Author Topic: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend  (Read 2534 times)

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4058
I operate a netsite for writers with well over 30K members, so I read only a fraction of the posts. This one I discovered because it was fresh and near the top. The bicycle drew my eye like a magnet. No connection to the author except that he is a member of a professional group I co-founded.

Quote
Would you like to bike through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend, but you can't get to Ireland?
Take a ride with Nicki and her friends...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Victories-David-J-OBrien-ebook/dp/B0BX176WGZ

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2023, 02:44:15 pm »
Thanks, Andre.

Quote
The bicycle drew my eye like a magnet.

And for me, it was "Wicklow".  My mum's family was from Co. Wicklow, near Glendalough. But then, there's no such thing as coincidence, is there?

Cheers,  John

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4058
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2023, 01:05:16 pm »
Thank you, John. St Patrick's is almost upon us, and Spring is not nigh (rain, wind jerking the hefty Eucalyptus outside my study window around, freezing temperatures at night), so I guess the Wild Atlantic Way isn't on yet:

Ireland snow danger ‘not over yet’ as Met Eireann issue new weather warning before major change -- https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/ireland-snow-danger-weather-warning-29442801

The snow in the headline above makes a headline because it generally doesn't snow much in Ireland, but it isn't unknown.

Grand days in Ireland: summer shading into autumn:
« Last Edit: March 15, 2023, 01:23:03 pm by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2023, 07:29:17 pm »
What.A.Photo, Andre!!

Nothing nearly so spectacular here, although we are now into March weather.  Today, two main colours:  white below, anywhere from 2ft to 6 ft deep (streaked with brown/grey crud beside the roads, as well as the dark tarmac itself); and above, bright blue & sunny sky, a reminder that we're just slightly above Marseilles' latitude.  In between shades of brown-to-black trunks & branches of deciduous trees, plus the green of the conifers.

Cheers,  John

in4

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2023, 08:07:20 pm »
Wonderfully atmospheric!
From my tour last year I can confirm that it’s not always so peaceful out west! As Seamus Heaney said ‘Blow your heart wide open’. Couple of photos near Downpatrick Head attached.


Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4058
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2023, 02:30:44 pm »
I nearly went to live in Co Wicklow. It was a matter of turning right or left at the port gate at Rosslare when we came off the ferry from France before dawn on a Sunday. But I heard on the ferry that the South African expatriates gathered in Co Wicklow and, as a very experienced exile (!), I've always avoided these hyper-political people in order better to blend into host countries. Also, the papers of General Smuts and my grandmother's diaries are in the archives of University College Cork. I also heard from a cleric on the ferry that the best Protestant school in the country is at Bandon, 20 minutes from Cork airport, in the West End of London by 11am without cutting into one's sleep and home again in time for dinner, and he (the cleric) would be delighted to arrange a full scholarship for my child. So I turned left and never regretted a moment of it. But Ireland is a very small place; Wicklow is only a couple of hours away. A friend and I were planning a day trip including a ride along over 20m of surfaced scenic cycle path in Wicklow, where I've also walked the hills in different company, when he died.

There is also a path around most of Ireland for hillwalkers, and theoretically for cyclists, but I've walked many sections of it and, frankly, I wouldn't take my bikes on it even in younger days. It's for young people on offload bikes that they don't mind being scratched up liberally and carrying a lot of the time. Irish hillwalkers who also cycle -- which is many of them -- clearly in their minds separate these paths (of which the surfaced section in Wicklow is a part worth mentioning by virtue of being exceptional) from genuinely cyclable paths. When they organise a cycling party it is on the little roads and lanes like the ones I favour, not on these hill paths.

***

In in4's post I really like the photo of the Russian spy sub with its conning tower cunningly camouflaged in barnacles.

Andre Jute Ghost Ship "Hesperus" Off the Coast of Co Sligo, 2022 Oil on Canvas 6x8in 800pxw

Cycling with friends at their holiday home on the coast of Sligo, we came across the wreck of a ship, probably a hundred feet long, a Baltic trader. Unfortunately my iPhone's battery decided to go on strike just then, and when we returned the next day with fully charged-up batteries and a dedicated camera, the sea had taken the ship in the night. So I painted it from memory.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2023, 07:40:40 pm by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1996
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2023, 09:36:43 pm »
Your watercolours are always such a treat, Andre.

On cycling about in The Holy Ground, I expect you've read Eric Newby's Round Ireland in Low Gear?  If not, it's delightful read, full of splendid images.

I was always a bit put off, softie that I am, by Flanagan's early line in The Year of the French (on the '98): "It was one of those days on the west coast of Ireland when the whole world seemed to have turned to water."

Cheers,  John

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4058
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2023, 10:20:04 pm »
I'd better try again to get a copy of Newby's book. Thanks for the reminder, John.

I know what Flanagan means...

in4

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2023, 07:30:20 am »
Andre your Hesperus certainly captures the atmosphere and the drama of a moment long since passed.

I’m sure the Saint in Stone sent a special rain cloud toward this Low Church Rider that day. I arrived at my B&B drenched to the bones. My lady host took good care of my needs as her husband fixed his printer. Minutes later the husband could be heard swearing and cussing like a trooper. I thought he was having trouble with his printer and went to offer some help. Upon opening the door I saw the printer, unattended whilst the owner was sat down cursing the existence of his losing rugby team on the TV!
Keep your nose out, Low Church!

Another time I’ll share a story regarding someone I met along the way, near Sligo.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2023, 09:38:15 am by in4 »

Andre Jute

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4058
Re: Vicarious ride through Dublin and Wicklow this St Patrick's weekend
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2023, 03:42:22 pm »
I'm surprised he didn't hit you with that knopkierie (fighting stick disguised as a bishop staff by the carving) as well as sending a rain cloud with your name on it.

Thanks for the kind words about the painting. My pedalpals and I had wreck of our own in our backyard, a large wooden ship up the River Bandon well beyond its draught, which was a marker and stopping place on our rides for years -- and on the day, on which after days of heavy rain clearing the air the light had a special quality, when I lugged heavy oil painting gear out there on my bike, was just gone, not a trace left, not even a small sliver of rotten plank, just a new exceptionally high water mark. Definitely a plot against me...