What is next for the ex-pat?

Kemberlee Southland, friend and romance writer, met me at the Jarvis LUAS railway station in Dublin today. Then we went to the Food Court where she had Mexican food and I had Greek food.

Kemberlee and I then boarded the train for Red Cow where she had earlier parked her car after taking her husband, Peter to work. He is a mechanical engineer.

Later, we got the car and picked him up at work, and then drove to their lovely home in Kildare near the Curragh. Curragh is a national park on 50,000 acres of all shades of green, today it was sprinkled with rain drops.

A famous horse racing course is run on the Curragh, and it is also the home for a training base for the Irish Army.

We drove through the Curragh, and then on a narrow, winding, road, among the green trees, shrubs and grass, to their home where their collies Daisy and Poppy were eager to greet their mom and pop and visitor.

These two dogs are so smart, that one of them can recognize the names of her toys and can fetch the correct one. They are beautiful and add much ambience to Kemberlee and Peter’s home-life.

Kemberlee writes romance novels and is also the co-owner of Tirgearr Publishing: www.tigearrpublishing.com.

Kemberlee and Peter have arranged to take me to see some of their favorite spots in Ireland, in the country adopted by Kemberlee, of Carmel, California. Kemberlee met Irishman Peter Southland and married him fifteen years ago, and has lived in Ireland ever since.

It has rained most of the day, but my philosophy, “it is what it is,” means that nothing can be done about the weather, so why complain?

Yesterday I met Michael Lyne, who I will be staying with next week. It is another ‘couch surfing’ opportunity for me. We met up at Abigail’s Hostel and walked to a photo exhibit, opening night, where we saw photographer David Monahan’s documentation of the recent wave of Irish emigration in photographs taken just before their subjects’ departures to different corners of the world. “It is my wish to photograph people of all nationalities, who have made the decision to move from Ireland for economic reasons,” he said during the evening’s open house. His photos were large portraits of individuals, families or couples in moods of contemplation of their future, while they stand or sit near an old suitcase.

After that, Michael showed me the Castle near Temple Bar, that was once owned by the Queen and is now used for government purposes. We ventured on to a 50s diner for a snack.

Prior to the evening with Michael, I walked to the Icon Factory, an artists’ co-operative that produced art and attractive products celebrating Ireland’s cultural Icons, in literature, poetry, novels, humor, acting and sports.

I met artist Aga Szot from Poland who has been instrumental in helping get the Icon Factory up and running. She explained the purpose behind the Icon Walk, as one to give access to famous Irish creative artists, and to give a chance for the artists’ of today a forum to reach an audience.

The Icon Walk features art that demonstrates, not only those who have made Ireland famous for its culture, but for those artists of today, who’s art features the famous for their media and talent.

The current day artists are invited to participate in showing their work in a tiny studio donated for such use, with the agreement they will also honor a past artist with a current work. Many of that work is seen in large painting along the Icon Walk. In the Icon Factory there are many items for sale featuring artwork on a souvenir.

The Icon-walk clearly demonstrates the difference between the trash-strewn alley way before, and after the work was put on the gallery, alley-wall.

Tonight marks my tenth home since leaving California on April 2. The homes have been the following:

Idglo Guesthouse in Reykjavik, Iceland

Salvation Army Guesthouse in Reykjavik, Iceland

Jorvik Hotel in Thorshovn, Iceland

Capital Inn Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland

Arngrim Jacobsen and his family house in the Faroe Islands

Copenhagen, Denmark

Four Courts Hostel in Dublin, Ireland

Peter Lynch house in Dublin, Ireland

Abigail’s Hostel in Dublin, Ireland

Kemberlee and Peters house in Kildare, Ireland

Next: Michael Lyne’s home in Dublin, Ireland


3 Responses to What is next for the ex-pat?

  1. Girl, you are looking good! Fit, healthy, beautiful hair, right on. And, oh, yes, you look happy, too. // Mexican food in Ireland, now I’m curious to know what’s served up to the locals. Truly, I am. Just for fun, what was on the menu?

    • M-E: the restaurant was the usual: tacos, enchilados, quesodilla, burritos…all the usual, but not like we know as California-Mexican authentic. I was amazed to find Mexican ingredients from Belgium sold in the Arctic Circle in Iceland.

      • Typical Irish food is Irish stew with lamb, beef and Guiness (stew with pastry on top), boxy (potato and onion cake fried), coddle (potatoes, rashers (bacon) and breakfast sausage boiled in water, cabbage and bacon (like a cured ham) boiled together, mashed potatoes and chopped cooked cabbage. Cornbeef in cabbage was made popular for the American Irish when pork wasn’t available so beef was cured instead.
        Irish folks enjoy other ethnic foods such as chicken and curry,Chinese food, spaghetti, fish and chips.

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