Before the big snow arrived and smothered Ireland to a standstill, I managed to capture some Thursday Doors shots of a lovely, characterful business premises in my native town of Blackrock. Belles Tea Rooms has two floors where you can sit and have a nice cup of coffee or tea, while looking out over the beach across the road. They have an unusual front door, with a mermaid on it and I love the colour they chose.
A few years ago, I launched the first book of my historical fiction series in the upstairs room of Belles and it was such a fitting location. Many of the events in the saga take place by the beach in Blackrock.
Here’s a photo of the main street taken from the top end of the village, with the sea lapping up against the wall.
The tide always goes out a great distance from the shore, which is a pain in the summer if you’ve come to have a nice swim. It’s a long trek out to find water deep enough to paddle in, let alone do the back stroke. Of course, if you live there, you’ll see the tide coming in twice a day, like any other coastal area. There is a large sandbank that can catch the unwary by surprise when the sea comes in around them. This has caused quite a few rescues and unfortunately some drownings over the years.
There used to be an outdoor sea water 50 meter pool in the village. It’s where I learned to swim but it was replaced by an apartment block some time ago. I suppose the indoor pools a couple of miles away in Dundalk offered a bit more luxury. Who wouldn’t prefer a warm swim in a cold Irish summer?
This is an old photograph of the main street and beach. You can see that some of the roofs are still thatched. I wonder was that fishing boat carrying any of my relatives, as we have fishermen on my mother’s side of the family going back as far as the late 1600’s. In the upper right hand corner of the image there appears to be some wooden swing boats. I remember as a child my sisters and I would pile into a brightly painted swing boat whenever the funfair came to Blackrock. In recent years they have been back there again and we’re hoping to have another ride in one this summer, although I doubt the four of us will be allowed in the same boat this time.
Well, that was Blackrock, past and present. Thanks for stopping by and taking an interest. If you would like to see a few more Thursday Doors, swing by Norm’s blog.