Some random photos, just to conclude my ‘Summer in Dublin’ series, before I clear the camera memory (I’m back home now). I am not even sure I can remember where all of the images are from, but will do my best to guess; however, if anyone at any time can improve on my captions, supplying or correcting street names or whatever, it would be appreciated.
THIS POST is meant to be a supplement to Arran Q Henderson’s post ‘From Sea to Shining Sea: a picture walk on Howth Head’ on the ‘Arran Q Henderson’ blog on 5 March 2013 (arranqhenderson.com). Arran’s ‘Sea to Shining Sea’ post, which I’ve reblogged as my previous post, is meant as ‘part 3’ in my ‘Summer in Dublin’ series. Arran’s camera gave out just as he was approaching the Bailey Lighthouse, and so I thought I’d do the walk and supply the missing pics, which I offer as ‘Summer in Dublin, part 4’.
Going around the peninsula anti-clockwise, Arran started off his walk near St Fintan’s church. I however came by way of train (the DART service) and so started my journey back in the village of Howth and walked (westwards) about 2 or 3 kilometres before I got to where Arran started.
The following few photos are pictures I took on the journey between the railway station and St Fintan’s, which ought to give you a sense of the kind of neighbourhood we’re dealing with here
OK, so shortly after this we come to Church Road; there’s a Methodist church on the corner where you turn down into Church Road (too dull-looking to photo), at the end of which is St Fintan’s whereat you turn left and head over towards the Sutton Dingy Sailing Club. From here on, until we get to the Bailey Lighthouse, let Arran be your main guide (see my previous post, which is a reblog of Arran’s post), however, here are a few pics I took walking along that same stretch of coastline
Actually, I didn’t enjoy the section after the Bailey Lighthouse as much as the section essayed in Arran’s post. Perhaps it was because having read and re-read Arran’s post a number of times I felt like I was ‘in the know’ and I was enjoying identifying the places and features he’d photographed and written about, or perhaps it was because a huge section of the area after the Bailey was gorse-burned by gobshites, which still smouldering really stank like blazes, or maybe it was because I was getting a little tired—the walk was a good bit more than I’d bargained for (you need to have proper walking boots for this walk, I did not and the stony conditions underfoot were beginning to tell)—but, in fact, I think it’s because the walk itself is simply not as interesting: unless, of course, you like wild rocky empty wilderness type walking, but, coming from the west end of west Cork as I do, that for me is a busman’s holiday, and I much prefer peeping into the coiffured strongholds of the seriously well-to-do (and Howth is a sanctuary for such exotics). Nevertheless, these be the pics wot I took in the post-Bailey stretch of the walk . . .
I was planning in having a good nose around the town of Howth too, which looks lovely, but by the time I got there I was fairly knackered and the thunderstorm clouds brought on by this wonderfully warm summer weather were gathering (I was back in Dalkey by the time the storm broke yesterday evening—with fabulous lightening flashes and thunder-rolls—eating supper and watching the second part of a really good documentary on Woody Allen on the BBC). So all I did was walk across the harbour area (not going up into the town center), and here be the snaps I snapped as I went my weary way. . .
Reblogging this post by Arran Q Henderson because this is the post that inspired me to do a blog of my own—I was following Arran’s blog by way of email updates—and also because I was inspired by this post to walk this walk, which I did yesterday (Wed., 24 July 2013), something I really recommend, about 2 hours worth. In a following post I’m going to add my own tuppence worth which is meant as a supplement to this Arran post because, as you’ll see when you get to the end, the batteries for Arran’s camera gave out just as he was approaching the Bailey Lighthouse, and so I thought I’d do the walk and supply the missing pics (which you will find in ‘Summer in Dublin, part 4’ on The Wordkern Archive [Arran’s Howth post will be ‘part 3’ in my ‘Summer in Dublin’ series]). Perry O’D.
On of the best walks near Dublin is the circumnavigation of the Howth peninsula. I love to do the entire 360 circuit, and prefer it anti-clockwise, if you like, as you begin on the south-facing side and so catch more sun.
