Ace of Hearts ~ Five Photos/Five Stories 1

Ace of Hearts

There’s always a story behind how couples get together and I took this photo as it reminded me of this day in 1982 as it was the day that hubby captured my heart.

We had known each other through tennis for a good few years but a few weeks before the Tramore Open Tennis Championships that year I discovered that my brother with whom I normally played mixed doubles wasn’t going to be around so I boldly asked Adrian if he would partner me.

We didn’t hit it off on the tennis court; in fact we were a disastrous combination as our temperaments are totally different. Thankfully, we were beaten very early on in the week but I managed to scramble into the final of the singles.

I was up against a very tough opponent and said to Adrian that if I lost I’d be delighted if he would come for a swim in the sea after the match to cool me down.

I was absolutely annihilated and turned to him after the defeat and said: How about that swim?

It was a gorgeous sunny day and we drove down to the beach and ran into the waves.  I took it that he was a water baby like me as he seemed perfectly at home in the ocean.

After the swim, we passed a little seaside shop that had a kiddies’ machine outside with sweets and beaded bracelets in it. I’ve always had a thing about beaded bracelets so being the gentleman he is, he handed me the coin for the machine and lo and behold a brightly coloured bracelet fell into the slot.

We headed back to the tennis club for the presentation and there was a definite sense of romance in the air.

We saw little of each other for for quite a few months after that and I went to America for three months at the beginning of 1983. I sent him what I thought was a well-chosen postcard.

Soon after I got back from the States,  I met him down town in his car one lunchtime. I sat in and asked him if he’d got my postcard. He gave me a disgruntled look and showed me the torn up shreds of the postcard which were in the side pocket of the car door. He said something like: ‘I thought you would have done better than three lines on a postcard.’ 

We’re still chalk and cheese but will be married 24 years next month. Yes, I still have the bracelet; and, no, he’s certainly not the water baby I thought he was.  In fact, I don’t think he’s been for a swim in the sea since this day 33 years ago.

I’d like to thank Willow for nominating me for the Five Photos Five Stories Challenge.

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

My first nomination for the challenge is Lauren over at Baydreamer


Things I Adore about My Ireland

Last night, a quick walk with puppy Stan, turned out to be a two and a half hour stroll that brought home to me many of the things I absolutely adore about the Ireland ~ and especially the Tramore, that is both my native heath and the place where I’ve now lived permanently for 23 years.

It was a very drizzly evening and when I popped into our busy, vibrant local Centra shop, I just loved the way the cheery guy who was stacking  shelves said: Sure we get all four seasons in one day in this country.  I’d never thought of it that way before but he’s right and the four seasons can also, of course, mean meeting with people from all generations. Tramore is a town with a population of around 11,000 which swells, like the high tide, during the tourist season and on sunny Sundays.

I didn’t meet a soul out for the walk that  took me down passed the beautifully named Glór na Mara school ( Glór na Mara translates into Voice/Sound of the Sea). It is just at this point that I catch my first glimpse of  Tramore Bay. Yes, I could hear the whisper of the waves and see the lights of the more than inviting Promenade.

My Ireland abounds with glorious choices ~ drop down to the seafront or take a higher route along the Victorian Doneraile Walk, with its vistas of the Bay and views right along the cliffs to the Metal Man and beyond.

Last night, the Doneraile called, with its beautiful old walls, sweeping terraces and the feel of the salty breeze from the sea in my face. Tramore Tennis Club, that played such a huge role in my life looks down onto the Doneraile and, as I approached, I heard the last rally of a friendly game with the sounds of the echoing tennis ball and laughing players ringing out in the gloaming.

Out on the Cliff Road, it seemed as if the sea was rising up to meet me I had to stop to watch the bobbing boats in The Pier ~ not yet alseep, but wrapped up well in the arms of the harbour.

Though damp, there was a warmth in the air, as we made our way down through Newtown Wood towards Newtown Cove. Sea Pinks adorned the cliffs and I couldn’t resist casting a Wishing Stone into the gentle waters.

Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford
Newtown Cove, Tramore, Co. Waterford

There’s an old saying that Faraway Hills are Greener, but I’ll let you into a secret. My wish last night was that Tramore will always be ‘home.’


Sense of Place ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 69

 Tramore Bay
Tramore Bay

I’m at the half-way stage of a Post Graduate Course run by  the University of  Wales on Sense of  Place  and would just love to hear what this term conjures up for you.

From the outset,  Sense of Place had me over at the Tennis Club here in Tramore, Co, Waterford. I don’t think there’s anywhere that I feel more at home and at ease.

Court Two, Tramore Tennis Club, Co. Waterford

I started playing tennis there when I was three and it was just like an extension of our garden as we could reach it by crawling through a hole in the hedge.  Over the years, I kept returning like a homing pigeon and it’s like the ultimate love affair.

There was a time when I was a madly competitive tennis-player and concentrated more on the ball than on my surroundings at the club. But now, I relish having to pick up a whole heap of tennis balls when they are at the sea-end of the courts. I can gaze out over Tramore Bay which is enfolded by the Metal Man and Brownstown Head. And just below the courts, is Tramore Pier, a magical place where the colourful boats begin congregating and clinking when the worst of winter is over.

The Pier, Tramore, Co. Waterford

I never cared that the courts were located in one of the windiest places in Ireland. The views made up for tennis balls swirling all over the place and on hot summer days there’s always a refreshing sea breeze to stave off any sense of being in a burning cauldron. Win or lose, one can always run down to the beach and cool off in the waves.

Really, what more could anyone want?

But, dear Readers, I know that you have places that mean to you what Tramore Tennis Club means to me. Where are they in this wide world of ours ~ your favourite armchair, the bottom of your garden, Paris, San Francisco, the middle of The Great Gatsby, your blog, a tiny restaurant high up in the Alps, your local library, in your lover’s arms …..