Melissa Kite Melissa Kite

Our new house needed us – and we needed the house

Some people prefer to believe that I make things up – and I can understand why


The light does such magical things on this hillside that, as I walk the steep narrow lanes between fields, I can’t take my eyes off a distant, golden-topped mountain range.

At night the sky is so clear I wander into the garden and stare at the northern star, bright and low. I saw in the local paper that we got the northern lights the other evening: streaks of blue and green over the harbour. Everything seems such a riot of colour and flavour here.

I look around me and despite the views, I also see the funeral cars going up and down the lanes

The food tastes precisely of itself, to steal a phrase from Nancy Mitford. I’m peeling potatoes so dirty my hands are covered in mud by the time they reach the pan of tap water that comes from a ‘holy well’.

People walk past my gate with bottles and fill them from puddles beside the road coming from the spring that feeds our borehole.

The builder boyfriend reckons he has never felt better since drinking this spring water. A neighbouring farmer joked with him that the rising death rate locally, over the past few years, may have something to do with the water.

I’m sure he was being grimly sarcastic. If anything, the inhabitants of this rugged Irish landscape ought to be the healthiest people on the planet. It seems to me there are too many funerals here, like everywhere else.

I suppose I tried to escape that sort of thinking by moving to a peninsula that could be described as the ends of the Earth, or one end of the Earth.

But I do know that wherever you go, you take yourself with you. I look around me and despite the panoramic views of golden mountains, I also see the funeral cars going up and down the lanes.

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