I am life. Life is settling in over here in the grand green country of Ireland. The labor goes and the wind blows but the food is always delicious. Since we last spoke I have been up to quite a few different chores and leisures alike. I took care of my cousin Sheila’s “poly-tube” (which is what we call a green-house in the states). Connie Connelly and Sheila have let the veg grow out for almost an entire year. The butternut squash plant nearly took over the entire thing! Con is only interested in carrots, suedes, beet root and spuds. Good thing Sheila knows how to get the kale, tomato, green leaf and occasional herb into the diet! We weeded out the entire lot, planted some kale and harvested the potato. I was working with a lady named Kathy who was incredibly knowledgable when it came to all things gardening. She traveled the U.K. strictly by car, transient style for over twenty years. Her house in Ireland is the first house she has ever owned. I baffles me that one may just go out into the world and put not a single root down for over twenty years, probably something I will never come close to experiencing. Connie fed us a good salad and I caved hard for some locally made scones loaded with butter! I regretted that shit, Literarily the shit was what I regretted.
Market day is on Friday and it closely resembles a U.S. farmer’s market except with about twenty extra booths with thrift shops. Pretty cool but the majority of the thrift were faux-antique bookends and bad jewelry. The market, though, was really cool and I was able to pick up some olives stuffed with garlic and raw milk blue cheese, broccoli, beets and buy my little cousin a crepe. She is really into the sweets so of course I was going on about how it’s garbage and how it will stunt her growth, make her joints ache and cause her pancreas to stop working, but she’s pretty happy to just munch on the junk. “Eat and let eat” is my new philosophy.
Later in the evening the whole village got together for the club Gaelic Football match about twenty minutes outside of town. We were rooting for black and orange, St. Colums, a team which has not won the division title ever. For forty three years the club has only made finals once and last night they brought the cup home! As I spend time in Ireland the feeling that the O’Connors will lock me up in up at the farm for good luck becomes increasingly intense.
Not all has been so gravy in the O’Connor household. On Thursday night at Stone Cottage (see below) we had a major catastrophe. We were all sitting around like the internet fiendz we are and started buzzing around the house as soon as it was interrupted. The outlets all stopped working. John made his way through the house looking for trouble and by Yeezus he found it! My bed was just about as soaking wet as if I wet it five times consecutively without waking. The ceiling was not yet saturated but leaking at an incredible rate. Turns out the shower has been leaking for a couple of days and finally the socket burst. Now I write to you with exposed plumbing and second-story floor boards looking down at me. It is a real blessing that the O’Connors have both a family carpenter and plumber living not more than ten minutes away on call. At the drop of a hat, Wesley and Allan (both cousins to me) came over to fix the leaky pipe and tear apart the ceiling. I made them coconut flour pancakes and Julie put on a fry (which is black sausage [made from pigs blood and barley] and bacon [mmmm…bacon]). The pancakes were so good I think I’ll make them again for the rest of my life! I’m getting a little a lot of fat in Ireland, and working hard to keep that trend going!
John, Julie and I went out for a walk on Lady Batry’s lookout in the Glengarriff Nature Conservatory. John is terribly afraid of heights and had “five small strokes” on the way up and “five small heart attacks” watching me look out at Glengarriff.
These people are really starting to grow on me. Big love in Ireland!
Here is a picture of Barley Lake, situated at the very top of Barley Mountain. The car ride up was treacherous, but the views were absolutely stunning!