Another idyllic day out the West, last week before the terrible rain and flooding began, had me out on this beach, following my nose as had become my way, and finding the most beautiful places with hardly a soul about. This beach was at the end of a very long and narrow road lined with cottages and small homes, fields of sheep and cows, and always views that stretched off in all ways. When I got to this place it looked familiar, and later my sister reminded me that this is the same beach where we went to sketch 2 years ago, when a man went out in a small boat and came back with a dozen small mackerel, which he gave to us as his wife wouldn’t let them in the house. They went straight onto the barbecue when we returned to her house and they were the best mackerel ever, fresh and tasty and succulent. Mmmm….
The man arrived again this time, and his wife with the dog, and went out in the boat again, and the dog wouldn’t return home with the wife, despite much coaxing and encouraging, but rather stayed on the shore looking longingly at the man in his departing boat until he could be seen no longer. He then came and sat by me for the duration of this painting, and kept me company as so many of these Irish dogs do. Friendly lot they are. As are the people; the other encounter of the afternoon was a brother and his sister who were heading out to pick periwinkles as the tide was going out, and they were so open-hearted and welcoming and delightful. Good people.