Out west the beauty of the landscape would make you weep, but it’s the people and the chat that would warm your heart. It’s summer in Kerry and there is no shortage of talk. From morning until night we are discussing the situation in Gaza, the decline of the Labour party and the travails of Johnser.
Somewhere in Dingle, girls are eating three flavours of ice cream and coffee is being brewed “at exactly the correct temperature”. A farmer fixes his gutters and three men are standing at the edge of the turquoise Atlantic wondering about the state of the world. Maybe Putin will blockade the Kerrygold butter next? They won’t touch the baby formula though, one re-assures the other. On a tartan rug they rail against the travesty that is Garth Brooks and whether or not the GAA has lost the run of itself entirely.
The hot tea served from a flask on these beaches is of a very high quality, we Irish like our tea bursting with flavour. Later when we gobble our Kerry lamb or monkfish on a risotto of roasted tomatoes, we will still be sharing stories about family, the economy, or how we love those Scandanavian dramas on Netflix.
Along the coast, christened recently the Wild Atlantic Way, the sun is setting and the swimming rituals continue. There is a buzz of conversation from assorted picnics and shadowy squeals of joy coming from the shoreline. The elders have comfortable chairs. The younger generations wear wet-suits so they can stay immersed in the waves for longer.
It’s getting late and still we are talking away for Ireland. It’s what we do around a fire on a winter’s evening but tonight we are under the stars, barely believing the “real summer” that we are having this year, honing a true art form; it’s called friendship.