Sunday, 20 May 2007

Chance Encounter

Yesterday Rowan Hand offered to do a live interview by telephone for his Saturday morning radio show on FIVE FM; so for atmosphere (and to see if I could pick up 100.5 FM on the water this far outside the advertised catchment area– the answer is yes) I decided to take the dinghy round the back of Islandmore before making the call. I headed for Scott’s Hole as there was a stiff southwesterly breeze and I knew that that particular spot, on the lee side of the island, would offer shelter as well as a good view of the lough.

Rowan had asked me to call the studio at 8.30 am; and at 8.25 I was still making my way round there in a fairly choppy sea, and feeling a bit panicky. The slot would be live so I would probably get only one shot at it. At exactly 8.33 I dropped the anchor and dialled the studio. Rowan picked up and said, ‘Morning Michael - perfect timing, I’ll come to you in two secs’; and before I knew it we were chatting about the joys of early morning boat trips on the lough, oysters on the foreshore and - bless him - the all-important plug for my talk on Monday at Waterstone's in Newry.

On the way back to the cabin I tried to take a shortcut through Pawle Sound but at that state of the tide it was too shallow so I turned back, forced to go the long way. Something caught my eye amongst the boulders and for a few minutes I watched this very handsome fox and he watched me, before trotting off in no particular hurry. Island foxes, having no reason to fear humans, will allow you to come quite close, especially in a boat.
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