Inlets ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 245

Map of Ireland
Map of Ireland

One of my passions as a kid was tracing the map of Ireland. My attention was always on the  edge where sea and land met and I would have wild imaginings about all the inlets ~ caves, coves, sand, shingle, rocks, waves, isolation, population, horizon …..

I couldn’t but think of all those tracings, using greaseproof paper, smooth dark lead and every ounce of my concentration, as I spent a glorious while at Portally Cove this afternoon.

Portally is just south of Dunmore East here in Co. Waterford in the South-East and can be reached either by road or along the stunning Cliff Walk from Dunmore East village.

It was quite late in the afternoon and the only other person there was a man in a red jumper which blended beautifully with blackberries yet to ripen on the winding path down to the cove.  We said our hellos but it was obvious to me that he wanted solitude so we didn’t get into chat.

Here’s the the beauty  that was ours. I wonder now if  he, too, spent hours tracing maps of Ireland or maybe maps of other spaces, places, people, dreams …..

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

20 thoughts on “Inlets ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 245”

  1. Beautiful Jean! So inviting! As a kid I ‘read’ my mum’s atlas of the world to pieces; she still has it… pages worn by me dragging it everywhere with me and finding places I never heard of.

  2. I am jealous. I did nothing exciting this afternoon. I would love to go for a coastal walk there is nothing like it. My very favourite walk is in Allihies along the coast from the beach to the village. It is very wild and rugged.
    Ah well maybe next week!

    1. Hi Tric, thanks for writing and I hope you get to go on your lovely walk very soon. I spent a holiday in Allihies way back but still remember it vividly and would love to go back.

  3. Lovely! I imagine looking into the face of one who traced the map in great detail with his feet instead of a pencil. I remember holding a pencil and trying to trace maps as a child. But I was not all that skilled with it then. Yet only moments ago, and with little effort that would seem all that extraordinary, I was able to retrace my steps to the refrigerator, and grab another bottle of ale.

    1. Hi MM, I suppose the similarity isn’t too surprising as Co. Cork is just around the corner. As for Sat Nav, that’s for the next generation so far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t leave big papery maps in the past!

    1. Oh Anne, it’s a walk you just have to take! Interesting that you mention the space between the the land and sea. I always seemed to be focussed on the very lines ~ I think I could hear the waves crashing as I did it!

  4. I had a similar fascination with Britain – looking at large-scale maps and finding intriguing villages and isolated communities. Dunmore East is (I think) the only Waterford beach I’ve stepped on.

  5. I love thinking of all the possibilities while looking at maps too – especially for places I’ve never been. It must be great when the real place matches those expectations. I love that last photo because it looks like there must be a hidden cave in there. 🙂

    1. Sheila, I agree that the issue of the match between expectations about unknown plaves on maps and the reality is always exciting, even to think about! I’m planning on finding out more about caves in the Portally area. I half expected to see a character from Treasure Island clambering up the cliff!

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