Midsummer by the sea / Solstice sur mer

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Midsummer brings the long-drawn day
The dawn dance sends us on our way
Sun-drenched hours lost in bee-flight,
Then honey-sweet
The solstice night

Danielle Barlow

My fascination with Midsummer goes back to our years of living in Denmark, where bonfires light up the country’s coastline for Sankt Hans Aften (St. John’s Eve, i.e. 23rd June).

Since then, we have celebrated the summer solstice one way or another, often lighting a fire in our portable fire pit. We don’t jump over it as per the tradition. Instead we roast marshmallows over the embers and make s’mores. 

Midsummer weekend

In 2016, we went to the beach, for a midsummer evening full of enchanting surprises.
For last year’s St. John’s Eve, we went camping on Silver Strand, Co Wicklow. 

This time, we made a weekend of it – a midsummer weekend by the sea.

On Friday evening, we revived our family ritual of pizza on the beach, soon followed by an invigorating midsummer wild swim in the Irish Sea.

 


Ma fascination pour le solstice d’été remonte à nos années d’expatriation au Danemark, où le littoral du pays tout entier est illuminé par des feux de joie pour la nuit de la Saint Jean (Sankt Hans Aften, le 23 juin).

Depuis, nous célébrons le sosltice chaque année, d’une façon ou d’une autre. En guise de feu de joie, nous faisons une petite flambée dans notre fidèle brasero portable. Au lieu de sauter par-dessus, comme le veut la tradition, nous y faisons griller des chamallows.

Solstice sur mer

En 2016, nous sommes allés à la plage, pour un solstice plein de surprises inattendues.
L’an dernier, nous avons campé à Silver Strand, Co Wicklow, pour la nuit de la Saint Jean.

Cette fois, ce fut un weekend de solstice sur mer.

Vendredi soir, nous avons repris notre rituel de pizza sur le sable, suivie par une baignade du solstice en mer d’Irlande. Rafraîchissant ! 

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Bliss – coming out of the sea after my midsummer swim /
Bonheur : émergeant des flots bleus après ma baignade du solstice.

As the warm glow of the solstice sun slowly descended over the sparkling blue sea, and as the shadows grew ever longer on the beach, Brian and Jedi lit our very own bonfire. It may have been quite modest, but the gentle crackling of our little blaze, with the soothing sound of the waves in the background, was a fitting celebration of the first day of summer.

Read this / A lire  Midsummer camping at Silver Strand / En camping à Silver Strand pour la Saint-Jean

Comme la lumière rosée du couchant commençait à descendre sur les flots bleu marine, et comme les ombres s’allongeaient sur le sable de la plage, Brian et Jedi ont allumé notre feu de joie. Certes, il était modeste, mais le crépitement joyeux des flammes, avec en fond sonore, le son ryhtmique du ressac, permit de marquer dignement le premier jour de l’été.

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No sticks to toast the marshmallows, so they improvised with the end of a broken fishing rod! 
Pas de bâton pour griller les chamallows, alors ils ont improvisé avec le bout d’une canne à pêche cassée !

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Another Midsummer day, another beach

On Saturday our friends Anita and Tom showed us the way to a beautifully remote beach on the Wicklow Coast – so little-known (it is privately-owned) that no one seems to know its name!

Walking across the soft dunes, through bristly beachgrass, and over fine white sand, it felt like we had unexpectedly been transported to the Danish coastline. The shallow turquoise waters rolled in gentle waves onto the pristine strand, further reinforcing the feeling of dreaminess. The phrase “hidden gem” was coined for this beach.


Autre jour, autre plage

Samedi, nos amis Anita et Tom nous ont montré le chemin d’une fabuleuse plage isolée sur la côte de Wicklow – si peu connue que personne ne semble en connaître le nom !

