Sometimes I just can’t do photo- justice to a perfect day. If I tried to document it adequately, I wouldn’t be able to fully experience it. Still, I’m glad I brought my camera along on mine and G’s day trip to Howth last weekend.
Howth is a little fishing town neat Dubiln that was recommended to us by everyone from friends to the vegetable guy at the organic market, and now the weather agreed with them, too.
Howth is full of tourist-friendly restaurants, fresh fish markets and if it weren’t for the ancient chapel ruins nearby, I would have really felt like I was back in California.
We dangled our feet off the pier while waiting for a table at Crabby Jo’s and watched a family of seals ham it up in hope of snacks from the gathering onlookers.
A flock of seagulls circled – hopeful, if not especially graceful. Every few minutes, one or two brids would brutally plunge into a seal-face to steal hard-earned food.
Seagulls are rude.
The weather was perfect for a day trip, and Cabby Jo’s matched the day’s sunny disposition with a kitsch nautical-themed interior. This fishtail relief reminded me of a bright mosaic maze by the Black Sea one summer when I was seven or so.
We occupied a corner booth, sharing a lobster and chilled wine and bacon-wrapped scallops, which were all delicious accompaniments to people-watching and conversation.
There is a fish-shop right next door and we made off with a smoked snapper fillet before heading out for a walk.
The shellfish at our organic market costs a fraction of these, so we settled for looking – easy with a satiated appetite.
Usually I vigilantly shun the sun, but after been cooped up working on the Alien Botany fashion line, art series, and miscellaneous Persephone assignments, my whole body was greedily sucking in every ray and every salty breath.
Turning away from the waterfront, we climbed a hill for a better view of the seaside.
To get closer to a strange-looking circular structure, another hill was conquered.
We climbed a fence to discover this was the Museum of Vintage Radio – sadly closed that day.
Up there, the seaside clamor faded to a whisper and it was just wind and the faint accordion somewhere on the pier and us…
…and a couple of shirtless fellow fence-hoppers nearby (not pictured).
Green sunscreen goes well with redheads.
And so does green grass.
Having had enough open-air roasting we walked down to the decrepit abbey we saw from the hilltop.
St Mary’s was first erected on 1042, then rebuilt in 1235, and updated multiple times since.
There is a functioning cemetery on its grounds, which happened to be open to visitors.
I continue to love cemetery visits – they do wonders for perspective, especially when they house multiple generations.
The surnames seemed to point to a curious fact – no one ever leaves Howth. There were maybe five surnames throughout the well-populated grounds.
And multiple tombstones were made by the same company. I didn’t think to photograph the advertisements chiseled into a few of them – probably for a hefty discount!
But my favorite discovery of all were the headstone inscriptions – they went beyond the usual “Beloved, father/wife/nephew” with things like “Sailor, fisherman, loved by many”. Anchor and shell reliefs.
By the time we circled the grounds, the sun had taken its toll and we headed back to our Dublin sanctuary, armed with new impressions and smoked fish.
Until the Future!