We met friends. One of Pádraig’s, one of mine. And we saw queues. Thousands of birds on the beach (you can see them in the distance just on top of Pádraig’s head) and dozens of people in front of the coffee container at the end of the bridge out in Dollymount.

Meeting friends is always nice. Even nicer when it is unexpected. So when a young man shouted ‘Schaler’ and came over to greet Pádraig, the enthusiastic greeting and subsequent conversation put a huge smile on Pádraig’s face. When, later on, we met an old friend of mine with his sone, Pádraig smiled too, politely, but had to be patient because we spent a little time catching up on our lives.

There were thousands of birds on the beach, just along the waterline as the tide was coming in. It looked as if they were having their dinner. Their calls and the sound and smell of the water were magnificent. Being able to walk along the sea shore so close from your home is brilliant – and completely underrated here, because it’s such a ‘normal’ thing.

What we both didn’t quite understand were the people queuing to buy coffee while checking their phones. Mostly ignoring the spectacular scenario mother nature was offering.

You have to stop and do nothing from time to time to become aware of what is going on around you.