We have spent six or seven Easters at The Cottage and on the last three times we gave been here we have had lunch at The Good Thing’s Café.
Five years ago we walked there and back along the back road that runs in a straight line through the hills from Ahakista to Durrus. The walk there took about three hours. On the walk back we were buoyed up with wine and good food and got back to The Cottage as it was getting dark.
There was talk of walking again this year but the weather was too good to be away from The Cottage that long and there were boats to be taken out onto the water and coffee to be drunk.
I then decided to walk part of the way. The table was booked for 2.00 so if I left at 1.00 I would be able to get a few miles under my belt before one of the cars that was bringing the rest of the party caught up with me and could take me the rest of the way.
I was about to set off when Dad said he would join me. So I waited a few minutes more and then we left to see how far we could get before being picked up.
Driving through the previous night in the dark some of the damage from the storm was caught in the car headlights and we caught flashes of where the sea wall had been washed away. Walking back in the daylight the damage was more apparent. Stretches of wall were gone and boulders and large stones had been put in its place so the passing cars knew not to drive into the sea. Some of the stone wall on the landward side of the road had also collapsed and there were patches of field strewn with dried seaweed and gravel from the sea.
Any piece of land that was next to the sea has had its shape shifted. Large rocks had been moved and those too big to move had been further exposed. Bare earth had crumbled away and a familiarity has been taken away from the place. It will take another few months for those edges to blur.
We got about three miles before the cars caught up with us and we were given a lift the rest of the way.
Lunch was a fixed menu – 2 starters and 2 mains with prawns on as a special. Out of that we had enough to keep everyone happy.
We never went to the butterfly house in which The Good Thing’s Café makes its home but we must have eaten there now two or three times, if not more, each year since it opened, and we have never been disappointed.
This Easter Sunday lunch was no exception. Four of us had the fish soup which then came in a white tureen and we served it out amongst ourselves. Cora had decided that all she needed was the fish soup and she had four bowls of it which she eeked out with bread and cheese.
There were then plates of salad and prawns and roast lamb with mashed potato. One of the highlights was a pile of spiced, almost fermented, finely chopped carrot that came with the salad. Kristen decided it was too spicy for her and so I forked it off her plate and onto mine and ate it.
It was a slow lunch measured out with a clutter of spoons and knives and voices.
Two hours later we walked out back into the light replete and looking forward to the summer when we can go back.