Before the storms, there was Dunmore East . . . This is what I shall tell myself when my country cottage is under siege from swirling gusts and whipping rain. Yes, I’ve read the weather forecast for the coming week and it doesn’t look good. So today, I’ll be reflecting on a fresh, but sunny afternoon, spent at the harbour in Dunmore East.
Strolling along, my husband and I admired an array of brightly coloured fishing boats. Looking down from what seemed like a great height, my head began to swim a little, and yet, I didn’t want to take my eyes off the boat nearest to shore. It was painted in shiny aquamarine, with a muddied interior, hinting at recent fishing adventures. I imagined it full of fish, didn’t have to imagine the spiky scent, edging its way into the breeze. I thought of ‘my farmer’ – a central character to my novel. He’s also a fisherman – would his boat look like this?
As my husband and I discussed some ideas for the plot, we met two seagulls; a parent and a youngster. They didn’t seem too disturbed by our presence and sat calmly, with feathers fluffed up, their eyes following us as we moved on. A dead fish awaited us; lying with eerie serenity in the middle of our path. A large speckled creature, (possibly a cod), it hadn’t been there long enough to seem completely devoid of life, but was so still. We steered around him, Hubs suggesting he might inspire a poem.
Back at the car, we spotted another seagull pairing of youngster and parent. The parent looked completely disinterested as their progeny pined and keened for attention. ‘Not today,’ the seagull’s expression seemed to say. ‘You’re getting too big for cosseting!’
Sitting in our car, in the clifftop car park, we got out the binoculars and had a good luck at Hook Lighthouse. A couple of years ago, we spent a night in Wexford and enjoyed an afternoon at Hook Head, staring into rock pools, entranced by the colourful seaweed treasures within. It might be time to pay another visit to that part of the country. I can also recommend the JFK Arboretum – the trees and shrubs are heavenly and it has such a soul-stirring atmosphere, not to mention the view of six counties! I set one of my short stories there, so it might be just the trip for any writers in search of ideas.