Thursday, February 26, 2009

sickness etc.

i seem to be coming down with a cold, but i sure picked a good day to do it. normally reuben comes home around 3 and i spend the day keeping him busy but today he had a birthday party to go to so i literally laid around in bed all day. i felt lazy but i figured it was better than being sick all weekend and i already feel much better.

some things i've noticed;

*the word "caffeine" isn't really part of the vernacular. everyone drinks tea and coffee at all hours and when i refused a cup at 9 pm because it would keep me up i was met with a quizzical look.

*walking is a bit hazardous. roads are narrow and drivers are reckless. but it's worth it because the scenery is simply gorgeous.

*plastic is seen as suitable fodder for fires. it makes me nervous for my lungs but seems fairly effective. reuben's grandfather is a fan of burning his old disposable razors.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

irish food

a few people have asked me what the food is like here and i thought it deserves its own post.

to give a little hint, ham and butter sandwiches on white bread are the preferred lunch food. to be fair they're not as bad as they sound and i need the calories since i'm already losing weight, but it does point to the lack of culinary creativity around here.

so far i have yet to eat a vegetable that wasn't boiled. and as far as vegetables go it's been nothing but potatoes, carrots and turnips.

thank god i'm no longer a vegetarian.

last night we went to reuben's great aunt's house for dinner. at the end i was offered trifle for dessert. i didn't really know what trifle was so i decided to try it. what was presented to me was a large merengue topped with hot pink cubes and doused in heavy cream. i didn't want to be rude (and, to be honest, i was really curious what the pink stuff was) so i tried it. i guess it was some type of strawberry gelatin, but it was creamier than jell-o and the texture was strangely... sandy. i lasted about 2 bites before i couldn't take it anymore.

i've promised to do the cooking once barbara goes grocery shopping.

Monday, February 23, 2009

i'm alive!

i've been here for nearly a week and this is literally the first chance i've had to write a real post.

i got to skibereen safely last tuesday but had some troubles getting through immigration so i'm now here on a one-month work visa. i'm going to see if i can get it extended to the normal 3 months so that i can travel after i'm done working on the farm but i'm not entirely sure what will happen.

the family is wonderful. barbara is in her 30s and is the one who brings in the wwoofers. reuben is her 7 year old son and the main reason i'm here. they live with barbara's father who has an unintelligible irish brogue but luckily he prefers smoking a pipe to talking. three dogs round out the home--puppy, a cute little jack russell terrier that adores barbara, pudsy, another jack russell who's taken a shine to me and is quite possibly my favorite dog ever, and christy, a huge and slightly stupid german shepherd mix. other assorted relatives and friends are constantly in and out and all have been very lovely to me.

my main job here is nannying for reuben. he is... a handful. he also happened to have last week off of school which meant we spent all of the last 5 days together. there was lots of exploring (there are some lovely woods behind the house), catching bugs, building legos, and planting potatoes. today he's back in school so i have the morning to myself. he's a sweet boy but i relish the time off.

the farm is about a 10 minute drive from skibereen itself. i've only been into town once so far but it was quaint and cute. various relatives have offered to take me to various villages in the coming weeks which will be nice. the farm is beautiful but a change of scenery is always welcome.