A Walk on the Irish Seashore

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What started as a grey day turned sunny. We are sitting in the sunroom basking in light and drinking cocoa. We had a leisurely walk on the seashore at Seascale, just a few miles east of Gosforth. The tide was still going out; so, there was plenty of beach to walk on. The red earth and grass sea cliff has been reinforced in various places to keep the cottages from falling into the sea. Below the cliff the rocks are pushed up and some very large cut red sandstone fell to the shore some time ago. Then there are brown sandy bands, followed by pebbles and shells, more sand then more rock before giving way to more sand, the last two bands being under water at high tide. The board walk to the end of the pier was covered in sand in its middle part.

I had said I would wear my bathing suit and go for a swim. Jim said if I did so I would be front page news. Only little kids wade in the water here and then only on the hottest days of summer. Jim must think I am no longer a little kid. There was sufficient sea breeze that I wore long pants and a wind jacket and did not go swimming.

I did enjoy walking the beach. That is always a happy stroll for me. I love stopping to examine shells and stones. Brian will say I pocket too many treasures. I am selective when travelling with a backpack. There were not a lot of shells on the beach. I left behind eight inch long razor clam shells, too big for my pocket. I did not collect the sea urchin casings: too soft, they would be crushed in my pack. I did not take any stones; I already have a sampling from the east coast. I did pick up a few shells for my garden collection so that I have a sampling from both coasts.

The Isle of Man and Scotland were barely visible through the clouds. On the far southwestern horizon in the North Sea we could see dozens of windmills. To the north the sun shone brightly on the field above the cliff at St. Bees where we started our Coast to Coast hike three weeks ago!

There were magenta and white lupins standing tall on the grassy cliff. Sheep and lambs grazed on the pasture that edge the cliff. They called out to us as we walked below. As at Robin Hood’s Bay, there were only a few seagulls gliding above the sea.

Red sandstone is the predominant colour of the older buildings st Seascale such as the water tower and St. Cuthbert’s Church. When Sellafield Nuclear Plant was built in the fifties, homes were built for employees in Seascale. Many of these are two story rowbouses covered in grey stucco.

Brian and Jim stopped at the Friendly Butcher’s to buy lamb chops but they were sold out. It looks like super thick pork chops for supper. There is a full size rotund jolly butcher mannequin outside, always welcoming with a smile. Around the corner at the Ground Bailey Ice Cream Shop, a full size Jersey cow greets customers.

Back in Gosforth we walked to the Bakery to queue up out the door to buy steak and mushroom pies. We had this lovely lunch sitting in sunshine in Jim’s well tended garden. Old Jamaica ginger beer is very refreshing and non-alcoholic.

My thumbs are worn out from shuffling cards. We have played eight rounds of Hand and Foot since Sunday evening. The score now stands at Brian 3, Jim 1 and me 2. We are thinking of making some new crazy rules for after dinner. A set of 500 would be worth a thousand points.

Last night Brian prepared chicken cacciatore and I a salad. Brian has had a break from cooking these past few weeks. Few chefs cook better than Brian. He is working on pork chops in mushroom sauce. Jim and I are selecting vegetables. We will have rice which we have not seen since being in England.

We still do not have a photo of a ring neck dove although Brian captured a good blackbird shot. This last one is not colourful but he sure does sing!



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