Monday, 29 June 2009

Our last day in Dublin

On our last day in Dublin we have been busy answering the phones, packing and carrying stuff around town. R will be here shortly with her husband to collect our rug, hopefully our big soup pot and frying pan, too. Oh, and coat hangers! Then R, another ex-colleague, will come and collect our coffee table. Could I give her our leftover Bailey's and Morgan Spiced Rum too? We are trying to make sure we leave as little as possible behind for our greedy, manner-less landlord-pigs. We took two bags of clothes and a box of knickknacks to Oxfam, so watch out for cute Japanese soy-dipping bowls, a blue tea pot, green Gola sneakers and turquoise ear-rings if you are shopping on George's Street! We decided to ship a fifth box, so we are still feverishly packing and will have to bring the box Rathmines tonight. Oh, if anyone else is moving and shipping, this German company seems to be the cheapest: GLS Ireland.

It doesn't feel final, still. I've been too busy to stop and think about what is happening. I guess we will have all the time we want in Berlin! We might get to contemplate a little over dinner at The Buenos Aires Grill tonight, for a last supper in Dublin. I might order the crab and melon salad again... :)

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Shipping

We are on our way to get our boxes shipped. We had to use all three huge ones, and a small extra one too. So much for not having a lot of stuff! We are weighing everything and looking very worried, re-packing, re-weighing and sealing. Almost there!

Oh, and seems my "why-does-the-sun-shine" rant worked, it's nowhere to be seen today. Oops.

Why does the sun have to shine?

It's really quite unfair of mother Eire to give us blasting sun and perfect summer when we are leaving. How will we now be able to avoid nostalgia and false images of what it is like here? It should be cold and lashing rain, so we remember what it is really like!

I had my leaving drinks with work yesterday in Dicey Riley's. We were on the balcony, overlooking the beer garden. The heat was tropical and the view was like in Ibiza. I had a good night, but I can't deny I was happy to be home by midnight. It still didn't feel very final, though. Tonight we are packing, we want to get the boxes shipped tomorrow, so now it starts to feel like we are really moving! We also finally tried to book accommodation for our arrival in Berlin. The place we liked best couldn't confirm availability yet, so we are getting a bit nervous - we need and address to ship our stuff to!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Awesome lunch

I had the best lunch ever today. I'm still thinking about it. I ate a delicious, fresh, juicy curried crab and watermelon salad at the Buenos Aires Grill on Golden Lane. I want to go back there every day that we are still in Dublin for, and have that again. It was a pretty, round chunk of watermelon, topped with succulent crab, on a bed of greens, garnished with curry mayonnaise. As decoration there were also slices of mango, dollops of the curry mayo and halved cherry tomatoes. I'm in love! Or the Argentinian salad, with palm hearts, pineapple, mango and vinaigrette. Or the salmon plate. Or the... you get my point. Maybe we will manage to get dinner there before we head off. Since we are not meant to buy food stuff to the house, opportunity might knock!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

First last-drinks

I had leaving-dinner and drinks with friends today, the first one. It feels weird, not sad at all, to say goodbye, because I really don't feel like I'm going anywhere. I mean, I know I am, but I don't feel it yet. I don't think I will feel it until the apartment is empty next Monday, and we are looking at our packed suitcases. There's quite a few goodbye's to fake through before then...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Hungover and happy

I had the best night in ages yesterday when A's friends threw him a surprise leaving party. Three bands were playing, there was cake – and A was totally surprised and incredibly happy. We left the afterparty at about 4.30am, drunk as feck. Today was horrible in work, to start with I was an hour and a half late... I drank more water than ever before, and alternated between being nauseous, having blurry vision and feeling faint. But it was totally worth it, this was a splendid last hurrah!

I got my free sample kit from Everyday Minerals today, it cost me €3,40 in shipping. I've never tried mineral make-up before, but I'm in the process of switching the contents of my bathroom to natural or organic products. I was told Everyday Minerals are safe, but they do seem to contain Titanium Dioxide, which I thought was a no-no chemical?

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Perfect timing

What a great time to leave Ireland: this week we got the news in work that three people are being made redundant and one person will downsize to a three day work week. That sort of killed the Friday buzz and my excitement for planning my leaving drinks. Luckily I sent out the details for the drinks a bit before the news hit... I know: selfish thought. But how happy am I to get out of here?! And it's only going to get worse. I really think Ireland hasn't seen the worse of this recession yet!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Packing, yuk

The other day I came to the strange realisation that for the past four or five years we have been moving house roughly once a year. What's wrong with us? Moving is not fun! Now we are moving again and the big, gaping cardboard boxes are staring at me in the living room. This weekend will be dedicated to packing. Yuk. I will have to go through all the strange piles of "important" papers, the clothes I pretend I will still wear "soon" and the books that I thought I "have to" read and can't give away.

