lack of public toilets and profusion of abandoned wrecked bikes
Saturday, March 5, 2005, 02:33 PM
An cuigiu la de Mairt 2005
Lovely morning in Baile atha Cliath, Eire -just nice for bike ride and swim at fortyfoot but a little tragedy struck as I reached Dunlaoghaire in that my chain broke. However I limped on on foot to the fortyfoot to be a little awestruck by the size of the waves coming in. But I remembered Joyce's observation that a big one only comes every seventh one and I braved it in to the swell. no one else seemed game to take on the sea at that time. I guess most people follow Jesus's example when he refused to try out his father by diving off a cliff 'and the angels will bear you up' as the Devil tempted him in the desert. Perhaps the waves are the Father's angels bearing me up. Anyway the sea has the most pleasant and sustaining waters being full of the perfumes of the Earth as Camus said.
Because of the delay with the broken down bike I needed to use a toilet but in the whole almost thirty kilometer stretch of our beautiful much frequented bay there is only one public toilet remaning open to the public and that is at Howth on the far north side of the bay. Why can they keep their facility there in Fingal when the wasting 'pave everything many times over to line the pockets of the bitumen guys' waster councils in Dunlaoghaire and Dublin city close down not only the toilets but the safe changing areas? Maybe it was because they were discharging into the sea but that could have been rectified by simple pumps to raise the effluent to the public sewers. Anyway, all we are left with now for the whole of south Dublin seafront is one obnoxious eyesore cubicle run by some french 'merde' company, probably installed even without planning permission. I would certainly object if it was situated in front of my house. It's as good a place to do drugs as and public facility as long as you have 25cent
The Authorities' who insist on making ever indivigual provide for disabled people, provide no facilities or comfort whatsoever for disabled at the seaside nor for children either. Its a terrible shame that they waste so much money on repaving roads until they are like snooker tables for the car, the idol of modern Ireland - you'ld think we had invented it or made a fack of one of them - and not a penny on the ordinary Joe Soap visitor who leaves more in their pockets than the drive-by-night mighty motorist but , I guess, that is 'gombeenism' which we invented after all.
On the bicycle, which through our Mr Dunlope, we had a part in inventing, there are so many abandoned wrecks, tied to railings with expensive locks, all around the city that it looks like the 'Mob' are saying to us alternative energy two-wheelers 'abandon all hope you who try to ride in this city'. In the centre of Dunlaoghaire every visitor getting off the boat can pass more than half a dozen broken bike frames strapped to posts and rusting away with bent or no wheels.
I thought to 'save' a particularly valuable frame some time ago but was informed by no less than three guards from a squad car that I was not to touch this object, which might seem litter to me but was someones 'probably the council's property. Here again the double standard - the council can litter the place with old broken bikes but I risk a euro 3,000 fine if I drop a paper or leave dog merde around.
Is it any wonder that the good honest people of Northern Ireland don't want to join up with us unless at the barrel of an ira gun?
I think the British did their best but they failed to beat the "gombeenism' out of us in 700 years or maybe its how they bred it into us so they could laugh at us while they stole our country and rented it back to us for maximum of 30 years , of course - did the Penal laws ever get repealed I wonder. No doubt the Brits will have more laughter now with their American colony introducing 'gombeenism' to Iraq.
Thanks to their army we have the Fortyfoot - or maybe its thanks to our own brotherhood, who drove them out of the place or , maybe, they just got tired waiting for Napoleon to force a landing ; if he had we would have learned to deal with our merde with the hole in the floor sensible way.
In some ways I feel like Joyce as he walked along Sandymount strand wondering if anyone would ever read his words but I hope no one ever reads these!

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padraic o conaire
Friday, March 4, 2005, 04:27 PM
lovely soft springday here in Baile atha Cliath, where we're looking forward to celebrating all things Irish around Paddy's day.
Very enjoyable swim at fortyfoot at 9.00 this morning - good time to go after "the workers" have left for their offices and before the "minders" arrive to impose all their self appointed restrictions:
*no dogs
*no no costumes
*no safe diving
*no scubas
*no drinking
*no litter
*no caustic soda free swimming area - 'to clean the sea shore'
*no donation free entry - like a toll
*no not being watched by gestapo-like 'volunteers' of Sandycove bathers aSSociation;
*no heaven here if they can help it.
Anyway, we muddle on and enjoy it despite all these attempts to privatise the open sea into an enclosed swimming pool.
Hopefully, people will wake up to all these attempts to privatise the foreshore and leave it only available to developers and their rent-boys and those who get their hand on the fantastically priced 'sea-view' appartments.
Is it for such exclusions that the Irish people fought against landlordism in times past and struggled to get free of the british yoke in 1916.
Padraic O Conaire was a writer who wrote much about that time and all in Irish, from which he couldn't have expected to make much money. He must have been an extrordinary man as he gave up a position in London in the civil service to come back to Ireland and eak out a living writing in Irish only living pretty rough in his native Connemara mostly. I have been scanning through one of his books set around the Easter rising and written in 1918 while those who took part in that action were still regarded as traitors to the legitimate government and terrorists to the people of Dublin.
It would be great if his books were published again in their original Irish and ,maybe, in English translations too.
Padraic o Conaire's statue is in Eyre square in Galway but that's all most of us know about him.

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swimming in the nude - 3rd. March 2005
Thursday, March 3, 2005, 12:12 PM
An triu la de Marta 2005
today was a beautiful march day almost like summer -it was so sunny up to noon at least
The trip to the fortyfoot on the bike was delightful and Sylvester behaved himself not getting into truoble with any other dogs along the way.
The tide was pretty far out but the waves were fairly robust in the fortyfoot. However we ventured in – me taking my usual dives and high ones they were because of the low water.
Few people there generally good natured but I get a reprimand from one old soul about nude bathing “costumes must be worn” etc. Not for me that – I'm with Camus there:
“ Mais c'est qu'ils sont 'bien qu soleil'. On ne mesurera jamais assez haut l'importance de cette coutume pour notre époque. Pour le première fois depuis deux mille ans, le corps a été mis nu sur des plages. Depuis vingt siècles,les hommes se sont attachès à rendre décentes l'insolence et la naiveté grecques, à diminuer la chair et compliquer l'habit. Aujourd'hui et par-dessus cette histoire, la course des jeunes gens sur les plages de la Méditerranée rejoint les gestes magnifiques des athlètes de Délos. Et à vivre ainsi près des corps et par le corps, on s'aperçoit qu'il a ses nuances, sa vie et, pour hasarder un non-sens, une psychologie, qui lui est propre. L'évolution du corps comme celle de l'esprit a son histoire, ses retours, ses progrès et son déficit. Cette nuance seulement: la couleur.”
There is nowhere in the world quite like the fortyfoot especially when the sun shines as you dive into the chilly deep water and abandon yourself to the waves.

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health benefits of swimming in sea
Wednesday, March 2, 2005, 12:06 PM
today i resolved to keep a diary of my trips to the sea because one always needs to have something interesting to read as Oscar Wilde said. It is the 2nd of March 05 and a very cold snowy day in ireland, but still lots of 'crazy' people take the sea at Sandycove amid much screaming and shuddering.
We are lucky because the sun comes out for the hour or so we are there and makes it bearable .
Why do this masochistic immersion? - In a word, its like baptism - being born again once every day and it seems to be good for the soul and the body.

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