A gift of a half bottle of white wine

During lunch in Schull we were given a present of a half drunk bottle of white wine. We were down by the pier eating our way through three large helpings of scampi and chips. All morning it had been threatening to rain and on the drive over the top of Mount Gabriel had been shrouded in low cloud. We had walked slowly up the High Street, stopping in shops and buying books. I had been allowed a wistful look into the open door of Hackett’s. It was a new door. The old one must have suffered the consequences of too many years being barged open rather than having the handle turned. It was dark and inviting inside but we walked on for cups of coffee and hot chocolate in The Courtyard.

There was then more slow walking until we made our way down to the pier for lunch. There was a van with its back door open parked up near the door of the fish market. A scruffy heron stalked up to it looking out for scraps of fish.

It was busy and there was a queue to order so I slipped into the tackle shop next door to buy a new line, some feathers and a weight.

We had a bottle of rose with the scampi. We were finishing our first glass when a man walked up to the table holding a half bottle of wine.  He put it on the table. ‘ Here you have this. I’m too old to be finishing it now.’ He clapped a hand on my shoulder as I thanked him. I had kept the cork for the rose so that went on and we finished the white. It was still chilled.

Later that afternoon we took the boats out. Unexpectedly  I fould myself sailing a dinghy across the bay. There were a couple of near misses and I almost took a chunk out of Tommy’s boat as I tried to sail and negotiate the purchase of lobsters but I didn’t capsize.

That evening we finished off the rose and ate brill with a cream sauce, tomatoes and pasta.

Of course there was a certain stiffness in my back this morning. We can put that down to the gift of a half bottle of white wine.


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