I love to cook and I love to be fed. Maura provides breakfast for all the guests and dinner most nights. My plan was to eat a hearty breakfast, skip lunch, and “eat all my dinner.” This I have done. My first morning I had to have it all, a full Irish breakast: 2 pieces of Irish bacon (more like ham), two sausages, two fried eggs, a tomato, and four pieces of brown bread. While Maura got that ready, I had a bowl of porridge. It tasted better than any I had before. I have begun each breakfast with the wonderful porridge, but have not repeated the Irish Breakfast. I can only be a morning glutton once.
My poor depth perception (good vision in only one eye) has created a problem in the dining room. At least, I’m attributing the noise and mess I make to visual inadequacy. I tend to bang my cutlery rather noisly. Maybe I don’t see how close they are to the plates as they often tend to fall on to the table, sometimes, even the floor. A small circle of food can be found around my salad plate, and drops of salad dressing find their way to distant spots on the table.
Maura is an excellent cook. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is delicious and 0ften straight from the garden. I have eaten fish almost every day whether for breakfast in the form of smoked salmon or for dinner from sea trout to sea bass. All of it tastes as if it was just caught. I asked her if she has always liked to cook. She nodded yes and said that when her children were in school, she wanted to get a job catering, but Joe wouldn’t have it as he said she wouldn’t have enough time. Instead she went to a cooking school which she declared was the best thing she ever did.
On Tuesday, Maura went to Galway, so I had to fend for myself. Joe had to pick her up from the return ferry and offered me a ride. We had a free ranging conversation. He loves to read and gets taken with a subject. For awhile it was the Romans. Presently, he is immersed in Mozart’s Operas. He isn’t sure if Maura also appreciates hearing so much Mozart. When I told him that he was a lucky man as she is such an accomplished cook, he said “Well its nice she’s good at something.” We finished the conversation with my Irish roots and that I had named my daughter, Medb (Maeve) after the Queen of Ireland. We talked of how she had been a lusty queen, and he added, “Celtic women had it good and had their way until the Normans came and imposed their patriarchal culture.”
I returned to Ti Joe Wattys with the notion of being able to walk back after dinner. This night it was sea bass again delectable and under it was the familiar taste of a mashup I had in Dublin years ago: turnips and parsnips mashed with butter. I began my meal with Jameson’s and had two glasses of wine with dinner. I felt rather optomistic. The sun was out, it was 8:30, I could make it home by 10 and it would still be light. I took the low road again.
During most of my walk I talked to myself, sighing in wonder. The sky was a bowl above my head, nothing to block the 180 degree view. Surrounding me were clouds made for the heavens lit from behind like jewels, sapphires, onyx. I skipped and danced down the road. Joy, freedom, visual ecstasy.