Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week Four: Jeff

Its been a few weeks since you have heard from me. Work in the mornings so far has consisted of tidying up around our cottage and Rainbow house in the community. The work has been intermittent but satisfying. Tomorrow I will start my permanent post in the garden. Being that it is fall going on winter, I will be helping to prepare for the spring. Some mismanagement over the last few years has meant there is much work to do and I am glad that I can contribute. To tell the truth, I have been quite stir-crazy over the past two weeks. The opportunity to allow for me to feel like I am actually contributing to the community, something I have been looking for.
The one negative aspect to this job is the Irish weather! Wet and cold are constants here. This hardened Minnesotan won't accept defeat in the face of some above zero temperatures and rain but I will surely relish in the four conscripted tea consumption times. The weather here is strange to describe because my concept of "rain" isn't what happens here. Very little of the day is actually pouring, the rest is drizzle or light rain and most days you can faintly see your breath. Being always at the dew point gives the impression that it is raining even when the sun is out. Sun showers are an everyday occurrence at give us a welcome showing of some blue sky and warming rays.

In the woodwork shop I have almost completed a giant owl (measuring about 2.5 feet high). I inherited this project from someone else and am rather uninspired with it. I will take a picture when I am finished. After I am done, I am going to be starting on some new projects that we can hopefully sell. The trick is trying to find projects where villagers can contribute. Right now many spend much time rasping lamp stands but it is a task that is quite uninteresting. If anyone has ideas or projects that they would want done for them, please let me know. As we progress, I will post the projects we are working on.

I had the realization last night that I am now settled here. Though I still have to wrap my head around the steering wheel being on the wrong side, most things here seem normal. I don't have to think about what a lorry or larder might be (a truck and a pantry, respectively), I just know. I am no longer concerned about public custom in public and have learned to navigate the phones, buses and taxis. I still look the wrong way when crossing the street but some things I don't think will ever change.

Chelsea and I are beginning to make friends but we are a rather odd age for coworkers it seems. Most of the temporary coworkers are younger, 18 or 19; it is common for Europeans to take time off before they go to university. They like going into the nightclub on the weekends and we weren't really those types even when we were that age so... they make us feel old. The permanent coworkers are in middle age or older. That leaves us smack in the middle. It leaves us to blaze our own trail and so far that has been fine.

I must go out now for a practice driving time to make sure that I am not going to kill myself or others while shifting with my left hand, driving on the left side of the road through roundabouts. Insanity over here, dumb Brits and needing to be different than the rest of the world...

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