Siesta with Dumbo
I took this picture as I lie in bed, resting after a particularly long day during my second week. I don’t quite recall what I had been up to this day, only that I was exhausted and needed some down time before going back downstairs to socialize. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of relief that at the last moment I decided to bring my beloved Dumbo plushie with me. I can be without my mom, my cats, my friends and family – but Dumbo is my singular link to all of them; a security that gives an extra ounce of that “home away from home” feeling I appreciate while traveling.
Unsurprisingly, I took this picture immediately after the last. It is the slanted skylight in the guest room I used while staying with Naomi. The only window in the room, it was an excellent source of light and air. The weather in Ireland is clinically insane and the talk of it is a country-wide past time. Whenever I rested between all of that eating, shopping, and socializing, I took pleasure in the simple art of watching the clouds drift by.
I decided to have a brunch at Electric on my last day in Cork. I still had a zillion and one errands to get done, but I still gave an open invitation to all of the friends I’d made during my trip. I ought to have planned it a bit more in advance, but I was very appreciative of those who did make it and understanding of those who were unable to attend. Though I ordered a Bellini, this Kir Royale showed up instead and I was too greedy to really notice. I distinctly remember thinking, “Gee, what a weird looking Bellini! Huh. It doesn’t really taste very peachy…” Glug glug glug.
The English Market
Taken from just inside on of the entrances to The English Market. I had just finished up another enjoyable (and sadly, my last) Tweet Meet Tuesday at Electric and had to run some errands before heading home to put in my hours for the Helpx.net hosts. In you’re unaware, The English Market is an indoor municipal food market with some of the freshest goods in the country. It’s my go-to place for the best of meat, fish, bread goods and cheese. That palm is in the way of the banner up above but you know what it says anyway: CORK FOOD CAPITAL OF IRELAND. Damn straight.
Bangers and Mash
And just what did I purchase at The English Market, you ask? Why, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausage, of course! I decided to make this for Csaba, my host brother, as a thank you for allowing me to stay in his home. On the plate are English peas, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushroom and stout gravy with caramelized onions and a mix of The Cork Boi Sausage (Pork and Beef Sausage with Corks Famous Murphys Stout, onions and fresh thyme) and pork and leek sausage. Is it weird that I kind of want a huge sampler of all of their traditional sausage to try? No? Totally normal? Good.
I didn’t realize until well into my trip that many of the locals view Carrigaline in a less than favorable manner. I found the little breezeway town to be charming – except for the €6 it cost me to go into the city and back. Perhaps because I am looking at it from an outsider point of view, I notice the little things that might otherwise be overlooked by city-dwellers who wrinkle their noses. Take for example this enchanting lilac tree growing proudly in the backyard of Naomi’s home. Lilac is one of my favorite flower scents and to have it so readily present every day was simply magical. I wanted to pluck it from its branch and decorate my already fabulously loud hair with it.
A stark juxtapose to the image above, this was the view to my immediate left from my place in the city; though if I were facing our actual street they would be the right-hand side neighbors. It’s only the building I was staying in that has a balcony – two for each top-floor unit – the rest of the neighbors have to contend with being snooped upon. Once the European Union World Cup began I would hear random shouts, cheers and general sport-related merriment drifting from the various windows. Though I hope in contrast they were all at work when I blasted my music every morning. Unless you enjoy grooving to The Rubberbandits at 9:30am as I do.