Friday, May 30, 2008

Leaving Ireland

"Where the beaches are patrolled by black and white cats"

On my last morning in Ireland, Cathy drove me out to Cranfield, a lovely beach just down the coast from the 'Point. We walked along the empty sand - the lighthouse in the distance out in the slightly misty bay.

It was warm, a thin sun shining in the May sky, and the birds were diving and dancing across the rocks and into the salt-smelling seaweed. We walked, and talked, and picked up rocks (I found a huge stripy one that would fly home with me to join my 'international brigade' around the fish pond). We sat on some rocks and pied wagtails and sparrows hopped along the beach, snatching sandflies and leaving tiny prints.

While we sat talking, the wide empty beach before us, a few people walked past, and all bid us good morning. At one point a woman walked past, 'Come along now!' she called to her pet, and trailing behind her for her morning constitutional, was her (quite large) blakd and white cat. Unusual, to say the least!

It was a calm morning, relaxed and pleasant, an excellent way to spend my last day in Ireland. Later in the afternoon they took me back to the airport. A planned cafe stop misfired as, when we reached it, it was closed. Instead the whole family (Patrick came too - but not Dexter) piled in to the airport for a burger meal. At least I wouldn't have the long wait to depart that I'd had on leaving England.

At last it was time for them to leave me to my airport vigil, and Patrick gave me a big hug goodbye. After our farewells, I walked off towards the departure lounge - but Patrick rushed back to give me one final hug before I left. A wonderful start to my homeward journey.

On the plane it was fairly empty, and the flight seemed very quick indeed. I had a book to read, but I was too tired. The taste of salt air still in my lungs. I do want to live by the sea one day.
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