A rainy swim

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Wexford, Ireland

I visited my partner’s home town for the first time recently and this was what it was like.

It started raining as we were changing on the sand. The wind tugged at the towel I was holding round you for decency. I gripped it tight, having already gone through the ordeal of shimmying from clothes to swimsuit myself.
‘Are there people over there?’
‘Just joggers. They’re going the other way, it’s fine.’
We ran down the beach before we could lose our nerve.
I wasn’t sure what I’d expected of the Celtic Sea. It certainly hadn’t been this. The water was flat, a mellow blue, not like the crashing waves I was used to on Wales’ south coast, that battered the limestone cliffs and drew surfers from all over. We waded out across a sandbank, the water not even reaching our knees. Down below, crabs and unknown entities brushed against our feet. You swore when one defended itself with a pinch.
‘The crabs are different here! You don’t get them that bolshy in Gower.’
This was the first time I had visited your childhood home, so of course you had taken me to the beach. Eventually the water got deeper and we floated above the irate crabs, beneath the grey clouds. Looking up at the sky, I was glad to have come and glad you had cared to show me this place.
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Near Wexford, Ireland

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