Ireland day 0301. Tuesday 26 July 2022- Admin2
Much of the time since coming to Ireland, we have been out and about exploring or – in the case of Val – at work. When you’re new to a country, that feels like the right thing to do. You’ve got a whole lifetime’s worth of catching up to do before you can even begin to feel familiar with your new home. Having said that, though, despite having been here for nearly a year now, I feel as if we have barely scratched the surface of this fascinating country. We have had a good look at a narrow strip along the east coast near Dublin, but much of the rest of the country remains unexplored. That’s something we will definitely be looking to put right in the coming months.
But despite this pressing desire to keep on exploring and pushing the frontiers out, sometimes you just have to pause for breath to catch up on the mundane scaffolding of life. The shopping, the paperwork, the cleaning and the myriad other small jobs that you keep putting off when you have something more interesting to do. But today was one of those days when we could put off our chores no longer.
Or rather I couldn’t. Val was out at work all day, so it fell to me to try and deal with as much of life’s mundanities as I could while she’s away. It feels like one way I can pull my weight while she is away earning a crust. But before I dived into the days tasks, I had a quick video catch up with a friend who’s just retired and is starting up her own business. I really do have to take my hat off to these girls who just don’t seem to be able to stop working. Very impressive.
Once that was finished, I had to write some letters, and then do some more fiddling around with tax. But I could only do so much of this before I needed a break, so I headed off down to the library to renew a book, and then to pick up some groceries. I had a quick look round the marina while I was out – it was looking very summery and I can’t get over how fortunate we are to live in a place where there’s an interesting seashore to look at, only five minutes from our front door.
Laden with shopping, I returned to the flat and started peeling potatoes and chopping up rhubarb. I’ve developed quite a taste for Irish rhubarb, as you might have gathered, though I have noticed that now it’s getting later in the season, it’s getting tougher so you have to cook it for a bit longer to stop it being stringy. Then once the potatoes were roasting, the rhubarb was boiling and the cabbage was steaming, I prepared the salmon and gave it a quick zap in the microwave.
And while all this was happening, I took a quick look on our balcony at our shamrock farm. Val was given some potting compost, pots and shamrock seeds for her birthday and we thought we would have a go at germinating some ourselves. I’m not quite sure what we are going to do with our burgeoning thicket but as you can see from the photo below we are some way away still from reaching the thicket stage, so I’m parking that problem in the “deal with later” box for now. As an aside – I am not actually sure what shamrock is. As far as I can tell it as either a species of clover (Trifolium) or of wood sorrel (Oxalis). The word “shamrock” is derived from the Irish “seamróg“, which means “young clover”. We shall just have to see what our seedlings turn into once they grow up a bit. It’s a particularly important plant in Ireland because St Patrick is said to have used its trifoliate leaves as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity.
Dinner was quickly polished off to acclaim all round (polishing halo as I write) and then Val and I took a quick walk back gown Hanlon’s Lane and to the shore of the Broadmeadow lagoon. We arrived just in time to catch the most impressive sunset, which bathed the whole town in an entrancing golden glow. A splendid end to a day which was less eventful than most, but satisfying in terms of the number of nagging jobs which had been successfully crossed off the list.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
(No map today)