By the sea


It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. I had a vague notion to visit Marsh’s Library in town as I had never previously been there. I put a comment on Facebook to ask the internet if it had any other suggestions for me. Lo and behold, a friend was going to the seaside – and wanted to know if I was interested in joining. I didn’t need asking twice. I sprinted to Connolly station and we boarded the train to Dun Laoghaire.

We had no definite plan – a stroll along the pier seemed essential, as it is a requirement of any visit to this seaside town. The sun was shining – it felt like a proper summer’s day; perhaps it will be the last one of the year. My friend is a writer, so we had a good old natter about our works in progress. Her idea is in development, but it sounds fascinating.

After our pier walk we decided to head south. A good decision. There was a farmer’s market held in the People’s Park. Apparently, this is a weekly event. I had never heard of it. The queue for an onion bhaji was too winding so I settled for a big old dirty burger which was most appetising. We sat down on the grass and had a good old gossip. It was a three-way conversation between myself, my friend, and a big, friendly, fluffy white dog who graced us with her presence.

After lunch we walked further along the coast to the rocky Forty Foot Gentlemen’s Bathing Area. As the name suggests this was a place of bathing for the male sex. It was also a place where nude bathing was permitted. I guessed that it must have been a popular gay cruising area back in olden times. These days it is open to everyone. It is a very beautiful spot with glorious views of Dublin’s coast.

Around the corner from the Forty Foot is the James Joyce Tower and Museum. This is in a Martello tower – one of twenty-six towers dotted along the coastline. I have performed here on Bloomsday over the past two years, but I’d never been on the roof. I rectified that oversight.

We made our way inland to Glasthule village where we found a table on the street outside Carluccio’s restaurant. An Aperol Spritz and a bun to finish our lovely summer afternoon, before catching the train back into town. It’s days like these that make me appreciate how lucky I am.

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