I could tell you about the chaos caused by new shoes or by new carpet.
Maybe about thundery, wet mornings in a tin can near the west coast.
I could tell you about the glory of graduation, or Girl2’s no sleep sleepover.
What about the foolishness of a person old enough to know better getting sunburnt?
But right now, there’s only one thing on my mind.
Girl1 has been away for most of the last 3 weeks. She had a week in Donegal, a stopover for clothes washing, and has been in France, dancing as part of a cultural traditions programme. She’s spent a week with a French family, and days in a hostel with all her dancing friends and musicians. Despite a bus breakdown in France and a mass sprint though Charles de Gaulle airport, she’ll be home this evening. Exhausted, overdosed on junk food, grown up, with a smattering of French and probably an attitude.
The wee pet.
I like the seaside. Emptiness, wind, sea. Freshness. Beginnings, renewal, power.
Shells in my pocket. The little bundles of sand my feet bring home.
I love time on the beach, any beach. I’m not fussy.
Well, actually, I’m really fussy. I’ve just learned that there are many sorts of good beach and to enjoy all of them. Not all are lucky enough to be the ultimate in beaches.
Yesterday, we were there. The beach which is imprinted on my brain. The beach upon which all others are judged. There is a road to it. There are no facilities- no cafes, deckchairs or even a Portaloo. I don’t want those. They have their place, but not here. Those are for beaches that are busy. This beach is never busy.
The sun was out. We had just collected Girl1 from a
fun hardworking week immersed in the Irish language- school, games, social life, staying in native speaking home in the Gaeltacht.
It was a beautiful day.
A day to restore the soul.
The Market Place Theatre in Armagh was our base for the summer school.
Full size theatre, studio theatre, coffee, bar food, classrooms.
In a period of warm, dry weather, however, a key feature was the outside. 17 broad steps.
Supermarket sandwiches owners mingled with beneficiaries of cooked lunches.
Early morning take away coffee in the sun, right at the heart of all that was going on. Post evening event stronger drinks, with an almost continental vibe.
Concrete that was more than a route to climb to enlightenment. Wide, welcoming open space, designed for mingling, learning and sharing.
A summer school in Ireland that benefitted from the sun? A remarkable week.
I was bundled up. Scarf, wellies, coat with all the pockets. Plastic bags, handgel, earphones (Bombay Bicycle Club).
Off we set. The previous night, Spurs Fan had only been out in the rain about 6 minutes before Jake decided enough was enough. We had a lot of walking to do to make up. Across the grass, along the paths, under the bush, across the bridge. Riverside. Boat clubs, bars, trees, dogs.
Our destination was only the start of the towpath. We will be exploring much more another time. It was sufficient to get that far, and have a wee sit down in the sun before heading home for breakfast. And sleeping.