Sandmiller Strollers met on 1 June for our first walk since early December. We met at 2 pm near the Royal Dublin Golf Club on Bull Island. It was a beautiful day, quite hot but although there were a lot of people walking and cycling we were able to get parking.
There were ten of us and that day we were led by Betty Hilliard and her daughter Catherine. We began our walk near the end of the wooden bridge going onto the island. We walked north-east between the golf links and the marshy area (sometimes covered by the sea) which is between Bull Island and the Clontarf Road.
We enjoyed walking in the sun through the nature reserve, watching the birds and talking of how we had passed the time since we had last met. At the end of the golf course we crossed the road leading from the causeway to the beach and carried on northwards until the path led us right through the dunes and around the top of the island. There, it was warm and sheltered and we admired the beautiful orchids growing among the grasses. The dunes turned into a ridge of sand and we climbed up and could suddenly see the sea and all of Dublin Bay and down to the mountains in Wicklow.
Reaching the beach, it was now 4 pm and we stopped for a rest. The biscuits handed out by Catherine were much appreciated. On then, going back along the sand, headed towards the port. There were quite a lot of people on the beach having a lovely time swimming and pottering about in the water. We all met up at the end of the beach, quite tired but we had had a great walk on a brilliant day.
Thank you Betty, Catherine and Margaret for organising it all.
Our second walk since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted was in August. With great expectations we parked at the Shelley Banks and walked along the Great South Wall. There were six of us to enjoy a dry-ish walk to the lighthouse. The sky was overcast, underfoot conditions were damp and the sea was totally calm. There were various varieties of sea birds perching on the rocks along the wall or probing the mud flats for delicacies – we thought that one type might have been a Turnstone. It was just so wonderful to be walking with friends in the open air. Such a small event brings such great joy. Margaret Wynne
Sandmiller Strollers met for a walk on Tuesday 7 September. We met up on Clonskeagh Road with Eric Rankin who was leading the walk so that he could show us some outside sculptures in UCD. It was a beautiful day, really sunny and hot, not a cloud in the sky. We entered UCD through the buildings that were originally the Masonic School and went past the hockey pitch. Near here we saw our first sculpture, this one by Mark Ryan called Rotating Form. We went on by the science buildings and among other sculptures there was an interesting one of a large bronze egg by Rachel Joynt.
There were statues of people including a girl on a bench and one by Patrick Campbell of two people jumping in the air. This last one by the second lake, in which there were many plants and water birds. A sculpture of two ancient Greeks having a strong discussion outside the Law Department seemed appropriately placed. Eric explained all the statues to us in great detail, which greatly helped our understanding of them. As we walked around it was interesting to look at the architecture of the buildings, many of which were not known to us. It was lovely to see so many students enjoying the sunshine, many on the grass by the big lake.
We walked back by the chapel and the sports centre. As we went we discussed what we had seen and all remarked on the great variety of sculptures we had seen, made by people from many countries.
Many thanks to Eric for showing us around and helping make it a great afternoon. (A UCD sculpture trail map can be found on the Internet).