I’ll start with an obligatory props to Julie and her family for taking me around the Atlantic Drive on Achill.
I came to Achill Island expecting to be profoundly stirred. I was. From the moment that we climbed the hill to face (for the first time in my life) the full fury of an Atlantic winter storm, to getting caught in a flash shower on the pier at Mallaranny, I was completely awestruck by the sights on the island. With that came a problem, a horrible burning question in my mind that shone brighter the more that day’s light faded: How could I adequately capture the majesty? It wasn’t a case of equipment. While I’d have appreciated the presence of a 50mm lens, I had good coverage of the focal range and the know-how to employ it. Instead, it was vision. I’m sitting on a clifftop while being battered by hundred kilometre an hour winds and sea-spray tossed up from the sea that was (technically) a few hundred feet below me. To my left I have a a majestic mountain rising right out of the sea. To my right I see the kind of broken shore that inspires prophets, poets and madmen. I thought I might emulate the spectacular Kerry landscapes of Danny O’Brien, but after one half-arsed attempt I swerved away because I’d be selling myself short.
Instead I chose that other stable of the west coast: Dull resorts where I spent my childhood holidays hiding from the rain, fighting with my sister and watching mum and dad occasionally enact the next few world wars. So here’s to you, childhood inanity.