12 o’clock in the afternoon and a plan is afoot. Ireland was promised good weather so I was going to make use of it; go for a walk from Raheny to Howth and back and try to do it in a good time.
As I am quite competitive, I gave myself a target of two hours but was also to leave at twelve. (It didn’t matter that I hadn’t attempted this walk before, but the target was there to beat). As usual, good plans do not always come to fruition as I forgot to take into account I needed to prepare for my walk – dress in the requisite gear, put on a bit of sun cream and look silly stretching before I departed.
12:30pm came and I was off, happy that the sun was shining in the sky and a warm complimentary sea breeze was coming up the road and that blackbirds were singing in the trees. I head towards the coast road – the path along the Bull Island with the sun on my back and the sea on my right. Flecks of the sun shine on the sea below, like little camera flashes.
Along the coast road, it was nice though surprising how few people appeared to be out walking. Several bikes dodged around me, I walked past the odd pedestrian, the odd dog, said hello to an old school friend, but most were driving in the good weather. Traffic always haemorrhages on the coast road on sunny days as they head towards Howth. I walk on check the watch and check my pace. At 1pm, I am at Kilbarrack Cemetery, so I quicken.
1:30pm I reached Sutton Cross. Here, the cars disperse and the plan had changed slightly. The fork on the right alongside Marine Hotel goes towards St. Fintan’s Cemetery where my dead grandparents lie. I felt compelled to visit.
In a car, the drive from Sutton Cross to the cemetery is minimal, but as I am walking and going up a hill, I question whether this is the correct road but plough on nonetheless. Paths disappear and I am forced to cross the road twice, and doubts arise and the time is 1:40pm.
Graves appear on my right and into the cemetery I go. The time no longer matters. I say a quick prayer for my relatives and end it wishing them a Happy Easter. In the trees the birds rejoice. I walk back home the same way I came content with my day’s work.