Ireland day 0144. Saturday 19 February 2022- Downtime

Ireland day 0144. Saturday 19 February 2022- Downtime
Today’s summary Usual domestic chores in the morning while Val went on a long run.  Walked down to Tesco Clare Park for weekly shopping in late afternoon / early evening.   Long wait for no 42 bus back
Today’s weather Heavy rain overnight.   Dry most of the day with light cloud and occasional sun.  More heavy rain in the evening.   Light westerly wind.   About 6C
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):
Clare Hall and long wait

Next week sees a major new development in our Irish saga.   We are having our first guests to stay.   I am sure that there is a Chinese proverb about the best way to ensure your house gets clean being to invite visitors and that is indeed proving to be the case in Ireland as well as in China.

You tend to get used to how your home looks and its only when you try and look at it with fresh eyes, as a visitor might, that you notice the mess.   Trailing wires, empty cardboard boxes and overflowing rubbish bins.  (That makes it sound squalid doesn’t it?   Actually our living conditions are pretty good – though I say so myself – but there is always room for improvement).    Similarly, when you look at the bathroom, you realise the ultra-cheap Tesco shower gel you have been using – which is probably basically just re-branded washing up liquid – really won’t do for guests.   The lurid blue colour alone would be enough to ensure we never got any repeat visits.

We have until Tuesday to prepare but, ever keen to avoid a last minute panic, I thought it would be a good idea to make a start today.   So while Val was ambitiously out on an 8k run, and given that we didn’t have anything else planned today, I set to putting away the paperwork that was neatly filed in piles on the living room floor, emptying the bins, and starting on the shopping.   By the time Val got back, it was lunchtime (another thing we seem to do a lot of here in Ireland is eating) and then after lunch I thought it would be another good idea to walk down to the big Tesco at Clare Hall to get the rest of the shopping we would need for our guests.

There was a bright interval in the weather this afternoon, so we managed the 8k walk to Clare Hall mostly in the dry – although the first hints of the incoming deluge were just starting to become apparent by the time we got there.   Then the problems began.   You pick up your trolley (or at least you do if you remember to bring a €1 coin to unlock it) and start doing your very own trolley dash up and down the aisles, filling it with things you think you deserve and things you think might come in handy.   Then you pay and suddenly realise that you don’t have a car waiting in the car park to take you and your exciting new acquisitions home –  you just have the no. 42 bus stop half a mile away at the other side of a dual carriage way which by now is being drenched in rain.

So once we had manage to find (just about) enough bags and rucksacks to put everything into, we staggered out into the night and made it safely, and relatively drily, to the meagre shelter of the bus stop.   My app said there was a no 42 in just 7 minutes which we thought would do just fine.   But when it still hadn’t turned up half an hour later, the realisation dawned that it was not coming at all and we might have another 30 minutes to wait.   At that point we started to develop contingency plans.

Could we walk home?   Well yes theoretically but all those “probably useful but nice to have” items we had gleefully picked up in aisle 7 would suddenly become very heavy and given that it was pitch black by now and pouring down, it would be a potentially life threatening alternative.   So could we get a taxi?   Well yes but very expensive.   We would immediately wipe out all the savings we had gained by coming to Tesco rather than using one of the more boutiquey upmarket shops in Malahide.   So not a very appealing prospect.   Or could we instead catch a no. 15 (of which there seemed to be an abundance) to Clongriffin station then get a DART home?   Again – the answer was “well yes” – but we would effectively just be exchanging a long cold wet wait for a bus at Clare Hall for a long cold wet wait for a train at Clongriffin, so not very appealing either.

So in the end we just gritted our teeth and decided to wait it out.   Eventually, the elusive no 42 turned up after a wait of 45 minutes, and whisked us home in what seemed like just the blink of an eye.   So now we are safely back in the flat, enjoying another nice bottle of red wine, and smugly watching the rain come down outside.   And remember – this was supposed to be down time.   Just wait till we really get going!



Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

It’s hard to tell whether this is one of last year’s flowers blooming late, or this year’s blooming early.   Nevertheless this calendula decorating the castle grounds gave a welcome bright splash of colour on an otherwise grey and damp afternoon Val heading off through the woods, hot on the trail of the supermarket
Heading out of Malahide towards Kinesaly.   “Slán abhaile” means “Return home safely” Just a bit further down the Malahide road is this magnificent entrance to a house – in grounds so huge you can’t even see it from the road – called Emsworth.   It is the former home of the late Irish Taoiseach Charles Haughey
This is the third time I’ve walked past St Doolagh’s Church (of stone roof fame) though it was Val’s first visit.   You can tell she’s impressed This magnificent cycleway always amuses me.   It leads away enigmatically into the distance but comes to an abrupt halt just outside Clare Hall, unceremoniously ending in a chain link fence.  As far as I can tell, it’s completely inaccessible
In a scene familiar to bus commuters everywhere, this was the sight that greeted us for 45 minutes as we waited seemingly interminably for the no 42 to arrive.   We had six false dawns before it eventually showed up – four 27’s and two 15’s – which just served to make the wait feel even longer and even more frustrating.   Fortunately, given that it was pouring with rain, there was a bus shelter to keep the us and the shopping dry (ish)
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 11410 m
Max elevation: 38 m
Min elevation: 8 m
Total climbing: 130 m
Total descent: -113 m
Total time: 03:15:00
Download file: Long Wait For The Bus Home corrected.gpx

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