Ireland day 0123. Saturday 29 January 2022- Dust

Ireland day 0123. Saturday 29 January 2022- Dust
Today’s summary Got up reasonably early then Val did a Parkrun while I did the cleaning.  Walked over Robswall and over to Portmarnock then down and back the Velvet Strand
Today’s weather Mild and mostly dry.   Light showers first thing and in afternoon.  Some sunny intervals.  Quite breezy.   About 12C, falling in afternoon
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 GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Portmarnock and beach

Unless prompted I am inclined to laze about in bed drinking cups of tea for far too long.   A reaction perhaps to the legacy of 30 years getting up early, eating breakfast on the run, then rushing to the station to commute for an hour and a half to work in London.    But I’m told that this is not good for my constitution, and that I should get up as soon as I wake, have a shower and get going.   It sounds horrible (it is, actually), but I thought I would give it a try today anyway.   The process was made a little easier by a decision that Val made last night – to get up early, and go over to the Castle demesne and do the Parkrun.   (For those of you not in the know, Parkruns are 5km social runs which happen on Saturday mornings all over the world.  Val has done a few in the UK, but this would be her first since moving to Ireland).

So while Val was out chasing her PB, I got up and decided to do the cleaning.   This is where the dust thing comes in.   I simply cannot understand how such a small flat, with only two of us living in it, with no pets or children, can possibly get quite so dirty quite so quickly.  Great clouds of fluffy dust seem to materialise out of nowhere and accumulate in the most peculiar of places.   Behind doors and under beds seem to be the favourite spots, but I have also come across them in the bath and lurking in the wardrobe.   I have  researched dust and the commonly held view is that most dust is just bits of sloughed off human skin but do we really shed that much?   I think if we did, we would probably be looking like one of Hannibal Lecter’s victims by now, or at least a great deal more reptilian than we actually are.   So it remains a mystery and I remain eternally grateful that we invested in a vacuum cleaner.

When Val returned, she was chuffed with her time – she managed 30m31s which even to my eyes seems pretty good.   So we had a celebratory piece of toast with Malahide Marmalade (it was ace, by the way) then got changed and went out for a walk while the sun was still shining.

As Malik was wreaking havoc further north in the British Isles, Malahide got away pretty much unscathed.   It’s been a bit breezy here today, but the most notable feature of the weather was how warm it was.   It was about 12C this morning as Malik passed by, although it dropped a bit later in the day.   But there was lots of sun, so actually quite a delightful day for a blustery walk down the coast.

There isn’t really a lot that’s new to report from our excursion today.   We walked up the Robswall Hill (and learned its real name – as you can see in the photo captions below) then down to the coast near the Martello Tower, and south about three quarters of the way down the Velvet Strand.   At that point, we paused to have our lunch and to watch the sulky traps racing up and down on the firm sand right by the water’s edge.   And sulky doesn’t refer to a state of mind, by the way, but rather to a form of horse-and-cart racing which is popular in some parts of Ireland.   You can see one of them in full swing in the banner image at the top, with Ireland’s Eye in the background.   Sulky racing seems to enjoy a quasi-legal status, and it’s allowed on some beaches where the possibilities of crashing into things are a lot lower than when it’s done on narrow village streets.

After lunch we turned around and faced into the teeth of the by now quite strong wind sweeping down the Strand.   The dry sand was blowing about like spindrift, but fortunately mostly only up to ankle level, so it wasn’t really a hazard.   We returned after what felt like a pretty good leg-stretch, and feeling well blasted from the sun, wind and possibly a bit of sandy exfoliation thrown in for good measure.   Now it’s time to enjoy a decent glass of red wine – a reward for getting up so uncomfortably early – and to prepare for tomorrow’s outing to Tallaght.   To find out more about that – just come back tomorrow.   Same time (ish), same place – we will be here.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

There’s Val!   She’s in the lime green top, near the front of the pack, at the right hand side.   Really going for her PB, as you can see 😉 Up in the brand new Robswall estate.   Nice looking flats with superb views – but I have to be honest I’m not really sure how well they will stand the test of time.   Better come back in 10 years and see if they still look as good
Hazel catkins full of promise for the spring Coming down from the Robswall hill.   Val’s in the foreground, on the horizon in the background is the Howth peninsula and headland.
(By the way I think Robswall Hill is more properly known as “Paddy’s Hill”.   I wonder who Paddy was?   There’s more than one).
Sea swimming has always been a big thing here in Malahide – and maybe also the whole of Ireland.  I’m just not sure if it’s always been quite so popular in the winter The top of the Velvet Strand at the end of the day.   Beaches in the evening are always a place of special calm, and on a hot day the sand cools quickly when the sun sets – lovely to walk on.
At the top of the Velvet Strand on the way out, with Howth behind my head.   This is one of my favourite local views, especially on a sunny day like today when the tide is out and the sun is glinting off the damp foreshore
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 15358 m
Max elevation: 49 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 182 m
Total descent: -181 m
Total time: 04:02:49
Download file: Portmarnock And Beach corrected.gpx

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