Yesterday afternoon was unexpectedly, gloriously sunny, so B and Karl and I girded our loins and went swimming off the Bull Wall. I've walked down the wall umpteen times, past the ancient bathing shelters, but always kind of saw them as relics of Auld Dublin, not something to actually use, with their LADIES SHELTER and MENS SHELTER signs and their peeling paint and slick steps down into the unappealing freezing sea. But actually, when it's warm, they're a perfectly pleasant place to change and launch yourself into the waves, and the sea was glorious. Calm and cool and a view of ferries and container ships coming in and out of the docks. One old bloke said he'd been swimming with a seal earlier.
The other thing I really liked, though, was that far from being moribund conveniences that were only used on the very rare occasion of sunshine, there appeared to be an established Ancient Bathing Shelters social scene. The men's shelter (from what I could see) had a bunch of chatty auld lads sunning themselves. And when I went in to the ladies' shelter the first thing I saw was a tiny birdlike old lady in an enormous hat and a floral frock with rolled down stockings, perched on a deckchair and discussing flipflops with her slightly younger friend, who was sunbathing topless and reading a trashy novel. A bunch of elderly ladies towelling their hair and inviting another young(er) arrival to lock her bike to theirs, sure the bike was the only way to get around, I'd prefer it to any ould car, and isn't the sea lovely today.
It was great.