This week, I was gallivanting again, to Bantry, in a corner of Ireland where fingers of rock point to the sea. I could wax lyrical about the beauties of Bantry and the West Cork countryside surrounding it, or about the brilliance of the authors who at the literary festival we were attending. But as I did with Sneem and with Iceland earlier in the year, I prefer to concentrate on the little random wonders that often remain unseen.
Here’s a selection of ten small, sparkling moments from my stay in Bantry.
Eloquent rants about montbretia, those flame flowers.
The ship’s sail that cried, ‘Enough.’
The mountain filled with light and rain.
The man who let his Viking-style boat rot on a beach for seven years because he went to South America and nearly got married.
A cup of tea at the edge of the world.
The author who bathed us in warmth, humour and perfectly crafted words.
The author who drove the men away.
The barman who had never heard of Pernod.
The cable car with a psalm tacked onto the wall.
And the family who flung open the doors of their eighteenth-century farmhouse and fed us with fresh leaves, morsels of culture and tales of the Levant.