Posted by: Louise | August 14, 2011


Back in June, K and I had the beginnings of a plan. We don’t make plans and then work steadily towards them, ticking off the milestones as we go. We hang them in the air, dangle them in front of us and then carry on. Sometimes there is an alchemy between the plan and our movement through life. Sometimes the dangling plan is like a furry dice bobbing annoyingly as we try to focus on the road.

I have had an itch to get away for a holiday all summer. There were no plans for that, but I kept throwing the idea out there. In the flurry of summer camps and rainy days and carrying out several years worth of spring-cleaning and dashing to the beach when the sun (almost) shone, I realised I had completed (most) of my “to-do” for the summer – not the hoovering and only patches of dusting, but that’s another day’s work.

Four days ago I opened my emails and there was a message there from a lady whom we have rented a house from on a number of occasions. She had a last minute cancellation.

Every year we come to this place out West with a friend and her daughter. We had planned a trip for just before Laura was due, but then she died. We came anyway. It is a magical place. This friend was to be Laura’s godmother. We offered her the title and she wears it with pride.

This is a place of bracing coastal walks, little inlets and wild flowers. That visit the sun shone and there was an abundance of butterflies. Our friend returned from a morning walk and announced she had found a special place for Laura, a little grassy outcrop beside the sea, no traffic except for gulls, the odd cow and that year so many butterflies.

Now the walk to reach that spot is Laura’s walk. When I arrive in this little Irish back-water, I can walk there in 10 minutes or two hours depending on the route I take. Every way is beautiful.

And so I rang K and said there is a cancellation and he said, “What the heck? Let’s go.” So we are here for two weeks. Well K has to go back home and do a week’s work before he can return and relax proper. But in the meantime, my parents are travelling down tomorrow (their first time in this corner of Ireland) and they will come on Laura’s walk. Then my sister-in-law and her brood will visit and I can share this place with them. And then my oldest friend….

Back in June K suggested we find a piece of rock from here and engrave it for Laura’s headstone. That was the beginning a plan, a plan that didn’t bob about annoyingly, but settled in my heart. Occasionally since then I have wondered when we might return.

So four days later we are here. The impossibility of packing three children, two adults, five wetsuits, three body boards, four life jackets, teddies, books, dolls, one laptop, clothing, food, more food (and maybe just a little more), a kayak and K’s camera into our car has been achieved. The alchemy is at work.

The walking boots and rain gear are lined up at the door.



  1. Have a beautiful trip Louise.. and let me know if you find that stone you are seeking. Matter of fact see if any pebbles catch your fancy.. I could always use a little Irish Luck over here across the pond.

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