I have just been out with Bella for our morning ramble in Rush park, and I wanted to assess the damage from Hurricane Ophelia.
We definitely got off very lightly over here in coastal north Dublin.
The winds were high from late afternoon into the evening on Stormy Monday, and our windows did rattle and the wildly swaying trees outside did have their roots well tested in an epic game of tug of war. They held their ground, and it was nothing like some of those scenes on the TV reports, with poor old Paschal Sheehy looking like he was about to take off any minute. Getting a bit of the Theresa Mannion action. At least she remembered her hat, Paschal!
Then there was that older geezer in Salthill, Galway, going for a dip off the pier in a mini-tsunami.
The kids were off school and some of the footage had them looking up from their iPhones for actual minutes.
My soccer-mad 12-year-old son got properly excited when he saw the roof blown of one of the stands at Cork United’s Turner’s Cross ground. Now here was something he could identify with, those poor guys maybe not being able to play football for a while, even miss a game. The horror, the horror!
But now it was the morning after and people were looking at the damage and counting the cost. Apart from the usual gobshites who ignore those fuddy-duddy storm warnings, and have to go out sailing, surfing and pier walking, most of us took Storm Ophelia seriously and stayed in when we could. Luckily our electricity wasn’t hit — heaven knows how the kids would have dealt with no wi-fi!
One of my wife’s nephews down in Kerry was actually disappointed Ophelia didn’t hit their northern part of the Kingdom harder. I think he expected a real spectacle of wowser proportions, or at least worth sharing on YouTube.
The damage to our park wasn’t major. One big tree down, and a couple of smaller ones. And loads of extra branches, twigs, and leaves for Bella to sniff and paw at. She had a wonderful ramble in the brambles, swishing one bundle of sprigs and leaves after another into the air, rolling around in pure bliss at one point. I nearly felt like doing it myself!
All in all, it just looked as if autumn has been hurried up a bit, and all those crackling sheaves of red, yellow, gold, russet and green have merely gathered earlier and thicker than they might have. It is so mild still, but this will only make the winter bite harder when it arrives. Brrr!
It really is a
gorgeous little park we have here — and so close to our house! It gets great use anyway, with its neat gravel running track catering for everybody from your casual amblers, school-goers, buggy pushers and dog-walkers to the Sunday morning crowd who show up for the Park Run. For us here in Golden Ridge it’s a great shortcut to Tesco — and while you run out for that litre of milk you can give the dog that walk you were too lazy to do earlier — sorted!
I love it, and I love it all the more because Bella loves it too — even if she does have that small dog syndrome and has to yap at very dog bigger than her, ie most of them!
The only bugbear I have is the litter. I am one of those OCD people who have to pick up as many of those bottles, cans and cigarette packets as I can in one armful and stuff into the nearest bin. So much so that a friend of a friend said to that friend that I must have done something really bad because my community service was lasting a long time!
Ah these small joys that are really the greatest joys in life! Parklife!
All these people
So many people
And they all go hand in hand through their