This weekend is luckily the much awaited Street Performance World Championships in Dublin, so we will have a pretext for leaving the house. It is Midsummer this weekend and on Facebook everyone is updating how they will spend it at their summerhouses, the archipelago, at festivals or camping. It makes me a little homesick, the thought of the nightless nights and all our friends out in the warm summer's night. Well, who ever said they don't celebrate Midsummer in Ireland? In Temple Bar they apparently do! Maybe we'll check this out too.

Friday, 12 June 2009

A bad aftertaste

I got invited to go along to the Taste of Dublin event in the Iveagh Gardens at lunch today. I've wanted to go before, too, but I've suspected it's not worth my money. I was right. The cheapest ticket is 25€, then you exchange your euros to festival currency, florins; you can only purchase food and products using florins. A handful of stalls were offering samples, everything else costs you florins. I can't believe rip-off-Ireland is still alive and so well! The only highlights for me were Glenilen Farm dairy products: gorgeous yoghurts, cheesecakes and butter - yum! I'm also going for the 'girlfriend of the week' -award and bought my other half a bottle of Cave Creek Chili Beer. A small jalapeno floats in the bottle and the beer tasted like Corona and tacos – I figured it would be a hit at home.
My suggestion: avoid the Taste festival and go eat a fancy meal somewhere instead!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Post-yoga bliss

The cake and prosecco club gathered after our yoga class. I can't help but feel that is kind of counterproductive? The bill came to €82 plus tip! And the yoga classes are €16 each. A-list living!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

A storm in a water glass

I've been dead busy in work, doing the usual layouts, taking product photographs, re-touching them, writing my food blog and I designed a logo in only a half day (speed record?), then the pages that use it and send them to the boss 'asap, please'. I'm sure I will hate the logo when I see it tomorrow! You need more time to think when you are designing something that will hopefully be around for years. It needs to be thought out and not thrown together.

Luckily I got my favourite dinner; a vegetable soup with a milky broth, called summer soup or greedy soup. Then we booked accommodation at the Windsor Inn for our one night in Cork. We are going doing the accommodation as cheap as we can and got a "hotel" room for €69 including breakfast. Let's hope it's not a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for... Our second night will be in New Ross, Co Wexford in a place called Portofino – also for €69 incl. brekkie. Fingers crossed!

Last weekend away in Ireland

I have spent the night on laterooms.com to find cheap accommodation for our last weekend trip in Ireland. We will have a look at Cork, Waterford and Wexford and hopefully a lot of sea and nice scenery. We are being un-ecological and have rented a car – but if you know the state of public transport in Ireland you understand... For insight, or a laugh, watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YmvevAvhyM

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Rhubarb joy

I write a food blog for an Irish magazine, and when trying to think of what to blog next I found a recipe for home made rhubarb juice. I got particularly excited because rhubarb is in season. Does rhubarb taste like concentrated childhood nostalgia to everyone else too? In the process of making just enough rhubarb juice for a few glasses of nostalgia, I also made a delicious rhubarb purée from the boiled rhubarb mush that I was left with after sieving the juice. A good day's work.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Sunday rest

We are going to go see the Star Trek film today. I heard it's funny – I hope I won't have too high expectations... We will also make fish cakes from our left over new potatoes, a dish we have picked up here in Ireland. Here's the recipe, borrowed and altered from the blog www.lidltreats.com

Fish cakes
125 g smoked salmon
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 scallions
1 heaped dessert spoon soft cheese, e.g. Philadelphia
4 baby new potatoes, cooked, peeled and cooled.
1 medium egg
Black pepper
Butter or oil to fry the fish cakes

Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion gently for about 10 minutes. The onion should be soft and slightly brown. Put the fish in a bowl and separate the flakes gently with a fork - do not mash. When the onion is done, mix it and the chopped scallion with the fish, again without mashing or overly breaking up the salmon. Fold in the cheese. Crush the potatoes so that they are in small chunks, but once again, do not mash. Fold them into the mix. Season with a good amount of black pepper, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice, too. Now lightly beat the egg and mix it gently though. Don't mash! Divide the mixture in four and form into balls in your hands, then flatten into a cake shape. Put the cakes into the fridge for an hour or so (longer is fine) to firm up before frying. Fry in butter or olive oil (I prefer butter) over a medium heat. Be sure to allow them to fully fry on one side before turning them over, otherwise they can break up a little. Serve with a nice salad and maybe a creme fraiche sauce.

Swap it like it's hot

My friends arranged a cool swap party today. I was too tired to take much joy in it, but the idea was brilliant and everyone had so much fun. It was guilt-free shopping, and the most ecological a lot of the chicks there have been in their lives, I suspect. More swapping!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

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