Ireland day 0115. Friday 21 January 2022- Oranges

Ireland day 0115. Friday 21 January 2022- Oranges
Today’s summary Walked down to the big Tesco at Clare Hall to see if I could find any Seville Oranges.   No luck but had a good look at the ancient well at St Doulagh’s church on the way
Today’s weather Dry, bright and no wind.   About 7C
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, or see bottom for an interactive map):
Clare Hall Seville walk
Commentary

Readers might have noticed that I have got it into my head that I want to make marmalade. This is something that I have been doing every January for the last few years, and which I actually really enjoy. To make marmalade, you need special bitter Seville oranges, which only come into season for a couple of weeks at the end of January. So ever since we got here in Ireland, I have been saving up jam jars, ready for that moment when the Sevilles arrive and I can start peeling and boiling. The only flaw in this scheme has been the complete absence of any Seville oranges -as far as I can tell – anywhere in Ireland. Apart, that is, from the bulk buy I mentioned a few days ago, which would have home-delivered about ten times as many oranges as I could actually use.

But I don’t give up easily. After a fruitless search in all the shops in Malahide, and also even in all the shops in Dublin that I thought might have them – I decided to give it one last go today. Our nearest big supermarket is at Clare Hall, about 7km / 4mi down the road from here. There’s a paved walk all the way from Malahide and although the second half of it is all alongside the busy R107 road, the first half goes through the Castle demesne, so overall it isn’t too bad. I could walk down there easily, see if they had any of the elusive fruit, and also get the week’s shopping while I was at it. Then just get the no 42 back.

So that was the plan for the day. First though, Val had left me a list of domestic chores which I was invited to complete while she was away. So, after breakfast was done, I hoovered, did some washing, and emptied the bins. Then I pulled together a packed lunch to have en route, and set off.

There’s not a lot you can write about a short walk down a road, other than to say that it was uneventful. The main highlight, though, was St Doulagh’s church, which is about halfway there, near Kinsealy. I’d already spotted it at night-time a few weeks ago when I last walked this way, and thought that today, as it would be daylight when I passed, I’d stop in and have a look. I am sure that you will remember the history of the church from the last time I wrote about it, so I won’t rehash all that again. Except to note that its stone roof is both unusual and ancient, and that it has a curious detached baptistry in a field just outside the church itself.

I took a closer look at the church then wandered through the field to the baptistry. It’s quite an interesting spot, as you will be able to see from the photos at the bottom of this blog. Like the church, it is both ancient and unusual and you can find a few notes about it in the photo captions below. Anyway on a slightly more prosaic level, I thought it would be a good spot to have my lunch, as it was set well away from the road and as a result was relatively peaceful. So sandwiches were duly consumed and thermos enjoyed, thought quite what St Doulagh would have made of it all, I don’t know.

It was only a short walk from there to Tesco – a journey from the sublime to the ridiculous, in many respects, and I was ready to continue my quest for the Sevilles. I am very sorry to have to report, though, that despite a thorough search of every aisle, I drew a complete blank. There were oranges of every shape and description in the fruit and veg section, just not the Sevilles that I actually wanted.   So I have conclude that while cooking is popular here in Ireland, and people profess to like marmalade on their toast, nobody seems to have put the two together and actually started making their own. So, it seems, my quest has been fruitless, in more ways than one.

So I returned empty handed on the no 42 to Malahide. Well – not quite empty handed as I did also have the week’s shopping too. So the next job is to get everything put away and also start thinking about tomorrow. I’m going round the Sugarloaves with the walking club, and have managed to secure a lift from a fellow club member who lives nearby. Now I just need to figure out how I am going to get down to Howth Junction for 8:15 tomorrow morning. As early mornings at weekends aren’t really my thing, I expect this to be painful. But the reward will come with the walk, which looks excellent. I’ll report back in the evening, so watch this space.

(PS: But on the oranges I’m not going to be defeated quite so easily! I have a cunning backup plan! Val is in the UK at the moment so before she comes back on Monday, I am going to ask her to drop into the nearest greengrocers over there, and bring back a few for me. I only need a couple of kilos, so I don’t think that should stretch even Ryanair’s meagre luggage allowance too much).

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Walking down the R107 Malahide Road to Clare Hall, you can’t help noticing the huge properties, well set back from the road, at the Malahide end of the road St Doulagh’s church (also sometimes spelled St Doolagh) with the famous stone roof at the right hand side.   It was built in the 1100’s and on land granted by our friend Sitric Silkenbeard of Dublin.   It’s the oldest stone roof church still in use in Ireland.
The stand-alone octagonal baptistry built over an ancient well.   It’s the only surviving “detached baptistry” in Ireland.   It’s not certain how old it is, but given that it was restored as long ago as 1609, it must be pretty ancient Peering inside the baptistry.   Pilgrims used to gather here on St Doulagh’s day, on 17 November, but it’s not really known who St Doulagh actually was, except that he probably lived in the 700’s AD.
Saprophytic bracket fungi digesting their way through a decaying tree in Malahide castle demesne OK then, I won’t
This sign clearly warns us to expect an encounter with a Jervis type 4-2-0 loco.   They were common in the United States in the 1850s as they were adept at negotiating winding railway tracks.   But they suffered from a lack of adhesive weight on the driving axle, which limited their wider deployment.   Except in this corner of Ireland, it seems
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 7279 m
Max elevation: 38 m
Min elevation: 8 m
Total climbing: 109 m
Total descent: -92 m
Total time: 01:45:55
Download file: The Pursuit of Oranges corrected.gpx

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