The weather was spectacular this weekend. It was undoubtedly the finest June bank holiday weekend I can remember. It’s going to be a heatwave summer again. Like 1977! I certainly hope so as we will be holidaying in Ireland this year and Ireland in the rain is glum though sadly typical.
This weekend, things went our way. We went to the Dublin docklands festival. We arrived at the right time and we didn’t have to queue for anything, even ice cream. We investigated the Jeanie Johnston, the world’s most expensive replica ship for which every man, woman and child in the country will have to make a contribution ad infinitem. We also looked over the Loth Lorien (no sniggering, the owner’s other ship is called the J.R.R. Tolkien) from Amsterdam where I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in 20 years (“the man with three children and the strong Cork accent” guessed Mr. Waffle).
Me: Bernard, how are you, it’s Anne.
Princess: Can we go up here?
B: Anne, how lovely to see you.
One of his small children legs it for the rigging.
Me: Are these all your children?
Princess: Can we go up here NOW?
B: Rescues small child from rigging, admonishes another says yes.
Me: What are you doing now?
Princess: I AM climbing up here.
Him: In the bank. And you?
Me: Get down and wait one minute.
Him: Flails after small children.
Me: Well, nice to see you.
Him: Yes, lovely to see you too.
I suppose having small children does fill in those gaps in conversation that inevitably arise when you meet old acquaintances.
Following my mother’s slightly puritanical but ultimately rewarding rule, we left when we were enjoying ourselves most and were able to look back on a very successful outing.
Then on Monday, we took ourselves off to Brittas Bay for the day. The last time I went to an Irish beach, it was all Irish people. The migrant population has certainly made us look less like a nation of milk bottles. It was extraordinary. Firstly, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I don’t think I have ever seen this in Ireland before. In fact, when I went on holidays with my parents, my mother used to drive my father insane by pining for cloudy skies “Don’t you get tired of these endless blue skies,” she would lament. Secondly, the beach was heaving. You had to step around people. I have never seen an Irish beach so crowded in my life. Thirdly, everyone in Ireland seems to boast a tattoo. Fourthly, almost everyone in Ireland is overweight. All very pleasant all the same. We bought ice cream in the car park and the man in the ice cream van told me that they had run out 5 times the day before and that the following day, he would be buying himself a porsche (people need fuel to keep up their bulk, you know).
The children enjoyed themselves as did we though, despite the hot sand and cloudless blue skies, the water was absolutely perishing (some things never change).