Four years ago, I was living in Dublin. It was the winter of ’06 coming into ’07, and it was bitterly cold. Well — it doesn’t really get bitterly cold in Ireland. What happens is, it gets sort of cold and really damp, which makes the cold feel much worse than it really is.
Winters are pretty tough for me. I’ve never been a winter person. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of light or the lack or warmth, or the combination of the two, but it gets grim and feeling like it’ll never end. The damp winds blow right through all the layers of clothes and my big navy P-coat and my longjohns, and all I can think of doing is curling up by an open fire and sleeping until the snowdrops and crocuses pop up their little heads to announce with a chorus of whispering the arrival of spring.
But, of course, come hell, high water, weather or winter, everybody’s got to put their shoulders to the wheel. Luckily for me, the wheel was spinning in Dalkey, south of Dublin City on the bay that was once referred to as “The British Bay of Naples”. Now, I’ve never been to Naples or its bay, and Ireland isn’t part of Britain anymore, but I think I get the gist. You would, too, if you saw Dalkey: they’ve got one of the best vistas in all the-world-that’s-known-to-me.
Down at Bullock harbour, you can visit the seals, who always pop their noses up hoping that a friendly reveller will throw them something by way of comestibles. Up the road was Vico Road, one of the most beautiful agglomeration of extravagant housing a person could hope to see without being stared at strangely for being there. It’s a rich area, but I get the feeling that because it’s so nice to look at, nobody there really blames you for gawping.