Monday, December 2, 2013

Wonderland Just Outside My Window

Just over three years ago now, and due to a number of factors that I'd rather not go into here, I moved to Eyeries. This little village, located way down in County Cork (southwest Cork to be exact), is one of the best kept secrets in all of Ireland. It has to be because so few people seem to know about it. I discovered the place quite by accident. About ten years ago, I was looking for a secluded part of the world in which to hide and write a screenplay (that's not yet been produced by the way, though I live in hope). I discovered Anam Cara, a delightful artists' and writers' retreat run by Sue, a wonderful American who also seems to have lived in Ireland for what seems like forever. (Go to for more information).

Sue was a marvel, as was the retreat. She takes care of artists and writers as if they were members of her own family. You work. And while you do, she makes dinner, organizes entertainment, acts as a shoulder to cry on and as a constructive critic if you're looking for such help, and otherwise carries the load while you get busy. And her house! Well that too is magic. Wonderful living quarters. Beautiful gardens complete with a waterfall and small river. Homemade food that is scrump-diddly-delicious. Nearby walks down narrow lanes, past a windswept cemetery. But for me, the best part of it was: all of this is situated right next to Coulagh Bay on the Beara Peninsula, with stunning views of the Atlantic to the west, the Kerry Mountains to the northwest, and the Beara hills to the south and east.

I was hooked.

Of course, ten years ago there was absolutely no way that I would be able to move in this direction. It was impossible. But then things changed.

Just over three years ago I stayed at Sue's house for about two weeks. During that visit, I happened to walk into the village of Eyeries, a 20 minute stroll up to the High Road, down past Teresa's place (the Coulagh Bay Bed and Breakfast - go to for more information on her place and the area), and eventually turned left at the sign for Eyeries.

From there, it's pretty easy because there's only one road into the place. I walked down the main street, past the small Eyeries River that gurgles beneath a bridge, and into a virtual fairyland lined with terraced houses painted in every pastel shade you can imagine. It's beautiful. Quiet. Comforting. On that day the sun was out, painting the trees in gold. Fuchsia bushes, all wearing small red flowers, bloomed along the way. A dog came up to me. I patted it and the collie seemed to lead me to the local pub, Causkey's, one of only two in the village.

Needless to say I asked Donal, the owner and barman, for a Pint. When it settled, I took it to the large window facing west, and looked across the Coulagh Bay and the amazing picture of beauty that it offered. In the distance, a fishing boat strolled across the gentle waters. Seagulls glided nearby. And then the sun set, and as I watched I beheld a magic of nature that I have seen in few other places. It sank beneath a far off line of low cloud, lighting them from beneath. Scattering then across the waters like tiny, sparkling jewels. I wished I could have more.

"I sure wish I could live here," I whispered. And Donal heard me. "Place for sale down the road," he uttered. "Why not have a look?" So I did. I walked out the door and turned left. Walked six doors down, so I did. And saw the For Sale sign.  The house was Robins' Egg blue. I looked through the window. Across a large open living room, I could see the sun as it beamed its last rays through a large back window. The house had the same amazing views that Donal's pub possessed. I got out my mobile and phoned the agent.

Six months later I moved in.  And now I wake to the view of the Bay every day. I walk out onto the back deck. I watch more. When the weather is nice, I walk down to the nearby Beara Trail and breath deep of the sea smells and listen to the roar of the waves coursing in. Sometimes I'll see a seal playing in the surf.  If the weather's bad, I'll sit in the back room of the house, watching as the breakers as they smash onto the rocks, tossing mares tails of mist as much as thirty feet into the sky.

It wasn't supposed to happen, my ownership of the Blue House along the main street of Eyeries. It shouldn't have happened at all. But it has. And when life might seem a bit blue - as blue, sometimes, as the house in which I now live - I look at the wonderland just outside my window. And pinch myself.

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