Donegal Daydreams

We’re back. Me and the girls. Sucking in that endless sky and the sea-brazen air that blows around our heads, rustling our hair and filtering through our brains so that only the moment remains.   It blows away all the fog and fug until our skin tingles with newness and weather.  Donegal. No need for Spa treatments here – the wind and sand and sea strip away all the dead skin and the dead thoughts, like a facial for the soul.

Long lovely moments of nothing. Long lovely moments of everything.  Donegal. It always feels like coming home.  IMG_3516

The forecast was for rain every day, but the sun has defiantly burst through, sticking out it’s tongue saying “Na na na na na” and giving us time to run on empty glorious beaches where the horizon is so far away it feels otherworldly.  It shines down a brightness that lights the water in the sea, in the estuary, in the puddles everywhere so it feels we are dancing under spotlights.

Welly boots are de rigour. Washing is optional. Eating is spontaneous. Summer days in Donegal…. my childhood memories and their childhood moments merging into one long Welly Walk through my life… collecting shells and crabs, picking flowers, poking jellyfish and seaweed, catching worms, chasing butterflies, running into the waves, running away from the waves, checking out rock pools, stomping, splashing, clambering, climbing, exploring, hunting, finding, discovering, eating, talking, fighting, laughing. Staying up late, sleeping later, snuggles in between. Hot chocolate on tap, melting marshmallows scooped out with a teaspoon.  Sun hot sand lashing our legs jumping in the sea. Horizontal rain lashing the windows, board games by raging fire while the wind howls sadly outside because it can’t come in and join us.

Yesterday we went for a three hour hike over beach and rocks and pot-holed roads and harbour and dunes. We collected shells and poked dead jellyfish. The wind pushed us along and then we had a sun-blazed rest for chocolate biscuits and gingersnaps and tea from a flask, and as we reached the little harbour the rain drenched us in buckets but we laughed and ate M&M’s and the sun came out again and we took all our coats off. Donegal. Where the sun and rain and wind are like inseparable triplets.

IMG_3473    IMG_3506

A welly walk in our T-shirts, or a welly walk in our coats. Donegal daydreams. We’re back.

(lest I give the illusion that this is some sort of idyllic out-of-normal-parenting experience where we all sing sweetly to the birds and the rabbits all gather at the front door and talk to us (and do the dishes), and the food miraculously appears and then disappears, and no-one cries, and no-one fights, and NO-ONE WHINES, and everyone picks up their wet towels, and dirty pants don’t gather in piles like mole hills in the garden, and NO-ONE WHINES, and I get so much sleep I can fly and did I mention all the food that miraculously appears every mealtime…….. I’m sorry. That is not the case. Donegal is a little bit of heaven, but it’s real.)

(lest I give the impression any of the above matters when we can spend a morning tramping over cliffs to find a secluded beach and everyone gets wet playing tag with the waves, and then we tramp home sandy and wet and eating a sweaty bag of melted chocolate biscuits..…I’m sorry. It doesn’t. Not right now anyway….)

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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1 Response to Donegal Daydreams

  1. I would love to go there sometime. Sounds so tranquil!


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