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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Following Niamh

A valley stretches from here to another county. The far side is green, possibly with pine trees. There's a patchwork of farms and a quarry or a mine with cranes, in the distance. Hedgerows in bloom hid the view before this vantage point. Far down the layby a couple of cars are pulled-up. The gravel underfoot is hot and dry.

Beyond the mountains on the other side, high cliffs are waiting. Below the cliffs a bay with a hundred islands. At the cusp of the bay a larger island is separated by a sound with a small road bridge. Across the bridge stands a garage with old, red petrol pumps. From here the road turns one-track through miles of brackish bog. At the far end of the island is a mountain, its peak in one white cloud.

Beyond the Atlantic Hotel, on the far shore there’s a shop that sells plastic buckets and spades. On the beach is a fire, boiling crawfish, straight from the sea. Beside the fire is a girl, a young woman, with sandy hair. Kneeling, she leans back and says something with a smile.

After that you fall off the edge of the world.

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