Just leave the car at and start walking somehwere between the modern church near Sutton cross and Sutton dinghy club and get going. Sutton Cross incidentally must be one of the few crossroads in Europe where you can go straight forward and be on the sea, turn both left or right and both are by the sea, or even head back where you came, and still be on the sea. All four directions, sea. This seemed logically impossible to me for a very long time, my brain refused to accept it. But its true. Anyway, I digress.
There are a lot of really nice houses to enjoy. Look at this lovely art deco classic below.
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“In MY Dalkey I rejoice that so much is so close at hand,” says the writer Maeve Binchy in Dalkey: an anthology, “you could walk down from the DART calling into an art gallery, a photographic agency, a florist, a boutique and a hairdresser and that’s before you get to the main street. Then there are coffee shops greengrocers, butchers, a bookshop, a library, a supermarket, secretarial services, doctors, dentists, eye specialists, laundries, banks, takeaways, gift shops, a post office, off-licences, estate agents—all on one street. The street even has traffic lights in it so that now we can cross it less fearfully.
“Some people go shopping every day just for the pleasure of meeting neighbours. The coffee shops around Dalkey have meant that it is now possible to sit down and spend even more time watching the world go by. I know one man who goes out each day to shop, the journey takes him over an hour; he regards it as the high point of each day. In the evenings he goes out again to buy a newspaper or a lotto ticket and again he makes it into an epic outing. This way he meets neighbours and friends and keeps in touch with what’s happening.
“It’s a lovely place to grow old”, he said to me recently. And it is.
“It’s also a lovely place to be young in. I watch the girls coming up from Loreto in their uniforms, each one with hopes and dreams of what life will bring them. I watch the boys coming out of Harold Boys School eager for the journey to the match or for what the next day will bring.
“I never think of Dalkey as just a Desirable Area to live in, I think of it as a place full of memories, most of them very good and happy.
“A place where the DART can take us home from the big city and we can breathe our own sea air. Somewhere we are grateful to live without being smug, a little town with two magic harbours, and hills and views without equal in the land.
“The people I feel a twinge of sympathy for are those who come out here for the day or for a quick visit. They can sense it would be a great place to live.
“And they are right.
“If you couldn’t be happy in Dalkey then you’d be a pretty difficult person, impossible to please on any level.”
Maeve Binchy in Dalkey: an anthology, volume 2 (2009). Maeve Binchy (1940-2012), novelist and newspaper columnist and long-time Dalkey resident. She is one of an impressive number of writers with Dalkey associations, others include Flann O’Brien, Hugh Leonard, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Bernard Farrell, and John Millington Synge (to name but a few). I’ve been staying in this pleasant suburb of Dublin these past few weeks (during this wonderful heatwave), which is why I’ve gone all Dalkey. Following are some more Dalkey photos which I hope will give something of a sense of the place.
SPENDING A GOOD CHUNK of this summer in Dublin, which is a city I know not at all. I’m really enjoying it so far. I lived in London but could never get my head round it—it was just too damn big. Afterwards I lived in Edinburgh, but it was too far north, too cold. Then I lived in Cambridge, in East Anglia, which was simply too English (even though I like England—but not so concentrated). After that—indeed, since then—I’ve been in Skibbereen in the west of Ireland, which I find too country and western (they park in yellow grid boxes, for goodness sake, which are designed to keep junctions clear). But—Goldilocks-like—Dublin I find just right.
I’m reviewing the final pages of a book which is going to be out later this year (the postcards book, to be published by The Collins Press) so I’m not doing as much here as I’d planned; the pages were supposed to be completely finished with by now, but . . . the puny plans of men and all that. Nevertheless, here are half a dozen or so photos from my first week: I’m staying in Dalkey, so clearly I have not ventured very far—Dun Laoghaire and Sandycove to the north and Killiney to the south; I’ve been into the city centre a couple of times too, but, so far, only on business, which is to say the National Library.
Also included here is the chorus from the Bagatelle chart success from all those years ago, which I find myself singing or humming to myself all the time as I cycle and potter about in this glorious weather.
I remember that summer in Dublin,
And the Liffey as it stank like hell,
And young people walking down Grafton Street,
Everyone looking so well.
I was singing a song I heard somewhere,
Called “Rock’n’Roll Never Forget”,
When my humming was smothered by the 46A,
And the scream of a low flying jet.
