JUST as Muhammed Ali’s great physical beauty, charisma, intelligence and wit once helped to disguise a pitiless prize fighter determined to take the purse, the scale and magnificence of the Burren in Clare is so very breath-taking that sometimes you can’t see the wood from the trees.
THERE’S a tense scene in the 1992 version of The Last of the Mohicans where a waterfall becomes a central if not dominant character for a few decisive scenes. A young Daniel-Day Lewis — bristling like a landmine with charisma, so smouldering and indefatigable that he makes Sunday nights’ Lazarus Poldark look like a pasty also-ran in an under-12 Feis competition — plays the rescuing angel Hawkeye.
THERE are moments, just passing ones, but moments of real promise, at this time of the year when the hard, cobalt blue of the cold winter sky is softened by strands of viridian light, an energising, germinating light that promises that spring is coming on the next train; that the circle is indeed unbroken.
THERE are days when you just want middle-of-the-road, keep-the-show-on-the road food — days when you don’t need, or even want, poppy-seed brown bread knitted by celibate artisan bakers; days you just can’t summon up the joie de vivre needed to make the prospect of crabmeat or pan-roasted cod named after the port in which its captor buys his marine diesel, seem even vaguely uplifting.
IT may not have been Dylan Thomas’ “mussel pooled and the heron Priested shore” but the view from the windows at Deasy’s Seafood Bar in Ring, outside Clonakilty, Co Cork, is as captivating as I imagine the shoreline that shaped the Welshman’s sublime Poem in October must have been.