It’s a rugged kind of beauty, a grey, Irish form. The small cliffs to my right are covered in coarse brush and the remains of a structure of some kind sits, discarded, halfway between the lane that winds round to the house behind me and their curled edge. Whin bushes grow tall to my left, blocking the view and framing the scene, giving it a window-onto-the-world quality. The bench I sit on has been placed facing that window on a patch of neat grass that seems to end too suddenly, just dropping away to the road beneath which underlines the small rocky coastline. Small waves swell and break against those rocks, dominating the aural landscape, only now and then allowing a brief lull, an almost-pause, where for the briefest moment it seems they might quieten altogether, teasing me as the closer to silence they seem to get the louder the next break.
I make my way in for breakfast and as the waves clap my goodbye I see two rabbits sitting, their backs to each other as if they’ve just had some sort of lovers’ tiff. They aren’t speaking to each other in the circle of grass shaped around a fire pit which the night before had taken on the role of music hall as a 20 year old blonde Swede (Do they come in any other colour?) strummed his guitar and sang Buckley’s Hallelujah. His choral backing came like a slap in the face as I had stumbled my way down the dark track to join the impromptu festivities.
They were dreadful. Terrible. Disastrous. A little confused, I made my way down, realising more with each step that I was embarking on that awkward, "I'm-looking-for-my-friends-but-its-dark-and-I-can't-see-
around-like-a-lost-idiot" social situation. Stepping confidently into the fire light I realised that the full-throated song was coming from the…well…fully singing throats of a group of young people with Downs Syndrome. Talent and tune were playing second fiddle to gusto and enthusiasm and fun…an order we understand better when sat round a fire than in a lot of other places…