Honeymoon of Dreams.

St. Joseph's Secondary School, Spanish Point.

Lahinch,

Co. Clare.                                                                 19th June 1944

Hello Mum,

Hal and I are having such a lovely time! ‘The newly weds’ are what the locals in the pub are calling us! I mean, I still can’t believe it. It wields such a warm and exhilarating feeling in my tummy!           I certainly hope that you and Clint are getting on well. Your faces stir such a feeling of bittersweet happiness within, and a tear springs to my eye memorising the day we left, so I’m glad we didn’t decide to go for too long. I couldn’t bare not seeing you all for such a great length of time! Has Clint received his bike from the repairs yet? I sure bet they have done a wonderful job at restoring that old thing. God knows it has taken a long time! No doubt the bakery is as busy as ever! We can’t wait to get home and taste some of those undoubtedly tasty new recipes aunt Moora curated since our dessert tasting at the wedding rehearsal. I miss you! I miss all of you! But oh my, are Hal and I having the most splendid time here in the West Coast of Ireland. Such beauty is all around us and the locals are always most pleasant. It’s a breath of fresh air here in the peaceful and visually stunning countryside, away from the fuss we will be returning home to. The ever stretching lengths of sprightly green fields are a vision of such beauty and tranquility. The trees sway with a luscious sense of little lily pads dancing in the wind. The coastline extends to far more than what meets the eye and the powdery sand grits between my toes as we trod along the rapturous ocean shore. Let me include you in what we have been getting up to!

Last night Hal surprised me with a visit into the quaint local dance hall. Thankfully you told me to pack more than just my blouse and skirt! I wore that crisp white dress with the long puffed sleeves and grey shell buttons. Hal told me he was the luckiest man and husband on this island. I let him believe it! We left our endearing cottage at around half past seven and we strolled blissfully down the country road to where a chuckling man with a large muted overcoat  collected our tickets. A pipe sat in his mouth with a stray puff of smoke dwindling upwards. Our first real experience in a dance hall as a married couple and oh my was it a night to remember! Hand -in- hand we walked swiftly in where we were met with the contrasting images of gritty tables juxtaposing groups of pretty ladies and charming men. On each table top were pints of stout in varying glasses of tall and short heights. There was a window a little fogged over from the trail of smoke. Don’t worry, Hal took great care of me and lead me over to a couple of empty chairs at the side of the dance floor and kindly ordered two glasses of ale. The coolness of the glass was so refreshing as the air in the hall quickly became stuffy. A table to the far right of us cheered loudly and each one hopped up when Bam Bam started playing. I couldn’t help myself, and tugged Hal along to the center of the floor. We simply danced the night away after that and left at a reasonable hour tuckered out but with hearts as light as feathers! As we left the dance hall with the sound of music and laughter wafting in the air behind us, I got a whiff of the local delicacy…fish and chips! Eagerly we scuttled down to the corner of the street and entered the most unassuming of premises. There was saw dust on the floor, the decor was bland but my word, the exquisite smell of the food instantaneously created hunger pangs. We stated our usually order, fish and chips, but the proprietor respectfully suggested battered sausages as it was their speciality. After exchanging some small talk with the proprietor we received our order and bid him adieu. We brought our food along with us down to the boardwalk in the dark of the night where we perched ourselves on the flag topped wall. The battered sausage was like butter in my mouth and I was so chuffed and grateful to be sat there with my love. I gazed up at the stars, each a glistening shape of their own. More than content, I was truly happy.

I really hope that someday you too will get to experience a place like this. It is the epitome of heaven on earth! Or as Aunt Moora likes to say, a little bit of heaven without having to die! Unfortunately we leave midday tomorrow and although I am eagerly awaiting to see you and apprise you of every detail of this magical trip, it pains my heart to leave such a place which brings Hal and I so much joy. Who knows what the future may hold for us, perhaps we could move and set up a new life here, although I know you won’t be happy to hear that! Please give my well wishes to aunt Moora, and Clint of course!   See you soon Mum.

With love,

Aide Lawrence (It is still so strange to be using that surname!)