Howth

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging recently. Not actually blogging, but just thinking about it. Abou what makes good blogging. You see, I was displeased with the quality of the last post, because I was rushing it, and writing in an internet cafe surrounded by yucky boys playing internet games, neither of which is productive to my abilities to write amusing blog posts, apparently. Yes, I get more displeased about the quality of my blog posts, which I don’t get paid for, and that only my friends and family read, than I do about… other things that I should potentially care about more.
Yes. Good. I’m not in an internet cafe, by the way, I just didn’t think that thought through before I wrote it down.
Anyway, after mulling for many hours over my less-than-impressive blog post, I came to a decision, which is that I must pick a topic and stick to it, instead of writing long rambling posts that sort of go, ‘And then I did this, and then I felt that, and then I saw this person, and none of it really makes any sense to me and… The End,’ because, apart from sounding like an 7 year old reporting back to her class about what she did on school holidays, I think I may be wearing out my welcome with the readers back home.
Yes, readers back home, I’m thinking of you. I’m always thinking of you. Promise.
And, after that incredibly long and NOT AT ALL RELEVANT introduction, I will tell you about Howth.
One of the lovely things about moving to Dublin (there are many, but I’m saving those thoughts for another post to be written later in the week about the joys of living in a big city… yes, stay on topic, Jenny), is that I have a brand new city to explore. Its like having the joy of traveling and yet staying in the comfort of your own place all wrapped into one. Its the best feeling, but only lasts for a few months, at the most, in a new place. So, whilst I knew where many of the important things were in Dublin (the Abbey Theatre, the Project Arts Centre, the Irish Film Institute, various music venues, the best place to buy cheesecake), I still had many things to explore. This is also good for my blogging, because, quite frankly, since I’ve stopped looking after the kiddies, the amount of things to write about each day seems to have dwindled. As frustrating and hard-work as they can be, at least children provide all sorts of possibilities for amusing self-reflection and nostalgia. Perhaps this is why there are so many TV shows based around them (‘Kids Say the Darndest Things,’ ‘Funniest Home Videos’, the feel-good section at the end of the local news). But, FOCUS, Jenny. Yes, a new city provides new places and things to write about. One of these places is Howth.
Here is Howth:

And here is also Howth:

     
Prettiness. Found at http://geodublin.com/day-trips/howth-village/

So, as I was saying in my last post, Dublin seems to be trying to make up for its bad impression on me back in 2011 by being ridiculously sunny and beautiful every single day forever and ever. It got to the point on Sunday that I was like, ‘Really? Another sunny day? But… but I’ve done all the sunny day activities I can possibly think of… what else could I possibly do? What did I used to do back home when it was sunny all the time?’ It was then that I remembered the advice of the kindly taxi driver who had gotten me to my British Visa appointment on time (not that it mattered in the end, but, oh, Jenny, just stop with the tangents and the parentheses!) He said that if it was a nice day, I should get a day ticket and go on the DART (the train) around the coast of Dublin Harbour, as it was very pretty. I decided that on Sunday I would follow this advice, as, everyone knows that, when traveling, you must always take the advice of local taxi drivers.
That’s a rule right? Yeah. Yeah, that’s a rule.
Because I couldn’t quite figure out how to get a day ticket right around Dublin Harbour, as my home is smack bang in the middle of the two ends of the harbour, I amended the taxi driver’s advice, and headed to one end, thinking that would give me something extra to explore another day. And, the end I settled on was Howth.
It was just delightful. Howth sticks out away from the mainland, in some sort of… thin peninsula, I guess its called? With, like, a knob on the end? I haven’t done geography since Year 8, don’t get all judge-y on me, just look at the map and you’ll see what I mean (yes, I could check Wikipedia, but I couldn’t be arsed, I have other things to do, like STAY ON TOPIC). There is also a hill behind Howth, which means, when you go up it, you get fantastic views all the way down the coast to the Wicklow Mountains in the south, and to… some other mountains in the North. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but you could see that just up the coast, and just inland, there was rain. Because I was so far away, the rain looked like smoky ribbons dangling from the clouds. It was beautiful, and rather dramatic.
I took the bus all the way up to the summit, and then walked down the hill towards Howth Village. I had seen a lovely market was going on down in the town centre, and we all know I can’t resist a good market. There’s something about buying things from stalls that makes me happy. Call me crazy. But a pile of carrots from a stall, regardless of taste or look or quality, always make me feel happier than a bag of carrots from the supermarket. Its my inner contrariness coming out.
Before getting to the markets, I walked along sea wall down in the harbour, which reminded me of the wall Louisa Musgrove jumps from in Persuasion, and Jane Austen connections are always good things for a place. I sat down to eat some scones I had brought from home, which the ridiculously oversized and menacing looking seagulls decided I was meant to share with them. I disagreed and stuffed them all in my mouth before they stole them right out of my fingers. Seriously, they looked like they were going to. I saw some poor 11 year old boy accidently walk into a swarm of gulls, and then proceed to act like Tippi Hedren in The Birds. They were scary, like.
The markets were wonderful, and I bought many things that I didn’t need, like sweet chilli chutney, olives stuffed with jalapenos and seeded bread. Mainly because I can’t resist things in stalls, or more accurately, men selling things at stalls, and even more specifically, men with Northern Irish accents selling things in stalls, but also because I feel bad for eating hundreds of free tasters and then not buying anything. I’ll have to go back though, as I am currently limiting my sweets intake (I know, how did that happen?) and there was a rather rotund fellow with an incredibly warm smile and overalls on (oh, how wholesome!) and he was selling the most adorable looking mini-cupcakes, with gigantic swirls of icing and whole cherries on top, and, because I had already had scones, I COULDN’T HAVE ANY MINI-CUPCAKES. Well, I could have, but, oh, you know. I’m trying to be healthy for at least a little while. And then I can go back to mini-cupcakes, which will obviously taste so much better for me having waited. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway. 
Of course, this being Ireland, the glorious sunny day couldn’t have lasted without at least one sudden icy downpour of… something (Is it rain? Is it hail? Is it sleet? Oh, glorious adventure!), which lasted all of 10 minutes. Long enough for me to run to the bus shelter and resolve to get the next bus, but short enough that after it finished, I felt a right tool for continuing to huddle under the bus shelter for 20 minutes and insist on returning home, despite the-once-again-sunny sky. But, I was very happy with my day, and delighted to find such a beautiful place within such easy distance to my home, so that on future glorious sunny days (of which I am certain there will be many more, won’t there, Dublin?), I can escape the city and head for water, and hills and walking and vistas and markets and mini-cupcakes. Joy!

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