Traversant les dunes moelleuses, passant entre les brins raides d’ammophiles et marchant sur le sable blanc et fin : on se serait cru sur la Riviera danoise. Les flots bleu ciel clapotaient doucement sur le rivage lisse, accentuant encore l’impression de paradis lointain. L’expression “trésor caché” fut inventée pour cette plage.

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All thoughts of staying warm and dry evaporated the instant I set foot on the soft sand – no need for water shoes there. Another sea swim was in order. 

Mermaid, Jedi and Squirrel, with his best friend M, beat us to it, while Pebbles and little M played by the shore. The shallow water was delightfully calm and mild (read: not freezing cold). So much so that Brian and Tom donned the children’s snorkels for a spot of underwater exploration by the rocks. Mermaid and Jedi enjoyed the sea so much that they went in three times after their initial dip.


Mon intention de rester au sec et au chaud s’évapora dès que mes pieds foulèrent le sable doux : nul besoin de chaussures d’eau ici. Une autre baignade en mer était à l’ordre du jour.

Sirène, Jedi et Ecureuil, avec son meilleur ami M, se jetèrent à l’eau les premiers, pendant que Caillou et petit M jouaient sur le rivage. L’eau peu profonde était agréablement calme et fraîche (pas glaciale, non, non, je vous jure !). Tant et si bien que Brian et Tom enfilèrent les masques de plongée des enfants pour aller explorer près des rochers. Sirène et Jedi trouvèrent l’eau si bonne qu’ils y retournèrent trois fois après leur baignade initiale.

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As the evening rays started slanting over this gem of a beach, we reluctantly made our way back to the car.  We went home with salty skin, sandy toes and the scent of summer in our hair.

With Ireland now in the middle of a heatwave (it’s official!), it won’t be long before the next beach day.

How did you celebrate Midsummer?


Comme les rayons de fin de journée commençaient à caresser cette plage extraordinaire, nous sommes remontés à contre-cœur à nos voitures, avec du sel sur la peau, du sable entre les orteils et le parfum de l’été dans nos cheveux.

Maintenant que l’Irlande est en pleine canicule (c’est officiel !), la prochaine journée plage ne saurait tarder d’arriver.

Et vous, comment avez-vous marqué le solstice d’été ?

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 Country Kids

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger 

 

11 Responses to “Midsummer by the sea / Solstice sur mer

  • Every time I read your posts they fill me with a warm glow. What an amazing way to spend quality time together and beautiful moments captured as always. Thank you for sharing #PointShoot

  • We don’t celebrate but now you are making me desire to do so. #PointShoot

  • What wonderful photos, and it looks like everyone is enjoying themselves thoroughly. The lighting is magnificent. xo #pointshoot xoxo

  • Oh wow, it sounds blissful, that combination of sea, fire and sunset would be magical. We haven’t ever celebrated the midsummer but we definitely enjoy our evenings outside around a lit fire. Congratulations on having your post selected by another blogger to be featured on the #blogcrush linky. Feel free to pop over and claim your ‘I’ve been featured’ badge

  • This beach weather is just the best. You manage to make Ireland look stunning in all weather but what a treat to actually have warm sun and a not freezing sea! I love your mid summer adventures and a perfect year to make a full weekend of it. Wonderful happy photos as ever.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  • Bliss! What a perfect way to spend mid-summer, and your photos are simply stunning. That light, those skies! Loved reading this x #countrykids

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Gorgeous photos and lovely trips! We are spending a lot of our summer at the beach too! It just feels so right to be there. #countrykids

  • Gorgeous photos and what lovely sites! This is what we are doing a lot of too, visiting the beach as much as we can! It just feels right to be there in summer. #countrykids

  • You certainly celebrated in style. I keep meaning to celebrate the solstice but there’s always something in the way. I love the idea of pizza by the sea.

  • Midsummer was definitely to be spent on the beach with this year’s incredible weather and what a time you had! Love reading your posts, love your stunning photos #CountryKids

  • You captured some beautiful images and I love the beach shots. I love how peaceful your beaches are too

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