Ireland day 0276. Friday 01 July 2022- Drizzle

Ireland day 0276. Friday 01 July 2022- Drizzle
Today’s summary Spent the morning on admin then after lunch went to the library and then walked down to Lidl in Portmarnock to do some shopping.   Back via the coast
Today’s weather Overcast and damp all day.   No sun.   Drizzle in the afternoon then rain later.   Moderate southerly wind.   About 16C
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):
Portmarnock and Lidl

I can think of no better word to describe the glories of summer in the British Isles than “drizzle”.   It sums up perfectly all those hopes of brighter things to come, and the inevitable disappointments when they don’t.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting summer in Ireland to be like, but I’m forming a pretty good impression – based on recent experience – of what it is actually like.   Mostly a bit gloomy, not very warm, and almost always windy.   I’m not complaining though because taken as a whole the weather here has been much better than I expected since we arrived last September.   The winter, especially, was a lot drier and sunnier than I had feared- in fact I think I would venture to say that the winter weather was better than the summer – so far, at least.

I think I was lucky that I chose yesterday for my hike around Tonelagee – it stayed dry all day and there were some decent spells of sunshine.   Today seems to have reverted to the prevailing pattern of grey, wet and windy weather- it’s been drizzling all day and now as I write this, it’s pouring down outside.

Given the inauspicious conditions I wasn’t inclined to get going early this morning – which is probably a good thing as I slept for a solid nine and a half hours last night and it was almost 9 am when I finally came round.   Some people say you miss the best part of the day if you don’t get up early but for me I absolutely love not getting up early.   I can think of no better way of spending the dawn hours of a wet Friday morning than being asleep.

Once I was up and about, I had a quick video call with Val back in the UK, then after two cups of strong coffee to kick me into action, sat down to tackle yet more admin-related paperwork.   I really l don’t like doing this but once I’d got it out of the way I felt a lot better.  So I had a quick run into town to return a couple of library books and pick up some milk, then returned to the flat for a late breakfast / early lunch / very early dinner of chilli con carne.   It’s the stuff I made on Wednesday and it’s pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Once all that was out of the way, I decided to walk down to Lidl in Portmarnock to pick up a few more bulk items – biscuits and cereals mostly – that are cheaper there than locally.   I also like looking round those marvellous centre-aisle bargains as you never know quite what they might have in stock.

On today’s visit I was tempted by the one-armed wrench and by the free-standing mains voltage air compressor but after a moment’s thought I decided I didn’t know where in the flat I would be able to keep them, much less what I might actually use them for.   So I contented myself with some cheap Greek yogurt (€1.35 for a litre – it comes in a bucket like white paint) and a couple of jars of anchovies – which are surprisingly hard to find in Ireland (and they weren’t particularly easy to spot in Lidl either, as they were slightly surprisingly displayed in the condiments section, between the strawberry jam and the peanut butter).   But there were no biscuits or cereals that caught my eye, so I came away with preserved fish rather than rice krispies – which sums up  Lidl perfectly, actually.

By the time I had finished in the supermarket it was raining quite hard, so I donned the woolly hat (I am never without it), pulled on the waterproof jacket, and set off back to Portmarnock via the coast.   There were very few people out and about despite it being the first of July and despite the fact that I didn’t reach the beach until nearly six o’clock, so people would have been home from work by then.   I guess the grey skies and uninviting sea must have seemed less attractive than Netflix this evening.

Now I’m back, warm and dry, in the flat.   Given the blowout lunch, it’s just beans on toast for tea tonight.   Then I, too, might indulge in a spot of well-deserved Netflix as the world outside gets a soaking.   Pinch! Punch! First of the month!   Roll on January, and the decent weather again!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The massive cricket stands which appeared in the castle demesne last week for the matches against India suddenly seem to have disappeared.   I am impressed by the speed and efficiency with which these structures pop up then vanish again – but also a bit surprised as i thought there were at least two matches coming to Malahide later this month.   Maybe they will just pop back up again in a week or two’s time? Jimmy’s is our nearest bike shop and it’s right next door to Lidl.   Sadly it was closed when I visited today, so i wasn’t able to see if they could fix my Sturmey Archer gears.   I’ll have to try cycling down at a later date to see what they could do.
On the Velvet Strand just as it was starting to rain.   The coastguards were dutifully manning their stations – and indeed there were a couple of hardy types out swimming in the far distance of the shallow beach.   It definitely isn’t “Baywatch” I’d never noticed these two rows of decaying timbers on the beach at Portmarnock before.  They aren’t marked on any of my maps but I do know that the timbers of a shipwreck dating back probably to the 1800s were first reported at low tides here in about 2009.   It’s not known exactly what vessel it was – and equally I am not sure if this is the wreck that was reported in 2009.   But if it isn’t a wreck, I’m not sure what it actually is.   It would be interesting to do some carbon dating and dendochronology on the wood, to find out more precisely how old it was
I love the perfectly hemispherical design of these inflorescences – I think they belong to a variety of either wild carrot (Daucus carota) or Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).   Either way, it’s quite common along the coast road here, and the umbel is about 10cm / 4 in across I can honestly say I have never seen to many orchids as I have here in ireland over the last couple of months.   Just down the road from here, by the coast, there is a large area of grassland which contains literally thousands of these beautiful pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis).   The grassland is actively managed as a wildflower meadow so however it is being done, it seems to be having the desired result.   Well done Fingal County Council.
Funnily enough, I wasn’t tempted by this well priced bargain down at Lidl
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 13339 m
Max elevation: 49 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 153 m
Total descent: -153 m
Total time: 03:01:12
Download file: Portmarnock Circuit And Lidl compressed corrected - Copy.gpx

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