Sunday, August 13, 2006


"We could go to Skerries. Then maybe on to see Oliver Plunkett's head in Drogheda," I suggested. I was perusing one of our new roadmaps.
"I haven't been in Skerries in years," Herself said.
"And I've never seen yer man's noggin."

We found that Fingal County Council love roundabouts. You can't travel any length of good roadway there without meeting one.

"Go straight."
"Where those cars are going?"

"Er... go right at the next one."
We sped down a carriageway lined with new apartment buildings.
"This one isn't on the map. Must be new. Can we turn around..?"

We decided that "Head for Belfast" was the new motto, and so despite some car-horn honking and (presumably) shouts of "Bloody tourists!" we loped into Skerries without any major incident.

The town itself is mostly untouched by the major redevelopments of places like Malahide, another coastal town an hour down the road. The houses all appear to be occupied and generally they look unaltered. Like most seaside towns, the houses huddle with their backs to the sea, small windows looking into the main street.

Although we looked briefly at the harbour, our main interest was in visiting the beach. Sand dunes of the finest quartz sand led onto a popular strand with plenty of families enjoying the warm if overcast weather. Herself, born on the coast, naturally took a short paddle in the water. We sat under a dune and watched a swallow dipping low over the strand to catch flies. A sure-fire prediction of rain to come.

"Sorry. I can make you tea or coffee, but no sandwiches," the genial barman told us. "The EU tells us we have to have a full kitchen installed before we can serve a sandwich."

He pointed us good-naturedly in the direction of a bar and restaurant across the way called "Tommy Bahamas." After two pints and two inch-thick home-made burgers in the spotless (EU approved, no-doubt) restaurant, we didn't feel much like seeing yer man's head, so we braved the roundabout system and made for home. If we ever win the Lotto, we might look for a house in Skerries.


Anonymous said...

Love the footsteps in the sand.

Anonymous said...

Footsteps in the Sand is a poem I heard somewhere, any idea where ?

Anonymous said...

Ah hah, I looked up Google. This poem was written by an unknown. Two people have said they have written it but it was never proven.

Footsteps in the Sand.

One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.

For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand:
one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him he looked back, at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of his life, there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the lowest and saddest times of his life.

This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way."

The Lord replied:
My son, My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

That actually brought a tear to my eye.