As humanity sits in lockdown
Time standing still the world and tides rise and fall
And for many life goes on almost unabated
The fisherman returning of the flood tide after another night alone on the Celtic Sea
The flood tide filling the river and spreading out over the salt marsh
For the fisherman every night is social distance
Alone with on the end less waves, the sky and sea birds for companionship
The tides of time go on ebbing and flowing like the water round the old wreck
Ebbing and flowing in time less motion
Last night over the Celtic Sea the Easter Pink Supermoon rose
In a sort of bright isolated orb in the darkness
Casting it’s beam like a stream of rose gold
Like it has for millenea.
And the tides keep turning
There was something strange about getting on the Normandy Express in Portsmouth
Was it deja vu?
But yes this fast cat was built in Tasmania Australia and used to cross Bass Strait
It was an omen of positive things to come.
First stop was beautiful Mont St Michel at the northern part of Brittany.
The beautiful coast and farm land around the northern coast
On the west coast
The little coves
And in July it’s mussel season so fresh and sweet
South of Brest there is Camaret sur Mer an historic fishing town
The maritime city still a working port and welcoming to tourists
With beautiful beaches and great motorcycling roads near by.
Bet really it’s the little ports of Brittany that catch my eye.
Mizen Head is the most southern most point of mainland Ireland
As good as place as any to start the Wild Atlantic Way
They even give you a starting line
The route winds up the west coast
Through foggy Irish mist
Over mountains with wonderous views
Mountains where Irish legends such as Finn Mc Cool sat.
A coast where there are fishing villages both small
With cliffs towering out of the sea
Relics of stone age and Celtic history dating back 5000 years
Quintessential Irish pubs
And then at the end
After 6 days of challenging riding
At Malin Head the most northern point of mainland Ireland
They provide a finish line
It was a misty night
As the ferry left Cherbourg
The next day the emerald isle.
My forebares left on an immigrant ship
More than 140 years ago
Driven out by desperation and hunger
And I’m on the car ferry from France
During the night the sky cleared and moon cast her silver light upon the sea
And at Rosslare the sun was shining it’s welcome.
The Irish on board were talking about how good it was to be back home
Its not my home but the blue blue sea and the emerald hills sure tug at the heart strings
Gateway to Galicia
Another Celtic nation
The night ferry said goodbye to England
Along the coast of France
Across the Bay of Biscay
The often wild sea a mill pond on this crossing.
The morning brings Spain
Back in Glasgow
The buildings have a new feel
I’ve been touched by the Celtic Ray (the Awen)
‘Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Wales
I can hear the mothers’ voices calling
“Children, children, children”
Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
Listen Jimmy! I want to go home.
I’ve been away from the Ray too long
I’ve been away from the Ray too long’ – words by Van Morrison
My heritage is Irish, my great grand parents migrating to Kalgoorlie in the 1890s
Part of the Irish diaspora.
But spending time in the north of Scotland has put me on the Celtic Ray
Touched by the Celtic Ray
Glasgow has a new light.
I found the Glasgow Enlightenment
And the fact the the world’s first Afro-American doctor was trained in Glasgow by slavery abolitionists. He was James Mcune-Smith.
I have been away from the Ray too long