Stormy Seas

It has been one of the stormiest days for a long time and the sea took on a whole new look in Co. Waterford today.

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Rolling Waves at Kilfarrasy Beach

 

Stormy seas have a wild beauty about them,  but they are also reminders to never, ever take the ocean for granted as it has its moodiness and turbulent times, just like the rest of us.

Here’s a few quotes about storms that I especially like:

The heart of a man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too. ( Vincent van Gogh)

 

You don’t have to love the storm but you have to know its language in case you meet it. (Mehmet Murat ildan)

 

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. (George Eliot)

 

America needs to get over it. We can’t control everything. We can’t control the storms. (Russel Honore)

 

Nothing is more beautiful than love that has weathered the storms of life. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of things longer. (Jerome K. Jerome)

 

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. (Lord Byron)

 

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Sea Spray at Newtown Cove, Tramore

Beach Personalities

Beaches are like people to me in the sense that they all have uniqueness and their own moodiness.

This always hits me when I go to Woodstown Beach which is in East Co. Waterford and at the mouth of the Estuary where there is a big meeting of rivers and open sea.

Woodstown has soft, floury sand that craves to be run through fingers, tiny and not so tiny.

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I love the delicate imprints in the photo above and suspect a bird passed through not long before me.

Woodstown doesn’t have the stones of the beaches on The Copper Coast but has a carpet of shells that crackle as you walk on them while wondering if it can ever be right to break such beauty with heavy soles.

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Of course, every beach has her own relationship with the sun. Woodstown, being in the east, is the place to catch the sunrise and there have been some magic moments there as the dawn breaks. However, I’d have to say that one of my favourite shots that I’ve taken in Woodstown over the years is this one, taken on Winter’s day, as it speaks of the tranquillity of the place to me and the gentle, gentle waves.

I’d love to hear about the personality of a beach that has special meaning for you.

 

 

 

Daisy Chains of Life

When I was trying to focus on the daffodils the other day, a little daisy kept catching my eye with her yellow blending in with the yellow of the daffodils.

She’s been playing on my mind ever since because this common flower ~ or weed, as some are bold enough to call her ~ evokes so many thoughts and memories.

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He loves me, he love me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he … Hot Summer days lying on the grass plucking the petals off poor daisies with my sister as we looked toward the horizons of heady romance.

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That Summer’s night in 1979 when the love of my young life, who was later to die from cancer when I was in my early twenties, jumped out of the car and gathered daisies to make me a daisy chain. It remains one of my treasures, pressed in a huge book with other special flowers that have bedecked my life.

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And what of Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby ~ how I envied her!

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There was my embarrassing innocence on my fist day as a researcher in a Cheshire Home for people with physically disabilities and chronic illnesses in England. I was introduced to a man in his thirties who had multiple sclerosis who was asked by the guy in charge to fill me in on life in the Home. We had a long chat, with plenty of laughs, but in the middle of it, he said something about how he’d soon be ‘pushing up the daisies.’ I hadn’t a notion what he meant and he saw my puzzlement and came straight out with the shattering disclosure that he probably only had a couple of years left to live. He is a man I will never, ever forget as he was the first person to show me the human side of disability ~ something that influenced many of my decisions in pursuing research into the experiences of people with disabilities for many years after that.

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In 1989, Driving Miss Daisy hit the screens in Ireland and it remains one of my all time favourite films. Yes, it was very American, but its messages about racism and stereotyping, connections and ageing are as pertinent today, if not even more so, than they were back then.

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The humble daisy has much to teach us if we let her. What a difference there is between being defined as a wildflower and a weed …..

 

 

 

 

 

It Only Happens Once a Year

The first sighting of daffodils each year makes my heart sing and evokes the fondest thoughts of my late mother and father, both of whom adored the flowers, and the poems associated with them.

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Mother with Daffodils Photo: Frank Tubridy

Well, today was the day of days. I was driving from Passage East into Waterford City and there on a bank on the side of the road the gleam of yellow had me enthralled, with all thoughts of the political crisis in Northern Ireland, Brexit and the coming of Donald Trump disappearing from my cluttered mind.

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Daffodil Road

I’m not sure if anyone can see daffodils without finding themselves quoting line after line of William Wordsworth’s The Daffodils. I certainly can’t as it is a poem that has embroidered my heart since I was a tot and the yellow threads grow deeper each year:

The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

(William Wordsworth)

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Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Slip at Sunrise

It was very frosty this morning but there was a tint in the early morning sky that drew me down to the beach here in Tramore.

There’s no where in this world that feels more like ‘my’ place and being there brings me back to childhood days with buckets and spades; summer days when it’s packed with regulars and visitors all mingling with the salty air, scent of coconut suncream, happy screams of kids as they splash in the waves; old-timers with white sun hats and a passion for ‘The Tramore Air.’

Today, there was just me, the sea and the gulls. Same place but a new day, seen through eyes that never tire.

The sea was calm but playful:

And all the while, I knew that Tramore was smiling down on me from her haunts up on the hill:

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Tramore Town from the Prom

 

Christmas Day Smile

It was dank, dark and misty for most of today here in Tramore but I got to see a magical smile as night was closing in.

I’d brought Puppy Stan to Kilfarrasy Beach for a run and we’d got caught in a downpour. It stopped raining just as we got back to the car and I decided to have one last look – with Dad very much in mind.

First a seal appeared all black against the rough seas and then it was as if nature smiled with all her heart.

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Christmas Day, 2016

And how not to love this shining stone that the high tide left as a present for us:

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Inky Gold for Inspiration

Puppiness

‘YOU NEVER, EVER KNOW WHAT LIES AROUND THE NEXT CORNER‘ (Puppy Stan)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you like my new bit of wisdom. I’m still all of a quiver thinking about the little episode that happened today to make me write it.

Me and Jean were out at the beach late in the afternoon. It had been pelting down with hard raindrops from early morning and even I didn’t want to go out in it until there was a bit of a clear up. So, by the time I got out I was racing around, chasing birds and sniffing at stuff.

I heard a little sort of whine, one that was like an echo of me, coming from behind a big rock and I went to see who was there. You’d swear it was me, except all geared up for swimming. It had whiskery things that I don’t really have. We looked at each other in as if we were looking at ourselves and next thing he looked into my eyes in that begging sort of way that I have down to a fine art.

The pair of us whined and gave little barks and Jean came to the bottom of the cliff where we were to see what I was up to. She looked pretty stunned when she saw us and, for some reason, she insisted on putting me on the lead.

She pulled me away and whispered that my new friend was a seal and that he had been tossed out of the sea where he lives. We went ever so quietly round the rock to check him out. He looked a bit awkward and embarrassed but next thing he took off down the sand with us walking beside him. He was able to move, I can tell you. When he got to the edge of the water, he looked up at us for a split second and then disappeared into the waves. This is the last we saw of him:

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Puppy Seal

I was all upset when he vanished and for a second or two I thought about swimming out after him but got cold feet:

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He Who Hesitates!

But, I must tell you that there was the most incredible sunset you’ve ever seen. I thought that Jean was going to get us cut off by the tide cos she was so engrossed just looking at it and H U G E big waves were lashing in and making the beach awful small. This is what SHE was looking at while I was planning a night on the beach in the freezing cold waiting for the tide to go back out again. (It does go back out eventually!)

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The Red Sea

Oh, while I’m at it, let me offer another few words of wisdom:

The tide comes in a lot faster when there’s a lovely sunset so make sure that you have someone sensible with you.  (Puppy Stan)

With Love,

Puppy Stan.

P.S. If you see Puppy Seal, tell him that I miss him and hope he is well.