Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ballycotton


For them as don't already know, there is a bit of a phenomena in Limerick by the name of Anne Curley and better known as 'Curley'.
She runs one of the more chaotically organised thrift-shops in Limerick, a place called 'Second-Time Round' on Wickham St.
With the proceeds of 'Second-Time Round' she runs a kind of holiday home in Ballyandreen in Co.Cork.


The kids all call it; 'Ballycotton', after the name of the nearest town, and so do I and so does Curley. I've been going there for a number of years , and it aint easy, but the craic to be had is none of your oul' normal craic that you wouldn't bother sayin' hello twice to, oh no. The Ballycotton craic is the top-notch stuff.
So there you have it, a few weeks out of the year down by the seaside. We swim every day, we go on long walks every day, we eat sandwiches on the beach every day, we do our jobs every day and we eat plenty of wholesome food whether we like it or not because Curley has rules about these sort of things.
The beach is really close and also really rocky. It's not the long white sandy number that you think of when you hear the word 'beach'. When the tide is in, it's pebbles and rocks only. But you don't mind that when you're down in Ballycotton.
There's a whole different set-up in Ballycotton.

For me, I can only describe it as the nearest thing to the 1950's summer holiday you can get. The entertainment seems pretty slim by the standards of todays generation; No Telly, No Interweb, No phone coverage,No videogames.
All you can do is be there, and yet strangely that always seems to be enough. Corned beef sandwiches and polluted orange and Mrs McCarthy's Cake on the beach.
Every day. Walking 'over the mountains' -past the Sheep's head, past the wooden bridge, past the savage cabbages, past the water-you-can-drink, and past the lecktrick fence, and past the concrete box and past the picnic tables and into Ballycotton town, to spend your euro -if you haven't been 'docked'.
You can fish off the peir if you have a rod or a handline.
You can jump off the peir if Curley reckons you're a strong enough swimmer.
Any fish caught will be cleaned and gutted and eaten as near to catching as possible.


There is nothing as lovely as a fresh mackerel fried and seasoned with a bit of lemon. It's 'UNHUMAN!'

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