07 December 2015

The Grey, Grey Waves of Home

I'm surprised we only have one word for "Grey" in Ireland. Two if you count "Gray". I don't.
The Great South Wall, Dublin, 11th October, 2015
There was a time in the near past when I was commuting between Dublin and London on an almost weekly basis. This had about the same effect on my mood as it did upon the environment, a carbon crater the size of a disappearing island nation mirrored by a crater of crankiness imploding in my soul every time I boarded the plane back home. Either home. Such behaviour was as unsustainable as it was un-Sustainable, so more recently I have both reduced the frequency of trips, and abandoned the friendly skies for the at-best-uncaring-at-worst-taken-an-instant-dislike-to-the-cut-of-your-jib two-hit combo of SailRail (or as it's known in the opposite direction, RailSail).

The Stena Superfast X with Howth in the background. Not exactly the golden age of sea travel, but at least it has enough lifeboats.
The Great South Wall, Dublin, 11th October, 2015
This involves a three and half hour rail journey from London to Holyhead, and anything up to a three and a half hour ferry crossing to Dublin, with up to an hour in between in glorious Holyhead ferry terminal. It's slow, painfully slow, but once you sit back and settle in to a zen like state of calm, earphones wedged as far into your head as possible to drown out the sound of folks drinking and fighting at nine in the morning then drinking and puking at three in the afternoon as they realise they left their sea legs back in the last bar beside the train station, the journey isn't half bad.

One of the treats of the ferry crossing is the view of Howth as you come in to Dublin Bay, followed by the South Wall and the Poolbeg chimneys, a symbol so apt for dirty aul' Dublin that not even the giant heroin needle on O'Connell Street could supplant it. Back in October I took a walk out along the South Wall and was greeted by the ferry coming in when I reached the lighthouse at the end.

Not much to look at, but it's still more exciting than Battleship, which I fell asleep watching, on a plane.
The Great South Wall, Dublin, 11th October, 2015
After being on the ferry looking out on so many occasions, it was a moment of strange sensations to be on the sea wall looking back. I had this rare sense of gazing at something and seeing the inverse stare back, a fleeting colocation, a juxtaposition of both imminent arrival and the wistful resentment of those left behind.

The ferry passed and I set off home, walking back along the grey stone road and over the stone-grey waves.

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