold his business for $480 million in 1901.  Carnegie devoted the rest of his life and a sizeable proportion of his fortune to philanthropic works, one of which was the construction of some 2,509 libraries throughout the English speaking world.   Although all four nations in the British Isles benefitted from his library programme, those in Ireland seem to have stood the test of time particularly well.   Their distinctive architecture makes them a common and welcoming sight in towns and cities across the island.

We got as far as the northern end of the Velvet Strand where we paused briefly to have our refreshments before turning on our heels – admiring as we did so the sweetly-scented heliotropes flowering in abundance on the grassy verges – and then headed for home.

We quickly had lunch, then Val headed off to work, leaving me in charge of dinner preparation and cleaning.   I’m pleased to say both delegated tasks were completed to managerial satisfaction – though I did have to break off a couple of times to make calls with friends back in the UK who I hadn’t spoken to for some time.    One of the calls was with a friend who is a language teacher, so I had an impromptu Spanish lesson while we chatted.  He’s very fluent and very fast, I had to work really hard to keep tabs on what was going on. I feel like my brain capacity has increased by about 50% while I grow all the neurones necessary to process all this new knowledge, which may well explain why I feel the need to each chocolate biscuits all the time.   What a fabulous excuse.

So that’s it for now.   Relatively short and sweet today, which will undoubtedly come as something of a relief all round.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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Bug hotel just outside the library.   Bugs are well catered for in Ireland as every town we’ve visited seems to sport at least one. Heading to the coast with the southern end of the Donabate Peninsula just visible beyond the trees in the background
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On the grassy dunes.   A beautiful day – felt almost spring-like in the sun I do find the endless ever-changing ripples in the sand have a sort of hypnotic charm
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At the northern end of the Velvet Strand this afternoon.   It could have been the Mediterranean!   And indeed a few hardy swimmers were out enjoying the heady charms of the Irish Sea Winter flowering heliotrope, Petasites pyrenaicus, growing in sweetly-scented abundance in the grass along the shore.   Male and female flowers grow on separate plants but curiously there are no female plants known anywhere in Europe.   So I guess the ones we see must all be a (male) vegetative clone.   An interesting reproductive strategy, but one that reduces genetic diversity and leaves them very vulnerable to eradication through disease
The Carnegie Library in Malahide – a beautiful building both inside and out.
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