The longest beach in Ireland looms largely on my childhood.
The relationship you have with the town you grew up in is always a difficult one. It has long been documented in prose, song, film and TV. Our relationship always seems difficult because of the age that we most remember it. Adolescence is always hard for everyone and it usually casts a shadow over your memories of your hometown.
For me the seaside town of Tramore, which is located just outside Waterford City in the south east of Ireland, is one such place that is cast in this shadow. This is where I spent my formative years and it was on this beach which occupied most of my time. I say on the beach because I never ventured into the ocean all that much. Apart from trying to surf one time and some brief dips up to my waist, I decided that the water was too cold for me at any time of the year and I couldn’t look cool if I was shivering from the freezing water. Instead, me and my friends walked up and down that beach from the rocks at one end to the sand dunes at the other. I can’t remember what we did or what we talked about but I am sure it was very important.
Now that I am older and I have kids of my own, I often find myself back in my hometown and invariably back on that beach walking up and down it with the kids in tow. They seem to be having more fun than I can remember myself having but they are not adolescents yet. I love bringing them there because every time I do, it forces away some of the shadows of my memory and replaces it with some sunshine!