It’s been one of my favourite places for many years. Patricia and I were members of the CSSM team there in the 1970s, and friendships formed back then have lasted a lifetime. This Easter the weather was really quite good and we enjoyed the mixture of sunshine and breeze. The wee train was running from the Giant’s Causeway to Bushmills and the path above the beach was well-populated. It seems that every time we went out for a walk we met some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. It was altogether invigorating and refreshing.
There is something about this stretch of coast that makes it relaxing and enjoyable. As one of our friends said when we met her on Easter Monday, “I seem to relax the moment I arrive here.” I don’t believe in “holy ground”, but I do acknowledge that there are geographical locations which have a place in our memories, experiences and affections which makes them special. Portballintrae has to be near the top of my list.
The big change this year is that the new Village Hall is nearing completion. Now there will be a facility which should help to foster a sense of community spirit. This new space offers a hall, a meeting room, a kitchen and even the possibility of a shop. It is, by all accounts, a “green” building, with what seemed to me to be sods of earth on top of the roof. Will some local resident risk taking their lawnmower up there to cut the grass? I’m sure someone will tell us the environmental value of such a construction.
In the meantime, the sod-covered roof may provide a talking-point for those who often sit in the car park in Portballintrae, but only when they get bored with the majestic view of sea, sky and sand across to Runkerry.