We pulled up next to the grey gate of the Cottage when we got to Akakista. Everything was slick with wet. Great puddles of water on the pier and the fuschia hedge bent down wetting our trousers as we stumbled out of the car and collected the bags to be dumped on the floor.
We drove through Ireland overnight having arrived at Dublin at 1.00am on a lurching ferry. The whole country was thick with rain, great white gobs of it coming through the dark and being picked out by the beams of the headlights. As the roads tightened and drove deeper into the country after Bandon broken signs in the hedgerows warned of floods and the trees and green vegetation bent heavy with the weight of water crowding down and around the tarmac in the tunnel of light in front of the car. I saw three foxes bolt away tail streaming behind them as we passed.
Once we got to Durrus the rain stopped but the country was filled with wet. We could hardly see the sea on our left as the road followed its familiar twists and turns through the dark. I was tired now and this was only part of the journey I could feel sleep start to tug at my eyes.
The kids went straight to bed as I took my first walk up the pier.
The tide was up and high only a foot or so from the top. The stream by the Butter House was in full spate with the water coming off the hills and the only sound was the water and the angry awakening of the gulls on Owen Island. The sea had made it way through holes in the concrete and they poped and gurgled with the movement of water in the harbour.
Everything smelt of the sea, that clean iodine smell, and fish – bait for the lobster pots.
Then to bed for a few hours before a trip to Bantry Market. Waking four hours later the sun was out briefly but the barometer was hovering from rain to stormy.