Spade Listing in Practice on Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford

Writing about Spade Lists and the importance of adding creativity and colour into the everyday grind just recently drew me out to Woodstown Beach yesterday. I was definitely in need of a break from the sweat of  coping with computer issues and  ‘running errands.’  Yes, I bought a big yellow spade and dithered about the bucket, as I’m not entirely about Bucket Lists. But somehow, the vibrant green bucket that was latched on to the yellow spade  insisted on coming too.

Woodstown Beach is just a few miles from Waterford City and has a sheltered charm as it lies a little back from the wide open sea. To my mind, it has the best selection of shells of any beach in Co. Waterford and is delightful in the way, like Stradbally, that it combines both trees and sea.

Woodstown Beach, Co. Waterford

 Running on to the beach, swinging the bucket and spade, I felt like the miles of sand was an open canvas.  Nature was creating all round me, the tide coming in ever so gently, seagulls digging,  fluffy clouds playing like huge soft duvets.  Down on my knees in the fine warm sand just above the tide line, I started my digging thinking about Australia, and of course, the water came up to meet me with a few lines of verse swirling around from my poetry friends down there.

The bucket edged its way forward in a little gust of wind. Pile in handfuls of sand, smooth it down, quick turn to get the best of the mould.  The sheer anticipation, sense of wonderment and pure connection with the sand was even better than I had remembered when I wrote the Spade List post the other night.

Lured by the whispers of the sea, I took off shoes and socks and made my way into the soothing water where tiny waves were weaving shapes and tumbling with rippling grace all round. All sense of  daily wear and tear ground away in these stolen moments.

Now to start my Spade List!  How liberating to write in the sand – no need for pencil, pen, computer – just one finger carving letters through the heavy grains. This isn’t a writing competition; there are no lines or margins. One huge page that the incoming tide will read and remember as it absorbs the creation that is mine but which has plenty of room for people the world over to share. So  join with me and take time to pour colour, inspiration and creativity into your life.

The Heart of Co. Waterford

Co. Waterford is my native heath and I am immensely proud of the depth of its history, heritage and natural beauty.

Today has been one of those special days in my relationship with this county in the south-east of Ireland.  After an early morning swim in Tramore and a walk on the beach, I decided to go to Mahon Falls high up in the Comeragh Mountains. The last time I had been there was on an orienteering trip in the depths of winter and I had vowed that day to go back on a sunny summery day.

Mahon Falls, Co. Waterford

The views were magnificent. Sheep and lambs were grazing on the mountainside, the waterfall was gushing down and all the while I could see the blue sea beneath.

View from Mahon Falls towards the Coast

On the way back to Tramore, I stopped at a shop tucked away at a little crossroads just down from Mahon Falls. It was called J. Power and Son, an old-fashioned shop that  reminded me of  the shops my late father used to drop into for ice creams sandwiched between wafers when he would take us kids on mystery tours around Co. Waterford years ago.

The man behind the counter, who was probably in his seventies, greeted me with a warm smile that lit up his kind eyes. He was tall and wearing a grey-green hand-knitted Aran jumper that looked like it totally belonged and had seen a lot of life. Sheer instinct drew me to the ice-cream freezer where I pulled out the first choc-ice that I’ve eaten in about 30 years.  We exchanged a few pleasanteries about the weather and then the man looked at me and just said: ‘ It’s hard to beat Co. Waterford on a day like this, isn’t it?’  I agreed  and told him I was from Tramore and had just come from visiting Mahon Falls.  ‘Ah, so you know the county well, then. Tramore is a fine town. I used to go dancing  in the Atlantic Ballroom there years back. Many a good night we had  when the showbands would come. Mick Del  and …..’

We chatted for quite a few minutes and as I left the shop, I felt like I had glimpsed the very heart of Co. Waterford in those kind eyes at a crossroads between the moutains and the sea.  A special moment when past and future met in a what felt like an eternal present.

Newtown Wood: Remembrance

Newtown Wood, Tramore is an enchanted place which has very special meaning for me. In Section Eleven of  Feature Writing, I describe the wood as it moves from autumn into winter. Such is the beauty and signifcance of  Newtown Wood in my life, that I feel it appropriate to post this on Remembrance Day.

Tramore Pier, Co. Waterford

The Pier in Tramore, Co. Waterford has been one of the enchanted places of my life since I was very young.  As I write in Section Ten of Feature Writing, it has a community spirit which adds greatly to its natural beauty and tranquillity.

A Jewel of Ireland ~The Doneraile Walk, Tramore

The Doneraile Walk in Tramore, Co. Waterford is one of the most beautiful places I know. I write about it in Section Nine of Feature Writing.

Ballyscanlon Lake is Calling

Ballyscanlon Lake, near Tramore in Co. Waterford, has featured strongly in my life since childhood. In Section Eight of Feature Writing, I describe how I was drawn back there recently on a most memorable and evocative July evening.

Waterford Tall Ships Festival 2011 ~ Social Bridges

Mingling among the crowds at Waterford’s Tall Ships Festival 2011, I was struck  by the range of social bridges which emerged from the experience. I write about the personal memories evoked by the Festival:  the connections with Waterford’s history; and the range of fascinating people with whom I was fortunate enough to meet. This post can is in Section Seven of  my writings on Social Bridges.

Waterford Waiting for the Tall Ships Festival 2011

Waterford’s Tall Ships Festival 2011 will be in full swing from June 30th-July 3rd. With this very much in mind, I write about the diverse range of boats and boating activity which are central to our lives here in Co. Waterford. The article is in Section Six of  Feature Writing.