It’s Not the Same Way Everyone Goes Mad

I was all hot and bothered yesterday evening and decided that the only thing that would sort me out was a dip in the ocean. This is really the first week since December that the sea has been behaving in terms of being calm. That surge of storms that started before Christmas put a stop to any hope of being able to take to the sea in safety.

I’d been out at the beach earlier in the day and could feel that the time was right to make my grand return.

I announced to son, Harry, at about 5pm that I was going for a swim and that I hoped I wouldn’t drown from the shock of the cold. He didn’t bat an eyelid and just said: Enjoy yourself.’ He and hubby know full well that a swim is a cure-all for all my woes ~ big or small.

It was a mad rush to the Mount Everest of ironing to try and find my swimming gear which I suspected was buried somewhere in the tangle of clothes, sheets, towels, socks …  Having fired the lot onto the floor, I found what I was looking for and hightailed it out to Garrarus.

My Rock

The sea was blue as blue as was the sky, where the moon was taking a look at the luncatic below:

Swim 3
The Audience!

I raced into the waves and it was like returning to my native heath ~ coming home. I was so thrilled to be back in touch with the waters I love that I didn’t even feel the cold, if it was cold.


And floating in the sea, it was lovely to look up at the tall cliffs that provide such shelter and beauty on this part of the coast:

Sun-kissed Cliffs

So, the swimming year is on for me again and it everything seems so much better with the world.

What’s your way of ‘going mad?’ 





Finding the Day I Thought I’d Thrown Away

There are days that seem like they’ve been lost in a hodge-podge of stifling frustration and ‘moolachness.’  (‘Moolachness’ is a word derived from the Irish language and my creativity, just in case you were wondering.)

By 6pm yesterday, it seemed that a whole precious day had been completely and utterly wasted and I was like a raving banshee.  The fiery vibes clearly went to warn hubby who phoned to say he wouldn’t be home until around 9pm.

Instinct, which knows me better than I know myself,  brought me to Garrarus Beach ostensibly for a swim but there was so much more…..

There was a clearness in the air; dancing waves; Summery Sea Pinks,  and ever-changing light that was like a sponge mopping my raging brow.

Here’s a glimpse of the wonder that gave me back the day I thought I’d thrown away:


Co. Waterford ABC ~ G is for Garrarus Beach

Co. Waterford ABC is a feature here on Social Bridge where I am identifying myhighlights of  this diverse county in Ireland where I was born and which hasbeen ‘home’ for the last 26 years. There will be just 26 posts ~ one for each letterof the alphabet and I hope you will join me in discussing your views about theplaces, people,  events, things that I select. Would you have chosen differently?In a county with such natural beauty and diversity in terms of history andheritage, one could quite easily identify 26+  highlights for each letter! 

See all previous posts in this series

Map of Co. Waterford (Garrarus Beach in Red. Click Map to Zoom)
Map of Co. Waterford
(Garrarus Beach in Red. Click Map to Zoom)

Garrarus Beach  is my absolute heartfelt choice over lots of other very strongcontenders for this spot in the Co. Waterford ABC series.  It is a place that arguably knows me better than I know myself as I spend so much time there.

Garrarus is an incredibly beautiful and unspoilt beach about three miles from  Tramore. It is a place that captures the soul with its Atlantic ruggednessnatural ‘bathing boxes,’ clear waters,  stunning views of the coastline down to Mine Head, sloping cliffs and perhaps, more than anything,  a community ofpeople who appreciate it and understand the meaning of  ‘being at one withnature.’

I’ve always loved the road down to Garrarus with its high hedgerows, perennial honeysuckle and rambling pink roses. I was asked by a woman in Washington DC a few years back if Ireland really had places where there was a combination of sea, red roses and views of the mountains and my mind instantly flew to the road down to Garrarus.  It’s a road on which I’ve come to know some of the locals, including a man who walks his  faithful dog every day and welcomes me with a big smile and a friendly wave of his walking stick.

Garrarus is a swimmer’s paradise and a group of people swim there all year round.  It also attracts  kayaking enthusiasts who explore the host of sea arches and caves in the area.

For me, Garrarus is a place where I swim practically every day of the year. It is also  a place where I spent endless hours with our son as he was growing up, especially when he was in Treasure Island mode.  It’s the place about which I has my first poem published and it always seems to be my magnet when life-changing events occur. For example, Garrarus was where the car automatically brought  me with its waves of comfort  at 5am on May 31, 2009,  just  after I heard that my mother had died.

I was told a while back that there used to be ‘tea dances’ on Summer Sundays on the cliff overlooking Garrarus Beach.  I can just imagine the picnic baskets, parasols and stolen kisses as the sun was setting in a warm, warm place that knows how to bring people together and how to keep secrets.

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Here’s Lookin’ at You ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 194

When I arrived for my morning swim yesterday at Garrarus beach, I spotted a photographer friend of mine hunkered down taking photographs of  some stones.

So, this is her image of me in my natural habitat ~ or should I call it my paradise?

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.
Photo by: Sinead Boyle

Happiest Days? ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 165

I suspect that everyone has an age at which they believe they were at their happiest. I instinctively look to when I was three years old  and spending endless hours on the beach here in Tramore, Co. Waterford.

Looking at old photographs, I can see that this was a time when I was developing my absolute love of the sea, swimming and of  having the freedom to be creative.

What days do you see as your happiest?