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near Sydenham, N Ireland (United Kingdom)
I had taken the week off - not because I had anything specifically planned, but because I had to use up annual leave before the year end that coincides with the financial year. But my luck was in, the weather was nothing short of glorious and the sun blazed in the clear blue sky. I took the opportunity on Tuesday to head down towards Nendrum on Mahee Island. However, on the outskirts of Comber there were traffic delays and my patience snapped in the heat - so I decided to go down the parallel coast to Portaferry. The roads were warm and the tyres seemed to stick extra well, my confidence increasing as I pitched the bike into the corners at ever more extreme angles of lean. I took the opportunity to pull into a layby opposite Mount Stewart to sit on the warm grass beneath the trees and look out towards the Mournes (now obsecured in the heat haze). But I neeeded (and still need) to clear my head. Perhaps we only realise what we have when it is taken from us - obtuse I know, but I think that I have, unfortunately, needed this reality check to realise what I have. And I have recently lost something that I loved, and the pain remains acute.