Ireland, Ireland, Ireland

Oh, how I love thee

I just finished my first proper dinner in days, rib eye steak (made all the sweeter because it cost only €4) and salad and a few glasses of red wine.  I’ve only had pea soup and hobbit bread for the past two days.  Why, you think? Because in Liverpool, Eve and Nigel treated me to the best fried fish and mushy peas I’ve ever eaten.  At least in the U.K.  So coming home on Tuesday, I vowed to watch my eating and coupled with my craving for those mushy peas, I decided to replicate them.  And yes, I was successful, it was pea soup as I usually make it, but with less water.  Perfectly seasoned, lekker.

Oh, this will be a truthful post. At least that what’s Korean’s believe, that alcohol, makes you speak the truth and if you don’t drink, you are hiding something.  One of the reasons I like Korean culture so much.  I obviously agree.

So, my dinner was the celebration of having hot water and heat.  Heat came a few days ago, but hot water was more elusive.  Finally, after two days of plugs wires and voltmeters, I have hot water for the first time, without having to run the generator (Genny) or the main engine (who gets no nickname, because he’s just a worker, so it doesn’t get a cute nickname).

Having had to return to my local electric shop for one elusive plug, I then proceeded to the bakery, yes, the bakery, in which everything I have had so far is just divine.  I went for an apple pie, but they were already out (it was 2:00 p.m. after all).

The baker, said he could make some this evening, but by tomorrow morning for certain.  I told him that was fine; I would come before my morning coffee (a 15 minute walk).  Came back to Dauntless and finished my 220v electric project.  Now, with heat, hot water, meat and wine, I’m content.

I’ve watched a few episodes of Luther, Season 3, and the last few days. Even though fiction, it’s hard to see injustice and people who try to do the right thing screwed for it.  Hits too close to home I suppose.

Being alone is hard.  My days are chores and work.  When Julie and I came two thirds of the way across the Atlantic, it was a real vacation for us, the 10 days form Azores was work; moving from A to B.

I have an exciting spring and summer planned, but it’s clear to me that my friends better come and visit, otherwise I will go stir crazy.

One of the outcomes of last week’s trip to London for the cruising Baltic lecture is that it really stoked my desire for both the Baltic, but also for the far north again.  I’m reading this fascinating book, almost written in my style, if I may say, The Eight Sailing/Mountain-Exploration Books by H.W. Tilman.  Written in the mid 1970’s, I’ve just been reading the last two parts about sailing north.  I like the style of the book, so will probably read the accounts of his sailing south around the Horn and exploring Patagonia, but that interests me less.

This book I borrowed from the Cruising Association’s library.  I am really excited about the Baltic this summer, to see Poland, the Baltic republics and Finland, are all a first for me.  In talking to people last week I even came away with the possibility of wintering over in Gdansk next year.  It is supposed to be really nice and really pretty, rebuilt after the war, but in the old style.

So, yesterday, while checking out the Polish market in town, while waiting to check out, I asked the ladies ahead of me of their thoughts of living in Ireland versus Poland (I was the only non-polish speaking person in the store)?  She told me that she had been here 6 years, with her siblings and that only her mother was still in Poland, but she hoped to get her here soon.  That life in Poland was hard and simply much easier here in Ireland.  I thanked her and bought the same raised donut she had. It was orange and very tasty this morning, though my ardor for next winter in Poland is a bit cooler.

It’s now 18:30 and the sun set like three hours ago.  Whoever came up with the idea of setting the clocks’ back to “standard’ time should go live on a farm, but for the rest of us, Daylight Savings, year around would make far more sense.  In England last week all the tabloids were pointing in in 72 point fonts that 80 more people would die in car accidents by making the mornings lighter at the expense of the evening when far more people are out.

Speaking of sense, I have found Ireland so nice, the people do genuinely warm and the baked goods to die for, but with all that, there is one aspect, that is interesting.  The free water protest.

They are having this big campaign, protest basically, about the “right to water”.  I think even here in Waterford there is supposed to be a big demonstration in which everyone demands their right to water. I had seen the posters and references to this, days ago, but found it hard to understand just what the issue was.  It turns out it is as simple as it sounds.  Ireland had recently starting charging for water use and the people are up in arms.

I’m tempted to check out the demonstration.  This will almost be like my luke warm anti-Vietnam war days.  But then. I am a bit afraid that someone may ask my opinion and if asked, who am I to deny them.

Then, I’s have to say, everyone can collect as much water as they want, free of charge (after all it has been raining for three days),  but if you want us to deliver it to your faucet, you’ll have to pay!

Oh, the apple pie is only $4.00!!!

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