When it comes to being on a bicycle, there are those who incline to greenways and others to the open roadway.
But a few of us veer towards the small stony find your own way.Grass growing in the middle-way. Thatch cottage and stone wall way. Out of the ordinary way. Getting totally lost way. Stop and ask the locals the way. Past the old disused pump way. Clamber over the lichen covered wall way. Push your bike along the seashore way. Pass the hawthorn fashioned by the prevailing wind way. And the ancient shell midden way. Find the house of your dream way. Arrive back to where you started way. Realise that though the hours have passed and you haven’t been idle you haven’t done huge mileage way.
Last Saturday I woke in a small caravan along a flaggy shore.
Not Seamus Heaney’s flaggy shore, but a similar stretch of land jutting out into the Atlantic to the north of his.
The world outside my window was cloaked in mist.
From my bed I could just make out the red shellfish dredger dangling, suspended between sea and sky and the small pier with its two idle boats.
and finally as though the curtain of a stage was slowly lifting, the sinister ruins of Tyrone house across the bay. (NOT a good Landlord from all accounts).
I sipped my morning coffee and considered how by sheer placement he could spy on the tenants across the bay even though he would have been better looking after his own, because this side of the bay was under the reign of a more benevolent Landlord, Redington of Clarinbridge
Yesterday I had noted that all these objects were correctly attached to land and sea, which assured me that I and my caravan had not become adrift in some ethereal land while I lay sleeping.
Despite this mist, the day had the makings of a good one and by the time I had finished that first coffee, followed by my breakfast of almond scone and coffee it had cleared.
Recently a ‘slow bicycle’ friend from Canada made a cycling map of his city with places of interest sketched out. I wish I had thought of doing that on this route.
Instead here is a photographic pictorial of my wanderings by which I will (instead of writing any commentary) take you along.
Just to say that the sprig of elderflower attached to my handle bars to protect me from punctures and getting lost only worked for the former.
and that the gap in photos between the pump and scrabbling with the yellow bicycle across the low wall onto the seashore is due to the fact that I had to concentrate in wading barefoot through a muddy seaweedy shortcut to reach the field that would finally lead me to the shore. (Thank goodness for easily slip off-able Birkenstoks)
I could call my route the thatch cottage way but that would be too obvious and so with no further ado get on your bicycle and follow me!
And home again five hours later with the sun well and truly in the sky and the mist gone.