Ireland day 0165. Saturday 12 March 2022- Stormy

Ireland day 0165. Saturday 12 March 2022- Stormy
Today’s summary Prepared response to DART+ consultation in morning, then shopping at Clare Hall, then preparing large casserole in afternoon and finally a stormy wet Portmarnock walk in the evening
Today’s weather Warm, dry, calm and sunny in the morning, by late afternoon a full storm was blowing with hard driving rain, gale force southeasterly wind, heavy cloud.   About 7C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Stormy Portmarnock evening walk

I must admit I was a bit caught unawares by the weather today.   I had checked the forecast this morning, as the sun streamed down, and noticed that a few drops or rain seemed to appear later in the day.   But I thought nothing of it – or at least if I did I probably thought “oh, it will just be a shower”.

So I felt no particular pressure to take best advantage of the warm sunny morning, and spent it inside reading about the “DART Plus” expansion plans, and then driving (wow- that was a thrill – no more waiting for the 42!) down to the Clare Hall Tesco to do the week’s shopping.

By the way – readers might remember that yesterday I was mulling over whether to respond to the DART+ consultation and, after having read up on the proposal this morning, I have decided I will do.    I think the project is a good idea (how could I think otherwise, being a some-time rail enthusiast?) but there are a few things that I thought could probably be clarified a bit.   Like the cost-benefit analysis (which is a bit opaque) and the over-reliance on existing lines rather than expanding the network and building new routes.   I would have thought that a rail link to the airport would be an obvious easy-win, but there is no reference to it.

Once back from the shops, and with a head full of railway facts and figures, I started preparing a large beef casserole.  So large in fact that I had had to buy an extra Pyrex dish to accommodate it all.   The reason for the expansion in volume is all down to costs.   The braising steak I buy is very cheap – but very tough so it takes ages to cook.   With energy prices going through the roof, it makes sense to fill the oven with as much stuff as I can whilst it’s on – hence the double quantity of casserole today.   I’m also doing a week’s worth of sausages and some jacket potatoes as well, to make sure all the nooks and crannies are completely filled up.

It seems to me that Val can prepare a brilliant casserole – from starting chopping to putting the whole thing in the oven – in no more than ten minutes.   I don’t know how she manages it, because when I try and do it, it takes at least an hour and a half of blood (not always) sweat (always) and tears (occasionally) to get to the same point.   And that’s before I even contemplate doing the tidying up of the inevitable mess that comes along as collateral damage.   Anyway, the upshot of all this messing around was that it was five o’clock by the time I had finished and the beautiful sunny day outside had completely vanished.

In fact, when I stepped out to – at last- get some fresh air and exercise, I discovered that it hadn’t just vanished, but had actually been replaced by a raging storm which seemed to have appeared more or less out of nowhere.   Undeterred I set off down the road to Portmarnock, cutting through near the college and past Dunnes supermarket, to pitch up at the north end of the beach in an absolute tempest of a gale.   The rain was lashing down, it was getting dark and it was in fact spectacularly bad.

I headed back up the coast path, grateful that I had decided to do the walk anticlockwise so I had the southeasterly wind and driving rain on my back rather than in my face, and sped along as fast as I could back to the warm refuge of the flat.   I did pause briefly to watch the waves – quite a rare sight, with the high tide and the unusual  wind direction combining to make them crash particularly spectacularly on the rocky parts of the shore.

Once back in the flat, even though I had only been out for an hour or so, I was soaked literally to the skin (I really wish I could find some waterproofs that actually were waterproof..).   So now everything is strewn out over the radiators steaming away and racking up an enormous gas bill that is probably more than offsetting any electricity saving I might have made by filling up the oven.

Anyway – now I need to log off and get the sausage and mash ready for dinner, then prepare lunch for tomorrow.   It’s down to the Wicklow hills again, so another early start!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

This is definitely worth a read if you are interested in the future of Irish railways Rain everywhere – the scene that greeted me when I poked my nose out of the front door this evening
I’ve noticed these footprints painted on the pavements all round Malahide recently.   I don’t know what they mean – will have to do some research.   Possibly a lockdown legacy Here are some more – I found some blue ones a bit later on, too, but by then it was too dark to take a photo.   Shame, really, I could have gone for the hat trick
Down at the north end of the Velvet Strand.   The Irish Sea was looking most unwelcoming this evening The High Rock bathing point.  Strangely enough there was nobody out swimming tonight.   I must admit I was a bit surprised, as I have seen people out in the water in all conditions lately so I did half expect to see a few (fool)hardy souls out enjoying the full washing machine experience
Many readers of this blog have commented on my frequent references to my trusty Thermos.   I am glad to know that I am not alone in my enthusiasm for this life-changing innovation
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 6529 m
Max elevation: 34 m
Min elevation: 1 m
Total climbing: 86 m
Total descent: -91 m
Total time: 01:15:08
Download file: Stormy Portmarnock corrected.gpx

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