Apologies for burning everybody out, including myself, by indulging in a rare "two-days-since-the-last-post" post. I realize it's a bit much for all of us, so feel free to simply think: "enough of you already!" and X right out of this post without reading further. I won't be offended if you return to whatever important thing you were doing, your fruitless Google-searching for grown-up pictures of that kidnapped Jaycee girl who was just found alive with two pale children some 20-or-whatever years later. (Good luck on that one. Believe me - I've tried finding such pictures to no avail. Personally, I'm beginining to wonder if the whole thing was made up.)
Requests - all TWO of them! - for Ireland pictures have been flooding in from eager readers! Now that I've pulled my camera from the inch of water accumlated at the bottom of my backpack, and air-dried it on the sunny deck, I thought I'd post a few pictures here while the subject of that rainy, pricey, yet peculiarly wonderful country is still fresh on my mind.
Let us begin with beautiful Cork City, our very first night in ye old Irish homeland. Gorgeous lighting, isn't it? Despite the look on my face (which sort of reminds me of the purse-lipped woman in that old TV commercial for shampoo: "Pantene Pro-V. Brilliant."), I have not yet morphed into Incredible Hulk-Bitch at this point. Actually I'm just so exhausted from jetlag that I can't even muster the effort to turn my head and look at that beautiful river behind me. No no. I'm already thinking about bed and food. Luckily, I have this photo to remember Cork by:
Setting off on our ride to the southern coast, my sprits are high. There's a wee bit o' drizzle, but so what! God made rain for earthly gain. That's my motto. After picking up a stylish blue poncho for a mere four euros, I'm ready to attack this moist day of cycling.
The poncho turned out to act more like a sail, billowing behind me and yanking me backward no matter how hard I peddled, so eventually switched to my more aerodynamic (yet less water-resistant) jacket. Three hours of steep uphill riding and gushing rain later: "Screw it. I'm walking." It's the first sign of metamorphosis into Incredible-Hulk-Bitch. I changed this picture into black-and-white to symbolize the mood change:
But wait: a scenic detour down the hill in the rain...weeeeeeee!!! Oh wait - you mean this road dead-ends into the ocean? The map didn't show that! That means we have to turn around and go back up the....never mind. Damn Irish map-makers, those sadistic assholes. You only did that to mess with the minds of innocent tourists!
There was a wee bit-o-sun from time to time, yet the Hulk-Bitch was still in full force. Behold the fake-smile of thinly masked irritation ("I'll look at the scenery after we stop somewhere to eat and I've had a chance to air-dry my thoroughly soaked underwear, which are hiked uncomfortably up my arse"):
After checking in to our Clonakilty hotel: the tone of the evening has already been set. Monica is in bitch-mode with aching ass and still-cold extremities despite hot shower. There will be no silly sex tonight, no rolling around on the bed and doing frivolous things. This will be a night of staring grumpily and silently at the TV or laptop or whatever while I allow my resentment of the rain, the hills, and the Euro to fester like a puss-filled wound. Tonight, we will act like an old, burned-out couple that's been married 50 years and doesn't talk anymore - so don't even THINK about turning toward me trying to get it on!
You won't get far with this cranky spinster at the moment.
Sorry, can't converse with anyone right now or look up at the stunning, hulking medieval castle looming before us. All that matters right now is that this food makes its away into my mouth as fast as humanly possible.
So what if a car comes: they can move. This Hulk-Bitch is taking a nap, right here and now.
BUT...so much good stuff too! Fortunately for everyone, especially Kevin, the Hulk-Bitch didn't last too long. The Irish wonderfulness came through in so many ways, starting with walk in the sparkly post-rain countryside of Sheeps Head Peninsula:
Sun and sea.
Why do these people get to live somewhere so beautiful? I want this to be my life.
Woo-hoo baby! Downhill!
Mmmmm, food at the Bantry market. Doesn't this look so...French? For some reason I like the way Kevin looks reaching for his wallet.
Below, a typical breakfast: this one consists of potato cakes, a fresh scone on the side, some Weetabix cereal (one of my favorites), a beautiful poached egg in an intriguing cup-shape (how DO they do it, those Irish?), AND - the absolute best part - THE BACON. Ahh, wonderful Irish bacon.
Take a moment and just look at that bacon. Even if you're a vegetarian, just look at that bacon. Thick cut, not marbled with fat - much more meaty and substantial than what we have in the states. Almost ham-like in quality, but with a thin, golden salty "frame" of fat around the edges, just enough to melt in your mouth and make you glad you're not a Muslim. I could eat plates of the bacon all day and not get tired of it, ever!
If you haven't looked at the bacon, look at it now: zoom in on it if you like, and examine and admire its fine fibrous texture. By the way, I do like pigs, as I've said before. I like them for their intellect, their personalities, their endearing fatness. Still, somehow I have absolutely no trouble eating them. Whenever I eat bacon, I try to pretend that it's not pig flesh, but rather, just this little shred of goodness that fell from Heaven and landed into a frying pan in some kitchen before arriving at my plate:
Bantry cove - the village where I spent a solo night. I did finally leave my guest house to meander around and take pictures. Look at this soulful, poetic sky:
My sunny solo walk in the hills. I ate salty, oil-cured olives during this walk and thought about not much of anything. Imagine living in that house, right there!
In the end, these Irish eyes were smilin'!