Skerries Water Festival, August 2015 and King Salman.

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When you have it, flaunt it, or at least celebrate it. Let everyone enjoy it. Skerries is blessed in having three beaches and all the water you could ask for. You can swim, paddle your own canoe or someone else’s, or just paddle in the shallows, sail, kite-surf, dive or just generally relax on the sand. Let the kids build the sandcastles. It’s an ancient skill, older than the ancient skill of jumping on them. This one has survived from the Iron Age, it seems, a village defended by ramparts and a ditch. It looks like a possible winner of the sandcastle competition of Saturday last. So do many others. Opinions may be divided. A lot of work goes into building sandcastles. All credit to the builders.

Water festival 1 st August 2015 008 A very fine fortress.

Water festival 1 st August 2015 007 A family relaxing on the beach.

f07-14b Some more sand.

All credit too and a huge vote of thanks to the volunteers who give their time to organising events like this. The entire community benefits from their generosity and dedication. They lift our spirits. They make us smile. There are few things to compare with a multi-generational day at the seaside. Sand between the toes, in the shoes, in your ice cream and in the hot dogs. You might even indulge in a sand fight if you are young enough.

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I was more than a little surprised to read that King Salman of Saudi Arabia has had part of ‘his exclusive beach’ in La Mirandole paved over, so that the royal feet will not have to walk on sand. (It’s not really his beach, as the locals have vigorously pointed out. Egalité and all that.) Repeat: The King of Saudi Arabia does not like walking on sand. May I advance a humble suggestion. B and Q  RED HOT SUMMER CLEARANCE. Economy flooring at unbeatable prices; samples for two Euro; special Diamond Club discount for over sixties. Diamond Club sounds suitably posh.  Saudi Arabia is a mere 2,149,690 square kilometres in area. Multiply by 10 Euro per square metre, economy click-together flooring; multiply by the number of square metres  in a square kilometre…multiply by 2,149,690… too early in the morning for me to be doing sums… and the whole place could be paved for approximately two days oil revenue. Rough estimate. FREE DELIVERY FOR ORDERS OVER FIFTY EURO!!


The royal feet could walk the pilgrim route to Mecca in comfort. They could traverse the Empty Quarter and the terrible Nafud Desert, the Anvil of the Sun, without a blister or a grain of sand to cause the slightest irritation. Incidentally, that lonely figure on the beach is a French policewoman, risking her life to guard the King and his guests from harm. She was ordered to go away, because she was too close to where the men wanted to bathe. The latest news is that the King won the sandcastle competition, the powerboat race, the sailing, the kite-surfing , the tag rugby, gaelic football, soccer and swimming competitions. He devastated his opponent with his tennis service and out-canoed and out- stand-up- paddled all comers (There were very few.) He didn’t trouble the hot-dog stall at all and refused to sunbathe because there was sand on his towel.  He was also the lead singer in the band. Yeah!

Water festival 1 st August 2015 024  Powerboats and windsurfer 004  Powerboats and windsurfer 007

Meanwhile,in Skerries, we had a beautiful time. The weather was warm. There were no security alerts.  The fun continued until the tide ebbed away. The sandy children were rounded up. It became possible to stroll out to Shennick Island to look at the birds. King Salman is welcome to join us here next year. He can bring his own sand.

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Water Safety Week begins today. The People Who Dwell in Tents will arrive and settle on the beach with their children.

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On Saturday evening they will,  like the mysterious Bedouin, quietly fold their tents and steal away until this time next year. Blessings and peace be upon them  and all the volunteers….and a little sunshine.

Latest news: The King has jacked it in and flown to Morocco…where there is no sand at all, at all. I hope he has as good a time there as we have had over the Bank Holiday weekend.