A Mysterious Embrace

THE SUMMER EVENING HAD BEGUN TO FOLD THE WORLD IN ITS mysterious embrace. Far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day lingered lovingly on sea and strand…

We arrived back in Ahakista late Thursday evening and after a pint, something to eat and some wine we went to bed for a day of getting ready.

It is not often you are 50 and I have been planning on celebrating my birthday in Ireland – hopefully with some friends and family, eating good food – hopefully some of it from out of the bay – and then spending time in the pubs drinking pints.

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All that came to pass.

Breakfast Friday morning was four rashers of Gubbeen bacon with brown sauce and coffee. We then drove to Bantry for the market and to pick up more bacon and cheese. I had put in orders for both when we were there the previous week.

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The cheese was a great round wheel of Milleen wrapped up in its own cardboard box and the bacon was three catering packs of Gubbeen Streaky to keep the hordes happy the following morning.

There was a worrying 15 minutes whilst I waiting for Ma Murphy’s to open.It looked dead to the world at 5 minutes to 12.00 but then a man turned up with a key and I was able to slip into one of its dark corners with my first pint of the day.

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There is something satisfying being sat in a good dark pub, chairs still on the table from the night before, waiting for the first taste of the first pint of the day. There was of course a temptation to stay longer and try on the fit of another pint and then perhaps follow that on with a sip from the bottle of West Cork Whiskey I had seen in there two weeks earlier. The day was still young and I resisted the temptation.

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Back at the Cottage the weather was exceptionally still and it was not until late on in the afternoon that any sort of breeze got up. We had lunch sat by Curly’s Corner looking out over the bay the water looking like sheet metal with there being no movement on it.

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After lunch I took one of the kayaks out and out on the water the only sound was the noise that the paddle made as it went through the water. I had a line with me and it dragged through the water behind the kayak. It seemed too still for there to be any fish out there but I still managed to catch two good fish.

As I paddled back to the Cottage a breeze started to ripple the surface of the water and back on land there was the first rush of people arriving from England and the need to get ready for a night in the pub.

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