Water World

I have risen with the early light and, calling the dogs to heel, slip down the back lanes across fields heavy with dew. My white breath floats into the air and joins with mists dancing in the new dawn. I am ten, or maybe eleven, and my blood pulses with daydreams and fairy tales. Cocooned

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We fished our own way

No rods, nor gear. Catch a hold of strands of horse hair. Plait them. Loop them at the end like a hang mans noose and hope for the best. We would go to the river. It was not a river but a tributary yet we called it the Spring. And wait. There all the boys

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The Liffey Lobster

“Can we go fishing can we go fishing?”daily she implored on the first rain free frosty day I conceded to this four year olds’ pleas . “Fishingfishingfishing” she whispered the air exploding with peals of winter suppressed giggles as I too softened. Brought a Jam jar, off we strolled, hand in gloved hand and soon

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Well…Well…Well…Well…Well…Well

It was George Moore the Novelist who penned “Everyman has a lake in his heart”. George was referring to the wondrous Lough Carra on his doorstep. I’m twice as lucky as George because I have an abiding love for two lakes in my heart! Lough Carra with its magnificent wild trout and its historic hinterland

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Who do you think you are

“Who do you think you are?” “I’m the Ballybrennan Canal, and just because I’m small, doesn’t mean I’m not important. After all, I’m here since 1854 and I’m part of the South Slob network in Wexford. I’m the one that leads the way from the pumphouse at Drinagh to the estate farm at Ballybrennan .

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Why the Helmets

The summer of 1976 may have gone down as one of the driest on record with lakes at an all time low and rivers reduced to a mere trickle, with “my own” river, the Owenea, lower than I had ever seen it. Finns pool, at the bottom of beat was just a collection of large

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The Lakelands

I suppose it must be the Dodder. Whatever flows into it, it’s the Lakelands, at Terenure – it’s all I’ve known it as. It’s the first place where I can remember nature existing. There is a bridge which seemed sturdy when I was 6, but when I visited it last week, it looked as if

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Kayaker

Jack Loved Dungarvan Harbour and the bay that linked with the ocean where the Celtic Sea mixed with the Atlantic. He loved to see the water wash the old quayside in the town, the spreading coast on the north side, that stretched off towards Hook Head and the corner of Ireland in one direction, and

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The Observer

Years of sediment are slowly cutting a curve of river off from the current. A few centimetres of water still let life flow between the busy stream and stagnating pool. A floating leaf. A twig. A spiny orange Perch. All find their way into the microcosm. Layers of shoulder height hogweed enclose the pool. There

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Training Tonight

It always starts the same: you’re stressed out at work, or run ragged at home, or nose down in the books or just tired of your own company all day long. You pack your gear bag, or your backpack, or your rucksack, or you just throw everything into the boot. You get yourself ready in

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Shorelines

At the water’s edge Grains of wave-washed sand Years of my childhood. Today as a storm force ten wind whipped the normally tranquil harbour into a white fury, I walked the shoreline. As I listened to the gentle scrunch of rough sand under my feet and watched the unleashed waves hurl themselves at the unshaken

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The Barrow Pike

Heavy with spawn, she rested below Athy’s Horsebridge. Melodies of a distant shoal drifted by. An old familiar tune, dancing Rudd. Moving upriver, she took advantage of the competing swirls, navigating from reed-bed to rock till she glimpsed the first flickers of fin and dived for cover. She lay perfectly still and peered from the

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