On the last leg, the very last leg of our journey, close to midnight, all things broke down and we were standing in a crowd of lost and tired fellow travellers in this gigantic cold railway station trying to hear the crackling loudspeaker snippets of signal box failures and detour options. And for the briefest moment I wished we'd never come back. How quickly I had become used to smelling, hearing, watching the sea again. Looking out over Dublin Bay yesterday morning, high up on Dalkey Hill, even with all the new buildings and roads, I could trace my way through the maze of terraces and streets to the familiar places, our former homes and those of friends and family, memories everywhere.
I have never been really fond of Dublin, it has never - now more than ever - felt like a safe place, not with its erratic public transport, frustrating traffic jams, pickpockets, beggars, rain, busloads of confused tourists looking for the Hollywood Oirish and leprechauns. But still. A clear blue sky, crisp air, an almost warm sun (in the places sheltered from the wind), kids, dogs, turning to look south towards Bray Head, smelling the pine from the forest, perfect.