Thursday, October 1, 2009

Getting back to Galway

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The three of us went to the Crawford Art Gallery, but I was more impressed with the building than what was on display. Zach went on to the Lewis Glucksman Gallery across town while Monica and I did a little shopping - more like looking for me and telling Monica what worked and what didn’t. I tried on a few things, but tried to avoid the temptations, which was easy once I did a little math to find that SALE meant regular price in dollars. Since I discovered that I’m running out of money quicker than I had planned on (Euros will do that), I’ve gone through my budget making it even tighter than before. I’m pretty sure November will require either another roommate or another part-time position if I’m going to make it till December.

Since I never got to stop by the English Market for my Custard Crème Tuesday, I made sure it was a stop today. I inquired about the bakery and the recipe, but it was not the creator who was on duty. The lady couldn’t tell me much, but that it came from a bakery out near the airport called Mary Kate’s. To make up for Tuesday’s absence, I gave up 3 precious Euro for 3 of the most amazing pieces of happiness in the world. Yes, that’s three. It is currently 11:30pm and I’ve only eaten half of one…moderation! (I can’t guarantee the other half won’t disappear before midnight though).

We left Cork at 2 and that put us back in Galway around 5:30. I listened to music till my ipod died, then read Rue Tatin. I can’t wait till France, Loomis’s book is the most enthralling depiction of French culture I’ve encountered, and it has a lot to do with cooking. At one point I did ask Zach for a history lesson on Ireland. He has been reading about it, so he’s the best source.

He told me about the famine in the late 1800s being a result of English rule requiring wheat as a cash crop and leaving potatoes for the people. Also, the Catholics were not allowed to leave land to one son, it had to be divided up amongst the sons whereas protestants could leave land to only one son if they chose. Catholics could also only sell land to Protestants. This caused much poverty amongst the heavily Catholic country. When the blight hit their food source was eradicated. ¼ of the population left and ¼ died as a result.

Northern Ireland was a result of too many Catholics, so the English sent Scottish Protestant farmers over to populate the area. That is what Ulster County had remained primarily Protestant and subjects of English rule.

Michael Collins was big from 1916 on when he and others of the IRA stormed the Dublin Castle, post offices and other government buildings on Bloody Sunday not necessarily to achieve anything other than to awaken the people who had become somewhat content under British Rule during the First World War. Negotiations had started before the war to free Ireland, but had been postponed when the war started. Many people did not want to start anything for fear the British would change their minds once the war was over; however, the British chose to put the rebellion down with so much force and bloodshed that it angered the Irish and ended up persuading many to revolt. Somewhere around 1921 the Irish gained independence from England with the exception of Northern Ireland, which would be the source of much conflict till about ten years ago when a peace agreement was signed, but there are still a few radicals. Michael Collins was killed by an Irish radical who thought he gave too many concessions to the English when Independence was granted. Ironic.

When we got back, it actually felt good to be in Galway – like coming home. It was a comforting feeling. Zach and I combined forces for dinner. He fixed ravioli while I cooked a pizza. We watched Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers after dinner. For some reason the library only has dance related DVDs, but it’s been fun watching old movies. They’re actually really good.

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