So, I jumped on a bus to Dun Laoghaire,
Stopping off to pick up my guitar,
When a drunk on a bus told me how to get rich,
I was glad we weren’t going too far.
Wonderful vignette of Arts and Letters in Ireland at the beginning of the 21st century—funny in the way that someone puking up at the top table at a wedding breakfast is funny. To be honest, I do not know what to make of this guy—I’ve been following his blog for a little while now and, by a very long way, this is the happiest he’s ever been; however, even as you read this you just know it’s going to go sour at some point (days in which you spend all day drinking when the sun is shining brilliantly—as I know from gritty experience—always curdle and stink in the end). Sometimes I wonder if any of the stuff in this blog [‘Letters to Lucy’ on WordPress.com] is for real—is this guy a made-up character? are the people and encounters he writes about actual persons and events? Is the guy’s gloomy worldview heightened for comic effect? He’s like a Dostoevskian version of Ross O’Carroll Kelly—the two should be put together in a collection of grotesque short stories about modern Ireland—or a Martin Amis creation escaped from the Amis menagerie: in Britain there is John Self and Lionel Asbo, in Ireland Ross OCK and Hughie O’Domhnaill. Anyway, whether ‘true’ or not—as with Hunter S. Thompson, for example—I don’t think it matters (as far as the reading experience goes anyway): if it’s all created—or even half of it created—it’s a brilliant creation, and if not, then it is even more amazing. Amazing and, I think, important—the guy makes some bang-on hits on the arts industry in Ireland, in particular the niche prescribed for artists and their arts, which is basically about helping publicans to sell burgers and pints and guesthouse keepers to put sweaty bums on MDF-based beds—arts festivals in Ireland are like the sauna and massage services in a massage parlour.
John Dillon St,
8th June, 2013
Today is day three of the Dublin Shakespeare Festival. This is absolute Shakespeare-Lite, an undergraduate gallivant around Trinity College, a sort of pseudo-intellectual Freshers’ Week for buoyant, none-too-inquisitive drama students and whatever indiscriminate tourists who’ve been lured to Ireland on their miserable fucking holidays happen to be passing by in search of the Book of Kells. Does this qualify as art? Or is it just ‘the arts’? And whence the troubling, the invidious, distinction?
Tomorrow of course comes worse: the beginning of what has now become, apparently, a week-long Bloomsday. More straw boaters and opulent dresses will grace the streets of Dublin than any bona fide Dubliner circa 1904 could possibly afford. Christ. Did you know the original Bloomsday organisers, Flann O’Brien and Patrick Kavanagh and some others I’ve never heard of, couldn’t even get through a full day of it: they gave up…
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Unveiled by President Michael D. Higgins at Roddy Doyle’s Fighting Words Centre earlier this week, Ireland’s newest postal stamp features a little piece of creative writing by Eoin Moore, a Dublin teenager—a participant in Dublin’s ‘Fighting Words’ creative writing programme for young people last year.
The 60c stamp was commissioned to celebrate Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature.
Designed by the Stone Twins, two Amsterdam-based Irish designers, the bright yellow rectangular stamp includes all 224 of Eoin Moore’s words, which seek to give voice to the essence of the city.
Below is Eoin’s piece in full (he was 17 years old at time of writing it):
“The thick clouds cover up the moonlight, but the city’s lights provide worthwhile illumination—above them all, the beacon burns bright atop the monolithic podium, signalling to wayfaring voyages the ancient Viking settlement. Now, where Norsemen once stood, I look back, along the quays, streets and alleys, to where the inhabitants live their lives: eating, speaking, and breathing their city into existence. It gives me cause to wonder, as I stroll aimlessly along the cobbled paths, about those who have traversed them before me, by carriage or before there were even cobbles to walk upon. I feel their lives and mine are somehow connected, that we all were at one point a part of this city, living pieces of its grand, striking framework. Every High King and scholar, every playwright and poet, every politician and every rebel, every merchant, student, and busker who ever set foot in the city holds or held onto a chunk of this city’s soul; every one of them stepped to the city’s heartbeat. I listen to the streets at night and I can feel the city’s lifeblood pumping through me; I can feel myself flowing through it. All of us who travel those arteries step on the words, actions, and lives of those who travelled them before us. The city embodies the people, and the people embody the city.”
A collector’s item, surely.