Swallows Wheel sheltering on Bull Island
Lately I’ve been taking lifestyle photos outdoors and mostly on Bull Island. Apart from the fact that it’s within my 5k, this place resonates so strongly with me because it’s the place I spent a large part of my childhood, caddying for my Dad in St. Anne’s, picnicking on the beach with my extended family and waiting in the queue on Dollymount Strand for a ninety nine during the long summers that were always hot. Later it was the first place I would decamp to when I got home from Aachen and later Brussels, rushing out the door, dog by my side to finally breathe in the sea air again. At the end of the beach with the tide out, the sandbanks hosted a community of seals who took no notice of the small person with the smaller dog, continuing to sun themselves before sliding sinuously into the shallows. More recently I’ve been walking the other end of the beach, accessed by the old Wooden Bridge, and taking in the views of Poolbeg, The Star of the Sea, and the comings and going’s of the ferries, the kitesurfers and the all- weather sea swimmers. I love the Art Deco shelters with their tightly curved geometry, some painted a buttermilk yellow that glows when the late afternoon sun hits, others in brutalist concrete that has its own attraction. So it seems right that my Art Deco collection of velvet and linen/cotton cushions emblazoned with the swooping swallows of last year find a temporary home just beyond the bridge, tipping the nod to Clontarf and beyond catching some illusive rays before we head home for tea.