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:
Tramore, Co. Waterford in the sunny south-east of Ireland is the place where I was born and the place that has been home now for the last twenty-five years.
Yesterday morning I was woken by puppy, Stan, who lured me out for a walk at dawn. It was one of those golden mornings and I felt absolutely blessed as we strolled along a route which is beyond familiar to me but which is ever-changing.
Rather than heading to the three mile long beach, from which Tramore takes its name, we stayed at the top of the town. This took us passed the two churches, which merge in my mind as the child of a mixed marriage.
The Victorian Doneraile Walk, which has such wonderful vistas of Tramore Bay, called us. It is the place where my mother walked every evening when she was pregnant with me and I just love the views it provides of Tramore Bay. From there, we went to the Pier where the boats were tugging and waiting for the tide to rise. One man, though, was up bright and early paddling in his kayak.
The Cliff Road is the place that I associate with my own pregnancy almost twenty years ago now. I walked it daily for the nine months and got to know every nook and cranny along the way.
And our final destination was Newtown Wood which has the little bridge that I consider to be my very own social bridge.
I hope you enjoy this short slideshow of the photographs which I took on Sunday. I know that Tramore will never, ever look exactly the same because its beauty is ever-changing with the time, tide, light, weather, season and, I suppose, the mood and interests of the beholder.
It was a spur of the moment decision; pile into the car with son and a black and white flurry of dogs. I had been deep in thought about ‘opposite sides of the same coin’ ( of all the crazy things) so I suppose it shouldn’t have come as any great surprise that we ended up at the far side of Tramore Bay ~ the Brownstown Head side ~ looking right along the beach and sand dunes, getting a whole new perspective on ‘our place.’
There was a sunny haze and a lovely warm breeze blowing gently into our faces. Just one man fishing a long way down. Were we disturbing his peace or he ours?
It seemed like we had reached an impasse when faced with huge rocks but we were bursting to see what was round the corner. Having clambered up onto what seemed like a cliff path, we were stunned to see three ladies totally engaged in collecting something.
As we drew close, we saw that they were picking mushrooms, and suddenly it all came back to me ~ this week in 1974, searching for mushrooms in the very same sort of August heat out near Mellifont Abbey a few miles from Drogheda, Co. Louth.
It was only then it dawned on me that we had obviously strayed onto private land but I just had to see that basket of mushrooms. The women were as friendly as could be and could obviously see that we were as happy as they were. All was forgiven that we were walking on their land as they drew close to let me take a photograph of the fruit of their happiness.