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Breathing in the ocean-swept air stimulated all my senses and kick-started something inside me. Sometimes it takes beauty such as we experienced on that day to truly realise what matters in life. Image Credit:

Sometimes, it’s useful to sit and look around and realise where you are in life and how amazing things actually are. As I sit here listening to the radio, I’m thinking of a day trip myself and the other half enjoyed at the beach the day before and making plans for his 40th birthday party on Sunday.

We’re extremely lucky living in Ireland with its beautiful, natural beaches, and when we do get the time to visit these precious gems, we take a chance on the weather. If it wasn’t for the often wet weather I’m sure the beaches and green areas around Ireland would not be as pristine as they are with the hordes of tourists who would surely invade.

There were a few clouds in the sky on the day we were due to venture to the beach but we decided to risk it in the hope that the coast would be at least a bit sunnier and we drove the 30 minutes to our favourite oasis, armed with disposable barbecues, snacks and drinks. Our gamble paid off as the clouds kept their distance and we had an amazing day of exploring, relaxing and paddling.

Standing on the beach, for a moment I slipped into an almost unbelievable state of bliss, which has inspired today’s writing. It’s difficult to remember sometimes that things are alright. Breathing in the ocean-swept air stimulated all my senses and kick-started something inside me. Sometimes it takes beauty such as we experienced on that day to truly realise what matters in life.

My other half is turning 40 this weekend so I thought I’d take a few lines here to share how my life has changed since I met him, how I never imagined that I would meet someone who made me feel the way he does every day, whether we’re on a beach, making dinner plans or in the throes of the breakfast rush.

Knight in shining armour

We met the old fashioned way — in a less than salubrious place in Derry city centre. He maintains that he rescued me from a person whom he saw was clearly irritating me. My knight in shining armour, you might say. He found out later that I was not the type of person who needed a knight and that I could handle myself perfectly well from irritants of the amorous male kind.

He was tall, with a cheeky glint in his eyes, lovely bone structure — cheek bones that stood out — and a pink jumper, which I thought was a brave choice in Derry. I said hello and wondered if he had escaped some institution or had perhaps overindulged earlier in the night. But we started talking and he was very friendly and funny and we had a great laugh. It was the beginning of something special. He walked me home and we exchanged numbers on Derry’s Peace Bridge.

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Since then life has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with flights and schedules to make sure we saw each other as often as possible, as he lived in England and I in Derry.

We’ve now settled in Ireland, and as an outsider living in Ireland it hasn’t been plain sailing for him over the past few months but he’s getting used to the different way of life here and the slower pace.

The feeling I had at the beach was one of everything being as it should be. Sometimes it takes those moments to realise how fortunate we are. So here’s to you, my darling. Even though you’re a year older, I’m grateful to be spending more landmarks together, and even more moments of bliss.

Christina Curran is freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.