“The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
We spent one night only, camping near the Martello Tower in Sandycove, Dublin. It features in the opening chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses, so they say.
All night long they came and went, up and down the walkway from Sandycove to the 40 Foot (famous Dublin swimming spot) and back. Swimmers, revellers, beer drinking young ones. As the sun sank behind Dun Laoghaire Town Hall it was all go and there wasn’t too much sleep to be had.
At 11.30 PM a woman walking her dog, sat on a nearby wall and sang all of The Parting Glass and the Auld Triangle into the night air. We sat and listened in awe. A wise cracking Dub shouted across to her that she had a fine voice and would she sing some more. Why don’t you sing yourself, says the Siren and exits stage left.
“Trilling, trilling: I dolores. Peep! Who’s in the… peepofgold? Tink cried to bronze in pity. And a call, pure, long and throbbing. Longindying call.Decoy. Soft word. But look! The bright stars fade. O rose! Notes chirruping answer. C astille. The morn is breaking. Jingle jingle jaunted jingling.”
Episode 11 of Ulysses : Sirens
Bleary eyed by 5.30 AM, then the early daily swimmers began to arrive. A short dip in the “scrotumtightening sea” lots of chat, the Irish Times under one arm and and a carton a milk under the other.
It was here 50 years ago that the pink sparkly ball was swept out to sea and rescued by a heroic local. Here, where we learned to swim and perfected the art of putting warm clothes onto damp limbs while gyrating under a towel. “Hmmph that fella!!” was all that was ever said about James Joyce.
“…she saunters away, plump as a pampered pouter pigeon, humming the duet from Don Giovanni…
Episode 15 of Ulysses : Circe
Molly Kirwan says
Just Brilliant.. capturing the essence of the auld fella and the forty foot!!
Thanks Molly! Had the craic even if I was wrecked the next day…….
Your words paint such an evocative story. I love the photos as well…the fourth from the top looks like an impressionist painting. -Jill, pilgrimsoul22
Thank you Jill, it was a wonderful night, the whole thing was like an impressionist painting!
I LOVE this post…your artistic soul is full on. Awesome and savage to capture the words of Joyce woven in your words. The woman singing in the night was my favorite part. A siren she was–sirens sing for themselves alone. They sing for no man. And I learned about the forty foot! Love to you.
Thank you Susie! Yes she was my highlight too. She should have been IN a James Joyce story don't you think? Unreal!
I love these night shots reflecting all that was going on around you….And yes I love the part about the woman singing…I would love to have heard that….
Nancy it was definitely one of those special moments, although not a time to put a camera on her more's the pityI! She was just free singing without caution…..Thanks for your support:~)
Oh these shots are magical…love the story behind them too!