Taking the earbuds out, making contact and getting home safe!


It’s a gorgeous time of year for light. I’m a recent convert to photography – I don’t have loads of expensive gear or anything. But I have a nice 2nd hand Canon and a great phone (Samsung S7 Galaxy Edge if you’re looking to get yourself a nice pressie… )

Ballycotton from Garryvoe
Dusk at Ardnahinch

Anyway, so one of my favourite things to do is to nip down to the beach and see how it looks on a given day. Because it’s different every, single day. I just love it. And I’m so, so lucky to live near enough to “nip”.

This evening I was completely distracted by my new Spotify playlist and the fabulous light that I didn’t notice that the tide was coming in. I had decided somehow that it was going out. I’m STILL not sure how I came to that assumption but the point is, I was wrong. Super wrong.

So I’m strolling along taking pics, one phone call to a brother, and before I knew it I had walked from Garryvoe to near Ballycotton, and it was nearly dark.. OOPS! So I turn back, and walk towards the Ardnahinch entrance – I know you have to be local to get what I mean here but this is where you get stuck if the tide is in. And stuck I was going to be. But I was still oblivious and enjoying my choons when I suddenly realised I couldn’t go any further. Awkward…

I turned to look at the lighthouse, such light – wow! But, now I’d have to walk for ages, on the road, in the dark, no footpath, no reflective gear, nothing. Uh oh.. I spotted a man gazing at the sea, transfixed. Like me. I got it. Would I leave the earphones in or take the out and be sociable? Hmm… We did the Irish nod and I decided to take them out.

Gorgeous evening, we agreed. Cold too, but lovely. How lucky we are, we agreed. Then he laughed – are you stuck so you are?? LOL. Yes, I’m stuck. No problem he says, I’ll drive you to the next beach and you can walk to your car. Hmmm again… This is one of those moments where women think is this wise? Is this safe? Is this guy a potential assailant?

I look at him and check my gut. All is calm. He’s not pushing it. He’s just gazing at the sea. I check the tide line, could I make it over those rocks? Yes, but oh, they are definitely rainclouds over the island and I’d be soaked.. and it would take ages… I was getting a little hungry too come to think of it. Hmmm again…

I say actually, that’d be awesome – thank you! He gives a goodbye glance to the sea and we turn and walk towards the car park together. We talk about the sea and how healing it is. I think of a piece I promised to do for Ballinamona Clean Coasts and decide I’ll do it later (but am doing this instead – sorry P!) . We talk about taking time for yourself, how important it is. Even if it’s raining. I tell him I shocked myself by discovering this year that I like running on the beach in the rain. THE RAIN! He’s laughing, he likes to walk in the rain. Does it on purpose.

We talk about mental health, Nissan gear boxes, car dealers, and how lucky we are to be healthy enough to do this.

He drops me off at the opposite end of the car park so I can have more of a walk in the dusk. It’s getting dark very fast. I thank him, say I couldn’t have got back without him. There’s no such thing as can’t he says. There’s always a solution – you just have to see that you “can”.

#preach. This is what I often say, and it’s so nice to hear it and to catch myself needing to hear it. I could have climbed over the rocks of course. That was a potential solution.

But I’m glad I took the earbuds out and made contact with another human being. It was the better solution. He was lovely. Thank you sir. For the lift, and for the lift.



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