25 November 2011

bits and bobs


Would you believe that I've been living in Ireland for almost three months and I only just now bought a waterproof jacket?


Well, I got my tax back today, which I wasn't expecting and which essentially doubled this week's paycheck. So I bought stuff.

First thing I did was eat a huge meal at Cornucopia, which is the only restaurant in Dublin that I will actually get food from--and it's SO GOOD! They cater amazingly well to food allergy people, and every dish and combination there is pure imagination. I got a fruit salad to take home, then ate a pear, hazelnut, and vinegar salad along with a huge serving of spicy vegetables/chickpeas over rice. Then I went to a little market next door and got the first of my Christmas presents for people! (besides postcards, which I've slowly been collecting.)

After that I went to an outdoorsy store called Port West, which I'm pretty sure originated in Ireland. Everything was on sale to some degree. I got a purple waterproof shell jacket (30 euro), a short-sleeve underlayer for cycling (25 euro), and a pair of bike shorts with the pads in 'em for bony arses like mine (15 euro). I was like a kid in a candy store at that place. Even tho 70 euro is a lot to spend on, like, three things, I've seen padded bike shorts on sale for 50-70 euro in bike shops, underlayers on sale for 40-50 euro each in other outdoorsy stores, and similar jackets for twice as much. I'm very pleased.

Then I went to the Catholic bookstore everythingstore Veritas and got me some advent candles. I only have a single candle stand, tho, so I'll have to burn them one at a time, rather than all at once. But that's okay; I'll just make sure I use the right colours in the right weeks, and if I still have purple candles left over after Christmas I can save them until Lent.

Also, I started buying meats at Irish butcher shops, and I can't believe I was wasting money on Tesco meat... shopping at Tesco is basically like shopping at Wal-Mart in the States, it's propping up a huge industrial machine that is slowly eating up small businesses, and supports the UK economy much more than the Irish one. I tho't the meat there was extra cheap so I was buying it, but man... I got a huge ham hock today for 3 euro--I swear it weighs like five pounds--and the other day I got three lambs' livers for a quid and a half. I can also get half a trout at the fish stop on Phibsborough road for 3 euro, which makes 2.5 meals with rice.

I'm gonna make a cabbage and ham stew with bean sprouts and chunks of rutabaga. I should probably simmer my stock tonight and make it in the morning. I won't be hungry again after all that food in Cornucopia... *clutches stomach*



My two new hobbies: cycling and collecting churches. By "collecting churches" I mean taking pictures of as many as I can. A lot of the churches in Ireland are open to the public during the day, all week, so I take pictures of the outsides and then the insides if I can. There is so much amazing architecture  here, it blows my mind... so many gorgeous Catholic churches... too bad the corruption of the clergy here has had to mar it and empty so many of them out. I like to pray in the empty buildings, but I don't go to Mass in them anymore. It's unfortunate, but the Masses tend to be very shallow and ill-suited to the majestic buildings they inhabit... I prefer to pray and imagine in peace.

I don't only take pictures of Catholic churches, of course. Any churches that catch my eye as being particularly interesting or pretty.

As for cycling... I feel more alive than I have in forever. I'm shite at riding up hills, but I'm getting better. I love my suicide gears and my hybrid frame and wheels. I bought some blinking lights for riding at night, too--red for the rear, white for the front. Apparently the blinking helps cars gauge how fast you're coming at 'em. I didn't know that before.

that's all for now. thanks fer readin'.


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