Monday, 31 December 2012

Endings and Beginnings

We have been going to the beach every day since we got back from England. It gives the days a real holiday feeling, which is daft because we live within sight of the sea, and it's only a five minute walk to the water. But even so, we don't go that way every day. Usually I go to the woods.

I will go to the woods again soon, but not yet.

Distant Benbulben and Knocknarea across the bay

We had to pick up a trailer-load of logs from Charlie, so we went to Portavad, a beach we rarely visit as it's further away. It was beautiful. Quiescent. Perhaps because it isn't imbued with memories of other walks.
A ghost-less beach.
We went there again today, to take the trailer back.

It's where the sea comes into the estuary at Ballysadare, so the roar of the ocean is muted, and the water laps calmly along the shell-littered shore. A short distance out, seals flop on the sandbanks, and Sligo's iconic mountains lounge just the other side of the bay.

There was no one else there.
A spit of land, rough with marram grass, stretches for a mile or so, the sea and the beach on one side, a shallow lagoon and pasture on the other. Cattle and sheep graze there, and one or two fishing boats keel into the muddy flats when the tide is out.

One-dog Badminton

Model Dog, true to her name, is not interested in the sheep or the cattle. She spent a good while tossing a piece of dried up seaweed around and catching it, like a shuttlecock, trashing the smooth sand.

Afterwards, she watched the geese and oystercatchers along the shoreline, and stared intently across the water, no doubt seeing the dogs and walkers strolling the wide beach on the far side of the bay better than we could. To us, they were just moving dots below the sharp, sun-drenched dunes under Knocknarea.

Beautiful Model Dog

It was very peaceful as we strolled along, picking up pieces of sea glass and looking through our binoculars at the heron, the distant walkers and a lone seal periscoping up through the swell in the middle of the bay. Two men were painting the hull of their fishing boat in the lagoon.

A quiet way to end the year.
A year that, like all years, has been a bit of a lucky dip.

On the way back, a rainbow arched its way across the bay and plunged into the sea. There are many rainbows here, but they never cease to be special and they always catch at me, always make me stop and look.
They are filled with promise. They light up the heart with hope.

Early this morning, as I walked through the cool, damp orchard, something crunched lightly under my feet.
It was the tips of the new daffodil leaves, piercing up through the grass.
And under the copper beech, the first snowdrops are already in flower.
'Nothing is certain, only the certain Spring.' *
The certain Spring - and the belief that no matter how hopeless things seem, there is always hope.

Happy New Year

The first snowdrops

* from The Burning of the Leaves by Lawrence Binyon


  1. What a beautiful post to end the old year and welcome the new!
    The scenery is stunning especially with the rainbow.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    1. Thank you Mairead. I'm glad you like it. Yes - how lucky we are, the scenery is indeed stunning.
      Happy New Year to you all, too.

  2. Lorely all your pictures are beautiful and such a sweet face I see as Model Dog leans in to your legs? I have to say that I think that photo of the two men painting the boat's hull is an awesome picture. Such a beautiful place you live.
    Happy New Year to you.

  3. Thank you Pix. The In-Charge took most of the pictures today. I shall pass on your kind compliment. I love the picture of the men painting their boat too. And yes - doesn't Model Dog have a sweet face! She is a great leaner! Happy New Year to you too.

  4. Beautiful post as ever, Lorely. Model dog has her storybook dog expression on her face as she leans against you. any chance you might write it?

  5. Beautiful shots and what a gorgeous dog! Portavad is my newest find, love that beach!

  6. Where you live is beautiful as are the pics .........and your dog, well he is just gorgeous. A great post to begin my day.

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