Mil liked being alone. It was so much easier than dealing with people. Having company was over-rated in her opinion. Living in a big city it was easy to find solitude. She could find it walking down the canal path; she could find it in the archives library; she could even find it walking down Grafton Street, because everyone else was so busy with their own lives that she never had to make eye contact with them.

Here on the west coast, in her grandmother’s cottage, solitude was harder to find. Here she was isolated from the rest of the world, miles from anywhere with the Atlantic ocean on one side and miles of bog on the other, with just the odd house dotted here and there. But there were too many ghosts. Around each corner something else would trigger a memory. The rusty gate tied with the blue baling twine – her grandmother shouting at her because she hadn’t tied the gate properly and the wind had blown it open and the cows had got out; the abandoned lobster pot at the pier – Walt teaching her and Jack to fish for crabs; and in the distance out at sea the island that would always taunt her, always remind her of what was lost. It was as if every stone had a ghost, and they each in turn mocked her solitude.





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